MOFFETT AND CONNOLLY NARROWLY MISS OUT ON WIN IN BALTINGLASS

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Last year’s winner of the Garda Siochana stages Rally, Richard Moffett led the field away from the start ramp in his Toyota Starlet looking to make it two in a row in Baltinglass Co. Wicklow last Sunday. With regular co-driver Martin Connolly on the notes he was going to have his work cut out, having to withstand the pressure from Cavan’s Chris Armstrong and James Fulton in a Mark II escort.

Into stage 1 and it was Moffett and Connolly who set the pace over the 16.5 kilometre test leading their Cavan rivals by three seconds by the end of the stage, setting up a great battle for the day. Mike Quinn and Tony Healy held third a further five seconds behind in their Mk2 Escort. After service it was into stage 2 and Armstrong went on a massive charge to win the stage by eight seconds over Moffett to take the lead by five. He extended his advantage by a further three seconds on the third test, to head into service with an eight second advantage.

Armstrong extended his lead to 13 seconds through stage 4 as his chances of victory were growing quickly while Moffett had to contend with a half spin. Quinn appeared safe in third place. Stage five was cancelled due to a delay so they crews headed back to the final service stop. With one stage to go it appeared Armstrong only needed to get through the stage to win the event but an overshoot near the end of the test nearly ruined his chances of victory but the Cavan man along with co-driver James Fulton did enough to win the rally by nine seconds from Monaghan’s Richard Moffett and Martin Connolly.

Mike Quinn and Tony Healy took third place, 49 seconds behind the winners. It was a good day also for JP McAree who navigated Jack Newman to the class 13 win and 4th overall in their Ford Escort. Barry McKenna and Macartan Kierans took second in class 13 and 7th overall, also in an Escort. Declan Tynan navigated Leitrims Enda McLoughlin round the Wicklow stages to take 12th overall in their newly built millington powered mark II escort. Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor also made the trip South but their day was to get off to a bad start with a visit to the scenery but they managed to get back on the road and complete the event.

Garda Siochana MC Mini Stages Rally Top 10

1/ Chris Armstrong/James Fulton (Escort) 38m 05s
2/ Richard Moffett/Martin Connolly (Starlet) 38m 14s
3/ Mike Quinn/Tony Healy (Escort) 38m 54s
4/ Jack Newman/J P McAree (Escort) 39m 11s
5/ Aaron MacHale/Paul McGee (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 39m 13s
6/ Anthony O’Halloran/Charlie McEnery (Manta) 39m 35s
7/ Barry McKenna/Mac Kiernan (Escort) 39m 36s
8/ Sam Smyth/Alan Smyth (Escort) 39m 39s
9/ Graham Scallan/Jim Scallan (Impreza Gp N) 39m 45s
10/ David Leonard/Darragh Mullen (Lancer) 39m 52s

 

JOSH MOFFETT TO MAKE WRC DEBUT IN WALES

Josh Moffett will make his WRC debut next month when he takes his Group N Mitsubishi Lancer across the Irish Sea to tackle the final round of the championship, Wales Rally GB.

The 22-year-old Monaghan driver, who is a nominee for this year’s Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year Award, has been a front-runner in the Valvoline Irish Forestry Championship this season and is hoping to try and build on his gravel experience on the challenging Welsh stages. “I really enjoy driving on gravel,” said Josh speaking last week. “I suppose the only downside is that forestry rallies in Ireland tend to be quite short which is no fault of their own, that’s just how it is. I’d love to challenge myself by doing a full 3-day gravel rally and gauge my pace against new Group N competitors. Competing against professional drivers on the Circuit of Ireland this year has given me the confidence to try and push myself and I’m really looking forward to Wales. It might be my last rally in a Group N car for a while so I’d love to get to the finish and gain as much experience as possible.”

Josh will be the second Combilift Rallying driver to sample the WRC this season after elder brother Sam finished 15th overall on Rallye Deutschland in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC back in August. Josh has already driven the Fiesta WRC in competition himself when he won the Sligo Stages in July and this weekend he plans to use that Fiesta again on the Westlodge Hotel Fastnet Rally. ”I was actually surprised how quickly I adapted to the Fiesta in Sligo and I’m really looking forward to driving it again in Skibbereen. There may be more outings next year but nothing is set in stone yet.”

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