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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 

Josh Moffett made it an incredible fifth win in a row on the 2022 National Rally Championship at last weekend’s Circuit of Munster Rally, based out of Rathkeale in County Limerick. Josh with Keith Moriarty on the notes finished the nine stage event with a 56.1 second advantage over Robert Barrable/Paddy Robinson. Eamonn Kelly/Conor Mohan finished an excellent 3rd, a further 32.6s behind. Michael Carbin/Dean O’Sullivan finished 4th OA beating numerous R5 machinery in their Mitsubishi Evo. Paul Sheridan navigated Jonathan Pringle to 10th OA and 2nd class 14. Kaine Treanor navigated Chris O’Callaghan to 11th OA and 3rd class 14. Gary McCrudden navigated Sam Johnston to 25th OA and 1st class 11F.

Jack Maguire/Keith McConnon retired after SS6 and Cathal Sheridan/Ryan Farrell retired after SS8. 

Tyrone Stages Rally

Damien Connolly guided Peadar Hurson to 3rd OA at last Saturday’s MJE Wheel Repair Tyrone Stages rally based out of Stewartstown. Arthur Kierans guided Alan Carmichael to 5th OA and 1st class 11. Gary McCrudden guided Alan Smyth to 13th OA and 3rd class 7 before making the long trip to Limerick. David Moffett/Martin Connolly finished 15th OA and 5th class 7. Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron finished 17th OA and 7th class 10. Declan McKenna navigated Bryan Jardine to 30th OA and 10th class 7. Oisín Sherlock guided Philip Greenlee to 32nd OA and 11th class 7. Gary McKenna/Calum Maguire finished 60th OA and 8th class 4.

PRO: Oisin Sherlock

Maguire wins in Cavan

Posted: June 1, 2022 in Uncategorized

Stranooden’s Ciaran Maguire navigated local man Andrew Wedlock to overall success at last weekends Cavan Endurance Trial. The pair finished the twenty one selective event with 11 seconds to spare over 2nd place Karl O’Donoghue/ Kevin Fagan. Graham O’Donoghue/William Kelly finished in 3rd, 25 seconds further back.

Kieran McCarra/Aaron McElroy were actually the fastest crew over the entire event. They finished 1:48.0s a head of Wedlock/Maguire but as they were in a ‘navigation spec’ car they were ineligible to win the event and therefore the win went to Andrew and Ciaran as they were the fastest crew in an endurance specification car. McCarra/McElroy instead finished comfortable winners of class B.

To avoid confusion, the results below are written as if there is no distinction between endurance and navigation specification cars.

Andrew Mackarel/Richard Cassidy finished an excellent 4th OA and were winners of class C in their Opel Ascona. Damien Treanor/Thomas Treanor finished 15th OA and 3rd class B. Abraham Dixon/Luke Connolly finished 16th OA and 4th class A2B and Gordan Parker/Ryan Parker finished 18th OA and 5th class B.

Heartbreak was to befall Bob Graham/Ryan Treanor after selective 15 when the engine in their Toyota Starlet decided it had enough of Bob’s driving and promptly seized putting them out of the event. They had been sitting 2ndOA up to this point, just 16s off the lead.

Jim Clark Rally

Conor Mohan navigated Eamonn Kelly to Junior British Rally Championship success at the recent Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally. The pair selected the rally as their ‘Joker’ round meaning if they won the event, they would receive 5 bonus points. A poor seeding put them on the back foot immediately due to catching cars on the stage, however a big push on SS2, a long night stage left them with a 17s lead going into day two. Day two unfortunately was cut short for them with the cancelation of two stages, but despite this they continued their immense pace and eventually finished 30.6s ahead of 2nd place Kyle White/Sean Topping. The event win along with the 5 ‘Joker’ Bonus points leaves them with a 15 point advantage going into round 3, the Nicky Grist Stages on the 9th of July.

PRO: Oisin Sherlock

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

Devine Conquers Rally of the Lakes

Last weekend after a gripping battle with Circuit of Ireland winners Alister Fisher/Gordon Nobel throughout the two day event based around Killarney. Devine/O’Sullivan took the win on the very last stage after Fisher got caught out under breaking and slid the car off the road and out of the rally.

In second place was local man Josh Moffett with Andy Hayes navigating.

The action got under way Saturday morning with the first pass of the Kilsarcon stage. A noteworthy change as the event usually starts with infamous Molls Gap. Devine/O’Sullivan set the pace on the opener finishing 2.5 seconds faster than second place Fisher who complained that he had selected too hard of compound tyres. Moffett went third fastest a further 0.2s back and commented that his tyres were going off over the last few kilometres. On SS2 ‘Banard’ Fisher got the stage win and moved into the lead of the rally despite saying at the stage end that he drove too cautiously. Devine went third fastest and mentioned at the stage end that he was losing time on the breaking. Moffett went second fastest despite saying that he never got going in the stage and had a bad rhythm throughout. Gortnagane was the location of SS3 and Fisher again went quickest and extended his lead to 6.3s over Devine. Callum commented again after the stage that he could have pushed harder. Moffett set the fourth fastest time still battling the wrong tyre choice.

A repeat run of Kilsarcon was SS4 after service and Moffett went fastest after going with a harder compound tyre for the afternoon loop. Devine was second fastest. Fisher went third fastest but still only 1s down on Moffett’s benchmark and reported at the stage end that his tyre compound was too soft and that he needed to let the pressures down more. Fisher then went fastest on SS5 despite a few warning lights appearing on the dash of his Polo GTI. Devine was third fastest and again reported that he could have pushed harder.

 On the final stage of the day ‘Gortnagane 2’ Fisher was fastest and extended his lead to 7.7s over Devine. Moffett went forth fastest, 5.1s down on Fisher’s benchmark and remained in 3rd place overall but 15.2 off the lead going into day two.

Moll’s Gap was the beginning of the second day and Devine hit the ground running setting what would be his first of six stage wins on day two. In fact, he beat the bogey time on the opener by 0.1s. Second fastest was Fisher, 1.5s down. Moffett went third quickest and commented at the stage end that he went on the wrong tyre choice.

 Ballaghbeama was next up and once again Devine went quickest despite not finding a good rhythm throughout. Fisher wasn’t far behind, finishing just 0.4s further back, while Moffett went forth fastest and like Callum, complained of not finding a good rhythm through the narrow and twisty stage. It was into service then and after the opening two stages of the day Devine had closed the gap to 1st place to just 5.8s.

There would be no change in times between the top two over the second pass of Molls Gap 2 (SS9) and Ballaghbeama 2 (SS10) as both Fisher and Devine would beat the bogey on SS9 resulting in both receiving identical times. SS10 was cancelled after a Junior competitor crashed on the previous pass and the stage was still blocked.

SS11 ‘Shanera’ began the second half of day two, and just like earlier, Devine was the man in form and once again went fastest from Fisher to reduce the deficit to 4.5s. Moffett had to settle of the fifth fastest stage time but still maintained 3rd place with a gap of 25s back to 4th. Caragh Lake was up next and Devine took a further 0.2s out of Fisher. Sixth was Moffett who commented at the stage end that he never drove as bad in his life!

With just two stages left after service, a repeat loop of Shanera and Caragh Lake, it was all to play for. On SS13, Fisher could not stop Devine’s charge and dropped 1.2s to have just a 3.1s advantage going into the final 14.26kms of Caragh Lake 2. Unfortunately, on the final stage the pressure of trying to keep Devine at bay got to Fisher and he got caught out on breaking and slid the car off the road and out of the event as the car was stuck preventing him from re-joining the road. Due to Fishers retirement, Devine/O’Sullivan took the last gasp win with Moffett/Hayes moving up to 2nd, 1:09.8 off first place. Jonathan Greer/Niall Burns moved up to 3rd overall and finished their weekend on a high, taking a stage win on final test.

In the National Rally, local men Robert Duggan/Ger Conway took the win in their MkII Escort. They finished with 48.9s to spare over Kevin Eves/Chris Melly. In 3rd place was Conor Murphy/Sean Collins, a further 2:13.1s behind.

Daniel McKenna/ Andrew Grennan had a problematic weekend and eventually retired with power steering failure. Raymond Conlon/Damien Fleming finished 7th OA and first in class 13. Richard Moffett/Darragh Kelly had been in 3rdOA but stopped on SS7 and retired after. Arthur Kierans navigating for Aidan Caldwell failed to make the finish, retiring after SS7 while 22nd overall.

May Day Stages

Stephen Wright/Martin Connolly took the overall win at the Jennings Fuels May Day Rally at St Angelo’s Airport outside Enniskillen on Monday. The pair finished with 7.8s to spare over 2nd place Derek McGarrity/Derrick Jobb.

Paul Sheridan navigated Jonathan Pringle to 9thOA and 3rd class 7 and Mickey Conlon navigated Alan Atcheson to 28th OA and 7th class 7.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock