Craig Breen’s return to the World Rally Championship with Hyundai Motorsport has given the Waterford ace the opportunity to showcase his ability on this weekend’s Rally Sweden, where, just two years ago he secured his best ever result (second) in the WRC.
Having narrowly missed out on winning the Triton National Rally Championship last year Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) can clinch the title and the Vard Memorial Trophy on Sunday’s penultimate round, the Lady Gregory Hotel Galway Summer Rally in Gort.
A winning margin of 20.4 seconds by Monaghan’s Sam Moffett and co-driver James O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta R5) in the Crafted Fitted Furniture Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, masks a tremendous battle with fellow countyman Barry McKenna and his Wexford co-driver Andy Hayes (Ford Fiesta R5) that wasn’t resolved until the penultimate stage.
A teenager and an older man, who are being questioned by gardaí on suspicion of murdering a Limerick boxer in a hit and run yesterday, have been transferred to garda stations in Limerick following their arrests in the Midlands last night.
A late entry, Donegal’s Declan Gallagher (Toyota Starlet) and co-driver Derek Heena had an emphatic win in the Acesigns Laois Heartlands Rally. With the best times on all six stages, they finished a minute and 32.4 seconds ahead of the Ford Escort of fellow Donegal crew Mark Alcorn/John O’Donnell. Oldcastle’s Gary McNamee co-driven by Brian Brady took an impressive third in their Class 16 Honda Civic — 11.2 seconds further behind.
With two wins from two rounds, Monaghan’s Josh Moffett is on home territory for Sunday’s Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally, round three of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship as he aims to increase his lead over his main title rivals Declan Boyle and Roy White.
As the curtain falls on the already decided Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship in tomorrow’s McKelvey Asbestos Bushwhacker Rally in Omagh, the outcome of the McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship could also draw to a close should series leader Derek McGarrity (Ford Focus WRC) secure a top four finish.
Although Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) won the Clare Rally, the penultimate round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, he faces an uphill battle to win the series after his main rival Donegal’s Declan Boyle, co-driven by James O’Reilly came home in fifth.
Josh Moffett’s victory in the Enniskillen Trailer Parts & Spares Lakeland Rally that saw him clinch the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship, was mired in controversy after he was excluded from the results; but after two appeals and a stewards’ meeting the decision was overturned and he was re-instated as rally winner some five hours later.
Belgium’s Thierry Neuville (Hyundai i20 WRC) edged out champion, Sebastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta WRC), on the final stage to win round seven of the World Rally Championship, Rally Italia Sardegna, by just seven-tenths of a second.
The Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally ended in dramatic fashion as the Donegal/Monaghan pairing of Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley guided their KN Group liveried Ford Focus WRC to a final stage victory to deny long time leaders, the Monaghan/Cork duo of Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Ford Fiesta R5).
Cork driver and four-time British Rally Champion Keith Cronin will campaign the new generation Hyundai i20 R5-N in this year’s British Rally Championship that includes rounds of the World Rally Championship (Wales Rally GB) and the European Rally Championship (Rally Ypres).
Although four crews were within a two-second time frame after the opening stage of the Abbey Hotel Munster Moonraker Forest Rally in Ballyvourney, (round three of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship), all changed a stage later as Derry’s Marty McCormack and his Mallow co-driver David Moynihan powered their Tiger Risk Partners Skoda Fabia R5 into a 28.9 second lead which laid the foundation for overall victory.
Taking the lead on the sixth stage, Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta R5) and co-driver Stephen Thornton won the Silvermines-based Treaty Plant Hire Limerick Forest Rally, the second round of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship.
Leading from the start Donegal’s Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) swept to a fifth successive victory in the Quality Hotel West Cork Rally. Co-driven by Monaghan’s Conor Foley they finished 45.8 seconds clear of Monaghan’s Josh Moffett and co-driver Andy Hayes with Irish Tarmac champions Monaghan’s Sam Moffett and Cork’s Karl Atkinson (Fiesta R5) in third.