Dominating the Midland Moto Rally in Longford, the second round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) took a convincing win to extend his lead in the national series, writes Richard Burke.
Co-driven by Cork’s Karl Atkinson they finished a minute and 9.9 seconds ahead of the Ford Fiesta WRC of reigning champions Clonmel’s Roy White and his Cork co-driver James O’Brien. Donegal’s Manus Kelly/Gareth Doherty (Subaru WRC) were 21.1 seconds further behind in third.
Tyrone’s Adrian Hetherington (Escort) and his co-driver Andrew Greenan won the Modified section – 55.9 seconds ahead of Donegal’s Brian Brogan and his co-driver Damien McGettigan.
Stage by stage, Moffett increased his lead as Declan Boyle led the pursuit. However, a number of time-consuming spins cost him vital time, his rally ended when he hit a chicane on Stage 7 and his Ford Fiesta WRC ended up in a field.
Initially, that promoted Manus Kelly into second but he lost time and a place on the penultimate stage.
Niall Maguire (Subaru) finished fourth with Adrian Hetherington (Escort) fifth, for most of the rally Maynooth’s Ian Barrett led the Modified section until his Darrian stopped with mechanical woes on the penultimate stage.
In the Motorsport Safety Group N category, Cork’s David Guest (Mitsubishi) took a 4.3 seconds win over the similar car of Neil Tohill.
1. S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC) 58m. 05.1s;
2. R. White/J. O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 59m. 15.0s.
3. M. Kelly/G. Doherty (Subaru S12B) 59m. 36.1s.
4. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru S12B) 1h. 00m. 20.4s.
5. A. Hetherington/A. Grennan (Ford Escort) 1h. 02m. 00.0s.
6. B. Brogan/D. McGettigan (Ford Escort) 1h. 02m. 55.9s.
7. G. McNamee/D. O'Sullivan (Honda Civic) 1h. 03m. 41.2s.
8. D. Guest/P. Robinson (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 04m. 07.8s.
9. N. Tohill/G. Tohill (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 04m. 12.1s.
10. B. Morris/D. Campbell (Ford Escort)1h. 04m. 47.9s.
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 2:
1. S. Moffett 41 pts.
2. R. White 32 pts.
3. N. Maguire 26 pts.