Moffett obtains the Joule in the crown after final day drama!

Posted: June 21, 2022 in Uncategorized

Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes emerged victorious after a highly entertaining weekends rallying in the hills of Donegal at the 50th edition of the Donegal International Rally, sponsored by Joule. The pair finished the twenty stage event with 46.7 seconds to spare over older brother Sam navigated by Keith Moriarty. The Welsh crew of Meirion Evans/ Jonathan Jackson rounded off the podium positions just 2.4s further back.

The action pack weekend began around noon on Friday with six stages, starting with the 15.7km of Dooish Hill between Manor and Newtown Cunningham. Callum Devine/Noel O’Sullivan set the pace on the opener blitzing the competition by 7.5s. Matt Edwards/David Moynihan finished second fastest despite saying at the stage end that the car keeps crashing out over the bumpy sections. Josh finished third, 14s down on Devine after going out on full wet tyres. Sam also went out on full wets and he finished down in fifth, 17.3s off the pace.

A short road section brought crews to SS2 ‘An Grianan’ and once again Devine was the fastest of all. Edwards set the second fastest time, just 0.6s slower. Both the Moffett brothers continued to struggle on the wrong tyres and Josh dropped to 4th OA and Sam to 7th OA. Mouldy Hill, south of Buncrana was the location of stage three. And once again Devine extended his lead by taking his third stage win. Edwards finished just 0.3s slower to leave the gap between himself and Devine at 8.4s going into first service. Tyre problems still hampered Josh and Sam with Josh dropping to 5th and Sam 8th OA.

On SS4 Edwards got his first stage win of the weekend beating Devine by 0.1, Devine himself survived a huge moment when he drifted his car within inches of a wall not long into the stage. Josh now with the dry tyres on was back up to speed and overhauled Evans to go into 4th. Sam also was in better form and he went from 8th to 6th. On SS5 Devine hit back at Edwards with a stage win. Josh set the third fastest time to close the gap to 3rd to just 4.9s. On the final stage of day one, Edwards took his second stage win to leave just 5.8s seconds between himself and Devine. Josh once again set the third fastest stage time to leave himself just 4s off Alister Fisher/Gordon Noble in 3rd. Sam rounded the day off holding onto his 6th place and just 10.3s of Evans/Jackson in 5th.

Eight stages lay ahead on day two, with three passes of Carnhill, three of Fanad Head and two passes of the much loved Knockalla. The top of the leader board stayed the same throughout the day and by end Devine held a comfortable 17.7s lead over Edwards. Fisher still held 3rd OA, 26.1s off Edwards and just 5.1s in front of Josh. On the final stage of the day Sam Moffett overtook Evans to hold 5th place overnight.

Day three consisted of six more stages, two runs each on Gartan, High Glen and Atlantic Drive. The day got off to a crazy start when rally leader Devine crashed into a chicane at location two on SS15 Gartan. The high speed impact broke the radiator and put Devine/O’Sullivan out of the race. With the retirement of Devine, Edwards/Moynihan inherited a 19.2 lead over Josh after Josh set the stage winning time and moved ahead of Fisher by 1s. SS16 High Glen was cancelled due to a funeral taking place so next up was SS17 Atlantic Drive, amazingly the lead of the rally would change once again as Edwards would crash out just after the start which resulted in the stage being immediately cancelled. The cancelation left Josh with a 1s lead going into final service with only three stages remaining.

On the repeat run of Gartan, Josh scored another stage win to extend his lead out to 3.8 seconds. Sam, who had inherited 3rd OA at the expense of Devine and Edwards continued to increase his lead over Evans in 4th place. On the penultimate stage more drama lay ahead as Fisher would suffer a puncture just before Glen village and would eventually be caught and passed by Josh ending what would have been a fabulous battle for the win. By stage end Moffett held a 51.1s advantage over Fisher, leaving just one last run over Atlantic Drive between himself and victory. Sam didn’t take any big risks over stage and Evans closed the gap to 9.7s.

On the final stage Josh cruised to the end and took victory by 46.7s, not from Fisher, but his older brother Sam. Sam took 2nd place after Fisher struggled with a break issue sustained in the previous stage. Fisher eventually finished in 5th place. Evans finished in 3rdplace, and just 2.4s down on Sam. Meirion commented after that he didn’t try to catch Sam as he was more concerned in not getting caught by Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly who were just 11.3s behind.

Richard Moffett/Darragh Kelly finished 17th OA and 6th class 14. Michael Carbin/Paul McGee survived tough weekend, which included an impact with a chicane and a high speed spin to finish 23rd OA and 2nd class 20. Niall Maguire/Conor Foley finished 25th OA and 3rd class 24. Piaras O’Ceallachain guided Brian Lavelle to 38th OA and 4th class 13. David Moffett/Martin Connolly survived brake problems on day one to finish 45th OA. Mac Kierans made the long trip home from Australia to guide the late great Colin McRae’s nephew Max McRae to 56th OA and 3rd class RC4. Justin Smith/Gregory McQuillan finished 57th OA and 1st class 12. Gary McKenna/Calum Maguire finished 77th OA and 5th class 11R. Conor Mohan guided Eamonn Kelly to 82nd OA after making a return under Rally2. Shane Farrell guided JT Warnock 84th OA. Kaine Treanor navigated Chris O’Callaghan to 91st OA after making a return under Rally2. Damien McKenna guided Shaun Murphy to 97th OA after also making a return under Rally2. John McQuaid/Thomas Treanor also made a return under Rally2 to finish 99th OA.

Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan survived a huge moment on SS7 (which can be seen on social media) but unfortunately retired just before the start of SS15. Gary McPhilips/Liam Brennan retired after SS17 while sitting 22nd OA. Paul Sheridan navigating for Jonathan Pringle retired after SS13. Paul McPhillips navigating for Eugene Meegan retired after SS14. Ryan Farrell navigating for Sean Brogan also retired after SS14 and Brendan McAree/Peter Farrell, competing in the Historic section retired after SS10. In the Junior section, Gary Cassidy/Killian McArdle finished an excellent 4th OA in their Honda Civic and Mark Fox/Bradley Maguire finished 17th OA.

Monaghan Endurance Trial

The Monaghan Endurance Trial is taking place this weekend, COC Oisín Sherlock and ACOC Ryan Treanor have laid out 22 selectives all based in the north Monaghan area with the first car leaving the Four Seasons Hotel at 10am. As ever marshals are required for the running of the event. If available to marshal please make contact with any committee or club member.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock           oisinsherlock97@gmail.com

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