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Josh Dominates Lakeland Stages, Crossen Claims 2WD Title! 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National

Written on 5th September 2017 by Andrew Bushe

Media Library - Rally Winners 2017


Josh Moffett and Stephen Thornton in their Ford Fiesta R5 took a convincing thirty-one-second victory on the Enniskillen Motor Club’s Lakeland Stages Rally, round five of the 2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally 
Championship. “We just went flat out today and had fun!” said the young Monaghan driver. “The stages were really good, some loose gravel on the first loop, which may have affected Sam more but an excellent rally.” In second place was 
Jonny Greer in his R5 Citroen DS3 with Sam Moffett third, and looking set to take the title with just one round to go. “We were mindful of championship points today. It was quite loose on the top surface on the first loop, but it 
cleaned up in the afternoon and it was a good day in the Fermanagh forests” said Sam.

Championship leader going into this round was Ger Lucey in the Evo 8, and he would claim fifteenth overall, enjoying the stages, feeling he could commit more to the jumps but was delayed with a misfire which came in on stage three, 
and his title challenge is slipping away as we head for the final round in Omagh. It was a difficult day for Adrian Hetherington whose new R5 Fiesta broke down on stage one, as did Enda McCormack’s although he re-joined later in the 
day and enjoyed the forgiving handling of the R5. Jonny Leonard had been tenth on his home stages into the first service but dropped back to forty-ninth with problems on stage four. There were no such issues for David Condell making 
an exciting debut in a hired Ford Focus WRC. “It’s a great car, just a problem with a dash display not working, but it’s like a big arm-chair compared to the MK2 Escort down the bumpy straights!” said David.

Niall McCullagh was the early Group N leader in the Evo 9 dominated class, but Jordan Hone went on the attack on the second loop and took the category, by just seven seconds from McCullagh to strengthen his championship lead. Liam 
Regan debuting an Evo 9, instead of his 4x4 Peugeot took third on a tie-break from Cathan McCourt, in what was a closely fought category.

In the Valvoline two wheel race, David Crossen in the MK2 Escort powered into a commanding lead from the start. “I had done the first two stages a few times and we had a good run on those, but the third one was more difficult with the 
jumps and bumps so we went a little easier. I wasn’t really thinking about the championship at this stage, we were just having a go and enjoying ourselves” said the County Down driver. It ended up another fine result, ninth overall 
and a dominant two wheel drive win for David and co-driver Damien Fleming, a result which sees them crowned as two wheel drive champions with one round to go. Behind them, on the Lakeland there was some drama as John Gordon dropped 
two minutes with an off road excursion, and Hugh McQuaid, Damian McGuaran, and Owen McMackin all retired.

The Valvoline Junior Section, was even more dramatic, especially on the first loop! Shane Kenneally inverted his Honda Civic on stage two, and Johnnie Mulholland did the same thing in his R2 Fiesta on stage three, after a fast start. 
On the final stage, there was drama for Jonny O’Sullivan who picked up a puncture in his R2 Fiesta, and Stephen Dickson in his similar machine who survived an off road excursion after a jump but was near the tail of the field. For 
Derek Mackeral and Muireann Hayes in the Vauxhall Nova, it was a well-deserved victory, and they narrowly missed out on the overall class win which was taken by a charging Ruari Maguire in his Vauxhall Corsa.

Again we would like to give special thanks to all our championship sponsors – Valvoline, Andrew Fanning Motor Factors, M. O'Brien Plant Hire, Suirway Group Forklifts & Farm Machinery, Jelf Motorsport Insurance, Exact Signs & Graphics, 
Pottinger Machinery, Ears Motorsport / Kumho Tyres, Colton Pump & Heating Services, Coillte, Concept Fire Services Ltd, Gordon Automotive Services, Barron Pix & SVS Incar Cameras.

Now there are three weeks to re-fettle the forest chargers before the final round- the Omagh Motor Club’s Bushwhacker Rally on 23rd September.

2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-
Round 5 Results

1st Josh Moffett / Stephen Thornton - Ford Fiesta R5 31:17.0
2nd Jonathan Greer / Kirsty Riddick - Citroën DS3 R5 +0:31.0
3rd Sam Moffett / James Fulton - Ford Fiesta R5 +0:56.0
4th Derek McGarrity / Noel O'Sullivan - Škoda Fabia R5 +1:28.0
5th Kenny McKinstry / Kenny Hull - Subaru Impreza WRC +1:45.0
6th Martin Cairns / Rory Kennedy - Ford Fiesta WRC +1:51.0
7th Derek McGeehan / Ciaran Geaney - Mini WRC +1:52.0
8th David Condell / Michael Coady - Ford Focus WRC +1:53.0
9th David Crossen / Damien Fleming - Ford Escort MK2 +2:16.0
10th Alan Smyth / Mac Kierans - Mitsubishi Evo X +2:20.0

2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-
Points After Round 5

1st Sam Moffett 78 pts
2nd Gerard Lucey 74
=David Crossen 74
4th Josh Moffett 63
5th Jonny Leonard 51
6th Enda McCormack 49
=Jordan Hone 49
8th 49 Mickey Conlon 45
9th Marty McCormack 38
=Cathan McCourt 38

2017 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship-
Remaining Round

Round 6 – 23rd September- Bushwhacker Rally- Omagh

For all the latest updates and more information of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Irish National Forest Rally Championship please look us up on Facebook or Twitter and even more details are available on our dedicated website: 
Facebook: Irish Forestry Championship
Twitter: @IrlForestchamp.

Official Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship press release issued by Andrew Bushe F: Andrew Bushe Promotions t-@andrew_bushe.Media Library - Sam Moffett 4 2017

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