Moffett Clinches Tarmac Rally Championship on Final Round Decider

Posted: August 24, 2022 in Uncategorized

Josh Moffett alongside navigator Andy Hayes have secured their second Irish Tarmac Championship success on last weekend’s Modern Tyres Ulster Rally.

The pair needing to finish a minimum of 4th overall on both days, due to the event being a double points round proved most important as their main contender Welsh pair Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson won the event overall to claim their first win in the Irish series. Josh and Andy took an unusual cautious approach over the weekend to ensure no mistakes were made that could undo all their hard work over the previous six rounds.

The opening day consisted of three stages in total, including a rare night stage, and after the three stages it was Desi Henry/Paddy Robinson out in front with an 18.5s lead over Evans/Jackson. Johnny Greer/Niall Burns were in 3rd place, 6.2s further back. Josh and Andy held 4th OA, 57s off the lead following a day of carful driving, but just doing enough to keep their championship hopes intact. Josh commented different times that’s its almost harder to drive slow and steady than it is to drive on the limit. Jason Mitchell/Paddy McCrudden finished Friday in 5th OA just 6.6s behind Josh.

Six demanding stages lay ahead on Saturday, and immediately the rally leader drove into trouble. On SS4 ‘Tyrone Ditches 1’ Henry/Robinson clipped a gate post and damaged their steering spelling retirement a little further down the same stage. With Henry’s retirement, Evans/Jackson inherited the lead and extended their lead over now 2nd place Greer/Burns from 6.2s to 23.3s after Greer had a dreadful SS4 which included lots of moments and an overshoot due to the amount of standing water on the stage. Mitchell overtook Moffett on the leader board by 1.6s as the latter continued to play safe by not driving on the edge.

Evans added a further 3.5s to his lead over stages 5 and 6 despite suffering a road section puncture on route to SS6 and having to complete the stage on a mismatched set of tyres on the front of his VW Polo. He held a 26.8s lead over Greer going into final service with just three stages to go. Mitchell and Moffett continued to hold 3rd and 4th respectively.

On SS7 any hope Greer had of a fightback was cruelly ended when he kept too tight in on a hairpin, clipped a rock and punctured. He drove cautiously to the end of the stage to try keep the tyre on the rim to avoid any damage to the car. The puncture cost him around two minutes and dropped him out of the fight for 1st and into 3rd OA. Mitchell benefited from Greers mistake to go into 2nd OA, ahead of Greer by just 11.4s.

With Greers puncture and now having a lead of well over two minutes, Evans/Jackson adopted the same strategy as Moffett/Hayes over the last two stages to avoid any last minute drama. Greer/Burnes won the final two stages of the event to overtake Mitchell/McCrudden for 2nd OA, a result Mitchell was more than happy with as it was still his first time on the podium of a Tarmac Championship round.

Fourth overall on the event was enough for Moffett/Hayes to lift the trophy for their second time, they were previous winners of the championship back in 2018. It’s been an extraordinary season for Josh as he secured the Triton Showers National Rally Championship in July at the Tipperary Stone Throwers Stages Rally. Throughout the year, Josh has so far won 10 events, Including a four in a row, a five in a row, two 2nd overalls and one 4th overall.

Arthur Kierans navigating of Alan Carmichael retired after SS2 while 6th OA and 1st Class N10. Paul McPhillips navigated John Gordon to 56th OA and 11th in class N6. Patrick Fitzpatrick/James McEneaney finished 53 OA and 3rd class N3 in their Mk II Escort. Gary McCrudden guided Philip Hamilton to 23rd OA and 3rd class N5.

Navigation Trial Classes

REMINDER Navigation Trial classes start this Friday 26th at 8pm in the Sean McDermotts GAA Centre, Three Mile House Co. Monaghan. €25 Registration fee on the night which includes 2022 club membership, map, equipment and training manual. We have had a lot of interest so far so please get in contact with the Motor Club Facebook page or any committee member.

 PRO: Oisín Sherlock oisinsherlock97@gmail.com

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