Fisher reels in Moffett to take Circuit of Ireland win

Posted: April 19, 2022 in Uncategorized

Alister Fisher and Gordon Noble took a hard fought victory over Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes on last weekends Wastewater Solutions Circuit of Ireland Rally. The pair won the rally by 11.6 seconds following a blistering time on the final stage to overtake Moffett who had been leading up till then.
The eleven stage event had 2 separate stages over Friday and Saturday, with Orra Lodge and Lisles Hill each being ran three time on Friday and the same two ran in reverse on Saturday, now called Glendun and Cairncastle, with the Cairncastle stage being just over 4 mile longer than the Lisles hill version.
Desi Henry/Paddy Robinson were the early leaders after a stage win on the opening Orra Lodge stage, with Callum Devine/Shane Byrne finishing the stage second fastest. On SS2 Devine set the benchmark to trim Henry’s lead to just 0.2s. On SS3 Devine moved into the lead by 7.2s after another stage win and Henry only setting the third fastest time. Devine held the lead until SS5 when a puncture cost him around 20s to drop him to 2nd overall and put Henry back into the lead by 12.4s. On SS6 the final stage of the opening day, Devine set again set the fastest time to trim Henry’s lead to 10.2s. Devine was fortunate to get this far as the incident the caused the puncture on SS5 damaged another rim but fortunately didn’t deflate the tyre. After the opening days stages, it was Henry/Robinson in 1st place, Devine/Byrne in 2nd and Moffett/Hayes in 3rd with just 16.4s separating the top 3. Fisher/Noble were down in 4th place, 35s off the lead.
On day two, Devine was plagued with power issues in his VW Polo coming out of junctions caused by a problematic sensor. Moffett set the fastest time on the opener to over take Devine and go into 2nd overall. Henry still maintained the lead despite only setting the third fastest stage time. On SS8 Fisher got his first stage win of the weekend setting a blistering time some 5.3s quicker than second fastest Henry. Moffett set the third fastest time to extend his advantage over Devine. There was drama on SS9 as rally leader Henry suffered some engine problems and stalled the car at a hairpin. He dropped over 33s on the stage and fell to 3rd overall. Devine also stalled in the same hairpin as Desi and dropped 23s on the stage. Desi’s problems promoted Moffett into 1st. Fisher again set the fastest stage time by 6s to go from 4th to 2nd and just 6.8s off the lead. On the penultimate stage Desi Henri retired due to his engine issue and Callum struggled with more car troubles. Alister again was the fastest man on the stage to leave just 0.2s between himself and Josh for the rally win, with just the 14.1 miles of the Cairncastle left to go. On the Cairncastle stage Fisher scored his fourth stage win in a row to win the rally by 11.6s to end Josh’s hopes of a fifth rally win from five starts in 2022. Devine finished the rally in 3rd overall.
There was an extremely controversial end to the rally, as Josh originally had just over a 5s lead going into the last stage but the organisers decided to remove the stage bogey times for the event, as both Josh and Alister had beat the bogey time on the previous pass of the Cairncastle stage. If the bogey times had of stood, Josh would have been crowned winner as both himself and Alister would go on to beat the SS11 bogey, which would have resulted in them receiving the same stage time, thus making Josh winner.
In the National Rally, Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan finished winners. They led the national rally from SS1 all they way to the finish in their MkII Escort. The national win is even more impressive when you take into account that 2nd to 5th place were all in four wheel drive R5 cars. In in the overall rally, Daniel and Andrew finished a superb 5th overall, the only two wheel drive in the top. twelve. Daniel has an incar video of SS11 Cairncastle posted on Youtube and its well worth a watch.
Arthur Kierans guided Alan Carmichael to 8th overall and 2nd class N10, Calum Maguire navigated Johnnie Mulholland to 18th overall and 2nd class RC4. Oisín Sherlock navigated Philip Greenlee to 43rd overall. Their rally was almost over before it began as the propshaft broke just before the Arrival Control of SS1. They got a new part and returned for SS3 onwards.
Brendan Cumiskey and Martin Connolly retired on day one with a sensor problem on their car. James O’Reilly navigating for Declan Boyle also retired on day two with mechanical trouble.
Jonny Treanor
Monaghan Motor Club are saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Jonny Treanor. He had an incredible driving talent with success in various motorsport categories. Such was his driving ability, he was nominated for the Billy Coleman Award in 2017. Our thoughts go out to all his friends and family at this difficult time.
Ronnie Hawe Monaghan Stages Rally
The Four Seasons Hotel Ronnie Hawe Monaghan Stages Rally takes place this weekend. The event has attracted a bumper entry of 150 cars plus over 30 reserves in what continues to be a very popular event. Josh Moffett leads the pack off, seeded number one in his Hyundai R5, second seed is his brother Sam making a return to the WRC Fiesta after doing the last few events in a Toyota Starlet. The top 10 seeds are
1 Josh Moffett/Jason Mckenna, Hyundai i20 R5.
2 Sam Moffett/ Keith Moriatry, Ford Fiesta WRC.
3 Darren Gass/Noel O’Sullivan, Citroen DS3 Rally2.
4 Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly, VW Polo GTI R5.
5 Stephen Wright/Damien Connolly, Ford Fiesta R5.
6 Niall Maguire/Conor Foley, Ford Fiesta R5.
7 Seamus Leonard/John McCaffrey, Ford Fiesta.
8 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely, Ford Fiesta.
9 Joseph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney, Ford Fiesta R5.
10 Paul Barrett/Kevin Reilly, Ford Fiesta R5.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock


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