The Moffett brothers continued their impressive performances on the Irish Forestry Championship with a 1-2 finish on the Carrick-on-Suir Forestry Rally on Sunday last 12th February. Josh Moffett & Stephen Thornton came from behind to pip Sam Moffett & James Fulton by a margin of just 0.6 of a second! The Clontibret brothers were driving identical Ford Fiesta R5s. The six stage event included the classic Gurteen forestry complex.
Sam & navigator James Fulton held the lead for the first four stages but a mistake on stage five dropped them to 2nd place, 6.3 seconds off younger brother Josh & navigator Stephen Thornton. A storming drive through the final stages saw Sam take 5.7 seconds back but they just missed out on the win by 0.6 of a second. Multiple British Champion, Keith Cronin with Mickie Galvin on the notes finished 3rd overall in their first event in a Fiesta. They were 21 seconds adrift.
Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips finished 14th overall and 2nd in class 13 in their Escort. Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O’Kane had been holding a top 10 position before a long delay on stage five dropped them to 22nd overall and 3rd in class. Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes, who had travelled down from the Midland Navigation Trial the previous night, had been charging hard in their Nova and comfortably leading the Junior class until their retirement on stage four.
Carrick-on-Suir Forestry Rally Top Ten
1 Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton (Fiesta R5) 42m 48.5s,
2 Sam Moffett/James Fulton (Fiesta R5) 42m 49.1s,
3 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Fiesta R5) 43m 10s,
4 Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan (Fabia R5) 43m 22s,
5 Marty McCormack/David Moynihan (Fabia R5) 43m 26s,
6 Adrian Hetherington/Gary Nolan (Corolla WRC) 44m 21s,
7 Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley (Lancer Evo 9) 45m 45s,
8 Jonny Leonard/Niall Burns (Lancer Evo) 47m 17s,
9 Gerard Lucey/J J Cremin (Lancer Evo 8) 47m 36s,
10 Martin Cairns/Anthony Nestor (Fiesta WRC) 47m 39s.
Midland Navigation Trial
Colin Duffy & Sam Johnston took overall honours in the Ballinalee-based Midland Navigation Trial. The local men negotiated the 80 mile route without dropping a single penalty. National Championship leaders, Derek Mackarel & Muireann Hayes took 2nd overall on six penalties with Richard Cassidy/Paul Phelan completing the top three.
COC Evin Hughes and ACOC Pakie Duffy laid out an enjoyable route consisting mostly of tarmac roads with the rare grassy lane. The top four crews cleaned the first half in the section between Ballinalee & Aghnacliff. The remainder of the event was based in the Arvagh & Ballinamuck areas. The sting in the tail was from TP25 – TP31 which included six of the plot & bash timepoints. Tulips, Herringbones & Traces were all used causing confusion for many. Duffy/Johnston were unstoppable through this section managing to keep a clean sheet. Mackarel/Hayes slotted into 2nd place with Cassidy/Phelan in 3rd with both crews dropping significant time penalties.
Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan were winners in the Semi-Expert class. Derek Butler/Andrew Wedlock took 2nd with Ted Gaffney/Karen Gaffney in 3rd. Novice class honours went to local men Shane Dalton/Robert Howard. Monaghan’s Aiden Sherry/Oisin Sherlock were 2nd with Peter Deery/David McCrudden 3rd. Andrew Gould/Trevor Cassidy took the Beginners class from the Ballybay crew of Aaron Dixon/Dylan Lennon, with Emmet McCooey/Christopher McMahon in 3rd.
Midland Navigation Trial Top Ten
1 Colin Duffy/Sam Johnston (Subaru Impreza) 0 marks,
2 Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes (Subaru Impreza) 6m,
3 Richard Cassidy/Paul Phelan (Vauxhall Vectra) 11m,
4 Shane Dalton/Robert Howard (Subaru Impreza) 20m,
5 Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) 20m,
6 Aidan Sherry/Oisin Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 28m,
7 Ray O’Neill/Stephen O’Neill (Subaru Impreza) 55m,
8 Keith McConnon/Micheal McCluskey (Subaru Impreza) 59m,
9 Peter Deery/David McCrudden (Subaru Impreza) 72m,
10 Trevor O’Callaghan/Patrick O’Leary (Subaru Impreza) 76m,
Steven Ferguson was the outright winner of the Monaghan Motor Club Autotest based in Wright’s Quarry, Swan’s Cross. The result saw him clinch the Hewison Championship for a record seventh consecutive year. Paul Mooney finished a close 2nd with Guy Foster 3rd.
The club section of the event was won by Kieran McCarra who took a comfortable win from Martin Tynan. Ciaran Tynan, David McCrudden & Peter Deery completed the positions in the club class. COC Brendan Flynn would like to thank all the marshals for their help and to the Wright family for the use of their premises.
Monaghan Motor Club Autotest Top Ten
1 Steven Ferguson (Mini-Nova Special) 557.0s,
2 Paul Mooney (Mini-Nova Special) 559.4s,
3 Guy Foster (Mini Special) 576.4s,
4 David Thompson (Nova) 591.9s,
5 Ian White (Mini Special) 592.0s,
6 Darren Quille (Westfield) 607.6s,
7 Chris Grimes (Mini) 613.0s,
8 Tom Devaney (Westfield) 633.7s,
9 Norman Ferguson (Mini) 643.8s,
10 Liam Cashman (Westfield) 646.7s.
Pacenotes Stages Rally
Monaghan’s Martin Connolly guided Philip Allen, son of the late Glenn Allen, to a fine 8th overall on last Saturday’s Pacenotes Stages Rally based at Kirkistown. The event was the opening round of the Northern Ireland Rally Championship. Matthew McKenna guided Brian McFall to 22nd overall.