Moffett Masters in Antrim

Posted: April 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

Josh Moffett continued his rich vein of form with overall victory on the Easter Stages Rally, Round 2 of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

The two day event was running in place of the Circuit of Ireland and consisted of 12 stages over two days in Antrim.

Moffett teamed up with Wexford’s Andy Hayes and the pair would lead the Irish Tarmac Championship runners from start to finish. They held off his older brother Sam & co-driver Karl Atkinson by less than five seconds after a frantic finish to the two day event.

The opening day of the rally consisted of two stages repeated three times in wet and challenging conditions. Local favourite Derek McGarritty used his S14 WRC Subaru to good advantage to lead the R5 Irish Tarmac competitors. Martin McCormick/David Moynihan led these crews having squeezed ahead of Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes on the final Friday stage. Just 0.5 seconds separated them with Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson only four seconds further back, demonstrating the close competition between the top R5 competitors.

McGarritty was sidelined with mechanical issues on the Saturday restart. Both Moffetts flew through the Scawt Hill stage to leapfrog McCormick who could only post the sixth best time. The three crews all beat the bogey time on the Knockboy Hill Stage, leaving just 10 seconds between them going into the final loop of three stages.

The Moffett brothers again pulled time out of McCormick on the second run of Scawt Hill with Sam pulling a scant 0.2 seconds off Josh. Sam pulled three seconds back on Stage 11 but with both crews beating the bogey on the final stage, Josh held on for the win, his first overall Irish Tarmac Championship victory since Cork in 2016. This extends his lead in the championship after taking top points in West Cork three weeks ago.

Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson netted 2nd place and Sam will hope to turn the tables on his younger brother at the next round in Killarney. McCormick/Moynihan netted 3rd place but opted not to register for the Irish Tarmac Championship. Scotstown’s Damien Connolly guided Dublin’s Robert Barrable to 4th place after a steady run, less than a minute off the winners. Stephen Wright/Arthur Kierans brought their R5 Fiesta home in 8th place. Arthur’s son, Mac, guided Alan Smyth to 11th overall securing Group N honours in the process. Liam McFall/Matthew McKenna failed to finish.

Kelly/Foley Notch Up Another Win in Kerry

There was also Monaghan success on Round 2 of the Triton National Rally Championship. The Donegal/Monaghan pairing of Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley were hoping to follow up their West Cork win with a top result in Kerry. Featuring some classic West Kerry stages, the Tralee-based event attracted a strong entry.

A unique loop of 11 stages was used throughout the day. Kelly/Foley were involved in a huge battle with the other Donegal/Monaghan pairing of Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly. The lead changed hands on an almost stage by stage basis as they left the rest of the pack trailing in their dust. Boyle/O’Reilly dropped 20 seconds on stage six with a puncture which would prove to be decisive as it gave Kelly/Foley an advantage they were not to lose. In the end Kelly/Foley boosted their championship hopes with a 16.4 second win. Boyle/O’Reilly retained their championship lead with 2nd place while Roy White/James O’Brien were over a minute behind in 3rd.

Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry secured a solid 6th place finish. Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron put in a storming drive to finish 9th overall and 3rd in class 14 after a stunning turn of pace. They were also 3rd two wheel drive. Raymond Conlon/Darren McCague took 17th overall and 1st in class 13 in their Corolla.

In the Junior class, Jonathan Treanor/Paul Sheridan came out on top edging out Jason Black/Jack McKenna by 29.8 seconds. Such was the pace of this pair they were on the fringes of the top 10 overall over the 7 stages they contested. Calum Maguire guided Gareth Black to 4th in the Junior class.

Mackarel Secures National Navigation Title

Derek Mackarel followed in his father’s footsteps by claiming the National Night Navigation Championship title at the final round of the series in Cavan. Ably assistant throughout the year by Cork woman, Muireann Hayes, Mackarel took the title after a consistently strong season to become a second generation champion. Muireann becomes the first female National Navigation Champion and the first National Champion from Cork since James O’Brien in 1990. The highlight of their year was victory on the classic 1000 Shakes Navigation Trial in Cork.

Overall honours in Cavan went to Michael & Ciaran Tynan who made it back to back wins following their success in Monaghan a fortnight ago. The pair thoroughly dominated the event and finished 8 penalties clear of the charging novice team of Shane Dalton & Seamus McTigue in 2nd. Semi-Expert class winners were James McCabe/Shane Farrell who came home 3rd overall. Keith McConnan/Micheal McCluskey won the Expert class. Consistency proved the key for Arthur Kierans & Conor Maguire who won the Border Navigation Championship thanks to a 6th place finish.

Cavan Navigation Trial Results:

1 Mickey Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 4 marks,
2 Shane Dalton/Seamus McTigue (Subaru Impreza) 12m,
3 James McCabe/Shane Farrell (Subaru Impreza) 18m,
4 Keith McConnon/Micheal McCluskey (Subaru Impreza) 21m,
5 Richard Cassidy/Paul Phelan (Vauxhall Vectra) 24m,
6 Arthur Kierans/Conor Maguire (Subaru Impreza) 25m,
7 Ray O’Neill/Ryan Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 26m,
8 Mark Reilly/Paddy Corcoran (Toyota Starlet) 27m,
9 Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) 30m,
10 Robert Graham/Oisin Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 42m,
11 Aaron McIntyre/Ben McIntyre (Subaru Impreza) 56m,
12 Emmet McCooey/Christopher McMahon (Subaru Impreza) 70m.


Excitement Builds for Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally

There’s just over two weeks to go until Monaghan’s biggest annual sporting event, the Monaghan Stages Rally which takes place on Sunday April 22nd. Brendan Flynn returns to the mantle of COC after a year’s absence and has picked new stages in the North-East Monaghan area which are sure to provide a tough, technical challenge to the 100+ crews who will contest the nine stage event. Any competitors who haven’t got their entry in yet are asked to do so as soon as possible.

The Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan returns as sponsor following a successful event in 2017. The event will be a counting round of the ultra-competitive Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship. The event was launched last Thursday night at the Four Seasons Hotel with a raffle for a free entry up for grabs. Cavan’s Mark Wedlock was the lucky winner.



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