In terms of the Irish series, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett (Fiesta WRC) is on the cusp of yet another national title, with his nearest challengers, Gerard Lucey (Mitsubishi) and David Crossen (Ford Escort), both four points behind.
The series is based on the best five scores from six events and should Crossen secure maximum points, he will gain an extra eleven, but Moffett can still claim the title by annexing seven points.
Moffett starts from the number-three berth, behind local driver, Mark Donnelly, who has yet to decide which car he will drive, and Belfast’s Jonny Greer (Citroen DS3 R5). Derry’s Desi Henry (Skoda Fabia R5), who has Millstreet’s Liam Moynihan on the notes, will fancy his chances. Others on the list are Jock Armstrong (Subaru), Derek McGarrity (Skoda Fabia R5), and Mark Donnelly (Ford Fiesta WRC), namesake of the top seed.
Tyrone’s Adrian Hetherington will have his second outing in his Ford Fiesta R5, as Kenny McKinstry (Subaru WRC) and Martin Cairns (Ford Fiesta WRC) round out the top ten. Elsewhere, Gerard Lucey is seeded at 26 and Crossen at 31.
Citroen’s Craig Breen (Citroen DS3 R5) competes in Rali De Mortagua, in Portugal, today, and will have his gravel note co-driver, Andy Hayes, deputising for Scott Martin.
In motor racing, Matt Griffin, fresh from his WEC outing in Austin, Texas, last week, competes in Sunday’s penultimate round of the ELMS, at Spa-Francorchamps.
The former ‘Motorsport Ireland International Racing Driver of the Year’ award winner is in a rich vein of form. In his last three outings in the ELMS, he has secured two pole positions and one off-pole and has also set the fastest lap in the three races. Although the Ballincollig-based driver and his Spirit of Race team mates, Aaron Scott and Duncan Cameron, are third, they can still take top spot.
“Apart from Monza, when we had engine failure, we have been very dominant this year. Because the winner gets 25 points and it’s a six-round championship, you are on the back foot when you don’t finish a race. We have won the last two races and, if we can win here in Spa, it will put us in a very strong position for the championship.” The four-hour race starts at noon.
The Rallies Committee’s plan for Irish rallying is set to be discussed at a meeting of all clubs, in Portlaoise, on Monday night. A recent meeting of the Association of Munster Motor Clubs (AMMC) favoured delaying the implementation of the plan until the beginning of the 2019 season.
An alternative option, from the Sligo club, also favours a 2019 start. Both plans include cutting the annual calendar by seven events.