Moffett maintains ITRC lead as Devine is quickest in the Kingdom

Posted: May 2, 2023 in Uncategorized

Callum Devine and Noel O’Sullivan successfully defended their Killarney Rally of the Lakes crown to take their second Irish Tarmac win of the year by a well-managed 25.1 seconds.

The Volkswagen Polo R5 crew fought back from a puncture on the Moll’s Gap opener to grab the rally lead on stage four.

Hometown hero Rob Duggan set a blistering time through stage one to grab an early 9.8-second lead on his first R5 outing since 2018. Robert Barrable was the best of the rest in second while Meirion Evans completed the top three. Duggan extended his advantage on Healy Pass but his sensational start was to endure its first setback on the next test.

Galway International Rally winners, Meirion Evans and Jonathan Jackson, set the second-fastest time through Healy Pass but a roll on Cod’s Head put their Polo R5 out of the running. Devine and Josh Moffett were the only drivers to complete the stage before Evans’ off temporarily stopped the stage. The Derry driver flew through the bumps, jumps, twists, and turns of the epic Cod’s Head test, going 14.5 seconds faster than Moffett.

The crews who completed stage three at road speed were given Moffett’s time, putting Devine right back in the mix after his stage one puncture. Devine and Barrable battled for the remainder of the day, trading stage wins with Devine finishing day one’s eight stages with a 7.5-second overnight lead.

Devine was the fastest out of the blocks on Sunday morning’s Moll’s Gap opener. Fourth-placed Josh Moffett showed a glimpse of his usual pace on Ballaghbeama, setting the third-fastest time. The reigning Tarmac champion had extended his advantage over his brother Sam to 9.7 seconds after stage ten.

Sam Moffett’s intentions to bounce back on the succeeding Moll’s Gap test didn’t come to fruition. Instead, his rally-long brotherly battle ended when his Hyundai i20 Rally2 slid into a chicane backwards.

Devine kept his cool through two passes of Gortnagane and Knockrower East to seal another crucial victory in his Irish Tarmac title hunt. Duggan slid into a bank on Killarney’s penultimate test, solidifying Barrable’s second runner-up finish of the year.

Championship leader, Josh Moffett, cruised home in third to secure more important points.

Gary Kiernan had been battling for third in modifieds when late retirements for Kevin Eves, Jason Black and Chris Armstrong handed the Cavan driver maximum points with a 37 second gap to Eddie Doherty.

John McCarthy made it a Ford Escort Mk2 lockout on the modified podium and in turn secured Class 13’s top spot.

Johno Doogan with Paul Lennon alongside finished 3rd in Class 14 and 11th OA, while Piaras O’Ceallachain guided Brian Lavelle to 2nd in Class 13 and 13th OA. Co-driving for Eugene Meegan in the BMW 1M, Paul McPhillips came home 6th in Class 14 and Ryan Farrell guided Dylan Eves to 3rd in the very competitive RC4 category. Calum Maguire navigated Jordan Jervis to 6th in the Junior event.

Brendan Cumiskey and Martin Connolly’s weekend ended after Stage 4. Martin McPhillips and Peter Farrell were sitting 5th in Class 11R before retirement after Stage 14. Raymond Conlon, James McCarville and Shane Farrell were all competing in Class 13 but failed to finish. Arthur Kierans was in the Historic category, navigating for Trevor Wilson in a Porsche 911. However the crew failed to reach the end after a competitive start.

May Day Stages

Stephen Wright had number one on the Jennings Fuels and Lubricants May Day Stages Rally, but it was Aaron McLoughlin and Darren Curran who took the win at St Angelo.

Wright did lead after two stages but dropped well down the order on Stage 3. He did bounce back with three top five stage times to prove his ability and speed.

Martin McPhillips had a start to finish Class 2 victory, co-driving Martin Collins in a Honda Civic.

Sean Craig was co-driver for Derek Robinson in a Talbot Sunbeam and finished 65th OA.

Ryan Farrell was in action again, sitting in with Damien McGauran, however they failed to finish.


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