Moffett takes Forestry Title despite late drama
Josh Moffett & Stephen Thornton are the 2018 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Rally Championship following their victory on the Trailer Parts & Spares Lakelands Stages Rally. They took victory by the narrowest of margins on the Enniskillen based event when they had one second to spare over Desi Henry & Liam Moynihan. Moffett had been 41 seconds up coming off the last stage only for his Fiesta to develop a problem on the road section back to the finish ramp. They managed to coax the car back with 40 seconds of road penalties to win by just one second. Third place went to Vivian Hamill who had an excellent drive to third place, two seconds behind Henry. With Barry McKenna and Andrew Purcell both retiring it means Moffett is now uncatchable and becomes champion for 2018.
The 2WD category was won by David Crossen & Aileen Kelly as they put bad luck on recent events behind them to take 11th overall in their Escort. Frank Kelly & Sean Ferris pushed them hard all the way to finish just eight seconds behind in twelfth overall. Crossens championship rival Shane McGirr was a retirement with a broken half shaft in his Escort on the fifth stage. The Junior Championship is going right to the wire with Jordan Hone once again taking top points and holds a very slight advantage going into the final round once dropped points are taken into account. Marty Gallagher, Derek Mackarel and James Wilson are also in a position to take the title on the final round, the Bushwhacker Rally in Omagh in three weeks’ time. Jason Murphy & Matthew Murphy had a fine run on Jason’s prize drive in the Fiesta R2 and were listed amongst the finishers. Jason was delighted with the opportunity and loved the extra power the R2 provided compared to his usual 1 litre Peugeot 107.
Top Six Overall
1 – Josh Moffett & Stephen Thornton Ford Fiesta 0:32:17
2 – Desi Henry & Liam Moynihan Skoda Fabia 0:32:18
3 – Vivian Hamill & Andrew Grennan Ford Fiesta 0:32:20
4 – Cathan McCourt & Barry McNulty Ford Fiesta 0:32:34
5 – Adrian Hetherington & Gary Nolan Toyota Corolla WRC 0:32:35
6 – Derek McGarrity & Paddy Robinson Ford Focus WRC 0:32:55