Moffett Secures Cork 20 win.

Posted: August 2, 2022 in Uncategorized

Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes scored their fourth Tarmac Rally Championship win of the season at last weekend’s Cork 20 International Rally.

The pair finished the fifteen stage event with just 8.4 seconds to spare over Callum Devine/Noel O’Sullivan. Welsh man Meirion Evans with Jonathan Jackson on the notes finished in 3rd place overall.

The rally got underway Saturday morning, and on the opening stage Josh was the man to beat as he set the fastest time by 0.7s from Circuit of Ireland winners Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble. Devine finished third fastest, just 1.5s adrift and commented that he left a bit of time in the stage. On SS2, Fisher took the rally lead thanks to a stage winning performance, he finished the stage 2.7s quicker than Moffett to take a 2s overall lead. Devine went third fastest again and mentioned at the stage end that he clipped something and though he had a puncture. On the final stage of the morning loop, Moffett reduced the gap to Fisher to 1.3s after finishing fastest on the stage despite clipping a bale and causing some cosmetic damage to the front of his Hyundai i20 R5. Devine set the second fastest time but still complained of handling problems aboard his VW Polo GTI R5 and looked forward to a change of setup in service. Fisher was third fastest, but still only 0.7s down on the stage winning pace, showing just how hard the top three competitors were pushing.

On the middle loop, only SS4 and SS6 took place due to an earlier crash on SS2 that hadn’t been cleared yet. There was no drama on SS4 for the rally leaders as they all maintained their positions, however this was to change on SS6 when Devine went fastest by 4.9s to close the gap to 2nd to just 1.8s. Moffett went second fastest to take the lead of the rally by a slender 0.2s. Fisher had to settle for fourth fastest after Evans got his first top three stage time of the weekend.

SS7 was first up after second service, and it was an action packed stage with numerous overshoots and spins due to torrential rain that fell after crews had already departed for the final three stages of the day. Amazingly, the top four competitors all spun at the exact same corner due to being caught out on hard compound slick tyres. The biggest looser here would be Devine as he stalled the car after his spin and dropped considerably more time than both Moffett and Fisher. Despite his big spin, Fisher still managed a stage win by a full 6s to regain the lead of the rally that he surrendered in the previous stage. Moffett dropped back to 2nd OA, 5.8s in arrears. Fisher would score two more stage wins on the final two stages of day one to hold an overnight lead of 12.4s over Moffett. Josh had a tough closing loop as he struggled with commitment on SS8 and a small overshoot on SS9. Devine still held 3rd OA even with a drop off in pace following big spin and stall on SS7.

Day two consisted of six more stages in three loops of two. Unfortunately, Fisher crashed out on the opener ending what was a fantastic battle with Josh and Callum. Both Moffett and Devine slowed at the scene to make sure they were okay, before being instructed that they were indeed okay and continued. Moffett received that same stage time as Devine due to being delayed longer at the accident. With Fisher out, Moffett inherited the lead, with Devine up to 2nd and Evans up to 3rd.

Over the last five stages the leader board stayed the same despite a late charge from Devine, where he had Moffett’s lead down to 3.1s at one point, before Moffett eventually came out on top by 8.4s on what was one of, if not the most toughest rally of the year to date.

Jason McConnon/James McEneaney had a weekend to forget after an accident early on in the event, they got the car repaired before retiring completely after SS10.

Navigation Trial Classes

Monaghan Motor Club will once again be holding their popular Navigation Trial Class’s. This six week course is for any aspiring navigators or drivers who wish to learn how to compete in Navigation Trails, as the new season kicks off on October 1st. While the class’s are mainly for Navigations, Endurance Trials and Stage Rallying will be discussed on the final night. The course begins on Friday August 26th. A time and venue will be released soon. Anyone interested should contact the club PRO or any committee member.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock oisinsherlock97@gmail.com

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