Moffett Continues National Winning Streak in Carlow

Posted: May 18, 2022 in Uncategorized

Josh Moffett made it four wins from four in the Triton Showers backed National Rally Championship at the Carlow Stages Rally last weekend. Josh with Keith Moriarty on the notes took a start to finish victory and ended the day with a minute and ten seconds to spare over 2nd place Darren Gass/Barry McNulty. James O’Reilly navigated Donegal’s Declan Boyle to 3rd overall.

On the opening stage Josh set the pace and finished the stage with 18.4seconds to spare over Boyle with Gass a further 3.6s behind. All drivers commented about the amount of gravel on the stage and hoping that it would be cleared for the second pass. Boyle said at the stage end that he struggled with the gearing in the car because of the transition back to his R5 VW Polo from his WRC Fiesta. A dejected Gass mentioned that he clipped at least one chicane. Robert Barrable/Paddy Robinson who were next on the road commented that the chicanes were slightly damaged and that they had to take a different line through some to get round them.

On SS2 Josh again went quickest by 8.4s to extend his lead to 30.4s. Boyle, who had been in 2nd, stalled at a hairpin and dropped at least ten seconds. This time loss caused him to surrender three places on the leader board and go into 5th. Boyles mishap promoted Gass into 2nd, despite claiming he had another poor stage. Kevin Eves/Chris Melly went into 3rd overall in their Toyota Corolla Twin-Cam. They had been in a tight battle with Gary Kiernan/Daren O’Brien on SS1, but unfortunately Gary retired on SS2 with mechanical trouble.

After first service it was back for the second pass of SS1. Again, Josh set a blistering time to go a full 13.2s quicker than his own benchmark he set on the first run. A slightly happier Gass set the 4thfastest stage time and maintained 2nd place. On hearing the time set by Moffett, Barry quipped that Josh isn’t wise! Barrable moved up to 3rd and Boyle to 4th after setting the second fastest stage time despite car troubles in which the engine was throwing oil out through the dip stick onto the front window. When stopping for the stage end interview, James was in full conversation on the phone with the team to see if they should continue or not. Eves dropped to 5th, unable to keep the two four wheel drive R5 cars behind him.

Yet another stage win was to go to Moffett on SS4 to push is lead out to just over 52s. The top five crews would all remain in their positions going into final service. Peadar Hurson, driving the only World Rally Car at the weekend, navigated by Monaghan’s Damien Connolly would drop from 6th to 7th after making a mistake at the first hairpin in the stage and lost around 15s. Enda O’Brien/John Butler inherited 6th as a result. Hurson/Connolly had a difficult middle loop of the rally, as previous to their difficulties at the hairpin on SS4, they caught Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely on SS3 after McNulty overshot a hairpin. Hurson ended up being bumper to bumper behind McNulty for the remainder of the stage which resulted in a damaged window for Peadar. McNulty retired at the stage end due to damage sustained with his overshoot.

After the second and final service, Moffett continued his charge and set a fastest stage time on SS5 to have a lead of 1:08.6s overall, Boyle went second fastest and moved up to 2nd overall, commenting that he was feeling much happier and that he changed from Pirelli to Michelin tyres for the final loop. Gass had a poor run through the stage and dropped to 3rd, just 0.9s in front of Barrable in 4th. Eves remained in 5th, still in control of the two wheel drive category.

On the last stage of the rally, SS6, Gass responded from his poor performance on SS5 to set the fastest time to steal 2ndplace off Boyle right at the end by a mere 0.8s. Moffett, even though only setting the second fastest stage time, extended his overall lead and won the rally by 1:10.2s. Boyle was still content with his result especially with all the bad luck he had in the previous events. Barrable held on to his 4th place and Eves his 5th place and 1st two wheel drive.

The O’Brien Cement MKII Challenge was won by Ed O’Callaghan navigated by Stranooden man Kaine Treanor. They finished the day with 41.5s to spare over 2nd place Frank Kelly/Lauren Kelly and in 8th place overall. Gary McPhillips/Liam Brennan, had been 2ndgoing into the last stage with an 11.8s advantage over the Kelly’s but unfortunately a large stone that was on the racing line broke a rim on the car which resulted in a puncture. They did make it to the end but dropped well over a minute and finished 17th overall and 4th in the MKII challenge.

Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly finished the day in 7th OA and 1st class 7, Michael Carbin/Dean O’Sullivan finished 14th OA and first in class 20. They had a tough start to the day when the engine in their Mitsubishi Evo was giving trouble on SS1, they managed to repair the fault on the road section and were back in business on SS2. Paul Sheridan navigated Jonathan Pringle to 18th OA and 8th class 14. Ryan Farrell guided Seán Brogan to 64th OA and 5th class 11F. Martin McPhillips/Ciaran Tynan finished 72nd OA and 4th class 11R. John McQuaid/Thomas Treanor retired on the middle loop of stages but returned under Rally2 to finish 107th OA. Nigel Brennan navigated Tomas Crummy to 109th OA and 9th class 12. Ashling McArdle navigated Des Lyons to 113th OA after making a return from an earlier retirement.

Brendan Cumiskey/Martin Connolly retired after SS4. Paul Kelly navigating for David Condell crashed out on SS1. Gary McCrudden navigating for Sam Johnston retired after SS2.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock


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