2 October 2016

Josh Moffett wins but Keith Cronin clinches Championship

In a dramatic final day of the AceSigns Cork 20 International Rally, Monaghan's Josh Moffett led his brother Sam home, to score his first International victory, writes Richard Burke, while fourth place following a puncture was enough for West Cork driver Keith Cronin to clinch the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac title.

Cronin, already three times the British Rally champion, led overnight in his Citroen DS3, and with title rival Alastair Fisher crashing out on Saturday’s stages, Cronin looked all set to add the Tarmac series to his collection.

However, close behind him lay a trio of Fiestas, and with Josh setting a cracking pace on the early Sunday stages, the top four were all covered by just a handful of seconds. The flying 24-year-old took the lead on the fourth last stage, and when Cronin picked up a puncture on the next test, his title hopes were hanging by a thread as he dropped to fourth position.

National champion Roy White mixed it with the Moffetts, briefly taking runner up position, but at the finish, he had to settle for third spot, while a relieved Cronin narrowly held fourth, just enough to become Tarmac champion.

Dubliner Niall Murray, recently crowned the British National Formula Ford champion, scored a narrow win in the Martin Donnelly Trophy race at Kirkistown, finishing less than half a second ahead of 16-year-old Mullingar driver Jordan Dempsey.