Speedy Sam Moffett makes home advantage count

Although the Triton Showers National Rally Championship hasn’t reached the halfway mark, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett is showing real championship form.

Speedy Sam Moffett makes home advantage count

Yesterday, on the third round, the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally he was on home territory and was guided by Bandon’s Karl Atkinson to a 26.8-second victory.

Donegal’s Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley (Ford Focus) were second – 15.5 seconds ahead of the Fiesta WRC of Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle.

Triton series leader Moffett made the perfect start with the best time on the first stage near Stranooden where his Ford Fiesta WRC was 3.7 seconds better than the rest.

Indeed, it probably could have been more as second placed Stephen Wright admitted the stage time he was accredited should have been around 20 seconds slower. Former national champions Declan Boyle and Donagh Kelly were next in line.

For Moffett, it was more of the same on the remaining two stages of the loop, his dominance reflected by a lead margin of 21.5 seconds with Kelly moving into second spot some 5.8 seconds in front of Boyle.

Two of the top 10 failed to finish, the Fiesta WRC of top seed Josh Moffett looked decidedly second hand after the local driver crashed heavily within the opening two kilometres of S.S. 2.

Brendan Cumiskey didn’t even make it that far, his Skoda R5 clouted a chicane bale and the impact broke the steering rack. Prior to the start, Warrenpoint driver Peadar Hurson withdrew as he felt unwell.

Meanwhile, Wright in fourth was followed by Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) and Roy White (Fiesta WRC), the former stated he was at his limit unlike the latter, who admitted he lacked commitment.

The remaining places in the top ten were annexed by Gary Kiernan, Jonathan Pringle, Damien Toner and Damien Gallagher, all in Escorts.

In the Motorsport Safety Group N category, Dunmanway’s David Guest led the similar Mitsubishi of local ace Shane Maguire by a mere nine-tenths of a second.

Even though Kelly punched in the best times for stages five and six, Moffett’s domination of the fourth stage saw him move 24.4 seconds clear by the conclusion of the second loop of stages.

Elsewhere, in the Modified section, Kiernan retired with an oil leak and Pringle was best placed to benefit and took a 7.2 second lead over Damien Gallagher.

In Group N it could not have been closer as Guest and Maguire shared the lead, the former pointed to an incident on S.S. 4 where he lost time. He arrived at the stage finish with a damaged front right wing.

As Moffett sped to his third straight win of the current Triton series, Kelly lost but regained second on the final loop with Boyle taking third.

Wright, Maguire and White rounded out the top six. Pringle won the Modified section and in Group N Maguire edged out Guest by 9.8 seconds.

Meanwhile, Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) ran out a comfortable winner of the Lark in the Park Rally that was based in Derry

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