Moffett poised to clinch national championship in Galway

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.

Moffett poised to clinch national championship in Galway

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.

Co-driven by Wexford’s Andy Hayes, he only requires a top eight-championship finish to succeed and complete the trilogy of National, Tarmac and Forestry Championship titles. His Triton quest has been near-perfect in annexing 121 from a possible 126 points.

Ironically, the only event out of the six he contested and failed to win was his home event in Monaghan where a puncture demoted him to second.

Only former champions Clonmel’s Roy White and Dromtarriffe’s James O’Brien, also in a Fiesta WRC, stand in their way and it will need a total capitulation from Moffett if White were to win the title he previously claimed in 2016. White has been consistent all season but the inaugural national event win is still proving elusive.

The Galway entry is oversubscribed with last year’s winner Jonny Pringle (Ford Escort) occupying the number one berth.

After skipping the Sligo Rally, Welsh ace Hugh Hunter (Ford Focus WRC) returns to the series and Maynooth’s Ian Barrett competes in an S12B Subaru WRC and should be relatively close to Moffett and White.

Aside from the Fiesta WRC of Welshman Steve Wood and former triple national champion Monaghan’s Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC), the rest of the top 10 features the two-wheel-drive cars of Donegal’s Kevin Eves (Toyota Corolla), Cavan’s Gary Kiernan (Ford Escort), and Wexford’s James Stafford (Darrian T90).

Others such as the Escort trio of Damian Toner, JF Shovelin, and Jack Newman should make an impression. Eves can strengthen his lead or even win the rally.ie category of the Triton series — currently he leads Monaghan’s David Moffett (Toyota Starlet) by 13 points.

Elsewhere, the entry features PJ McDermott and Kevin Barrett, both in Subaru WRC’s and the Fiesta R5 pair of Cavan’s Stephen McCann and Waterford’s Andrew Purcell, the latter could belie his number-15 seeding.

Other R5 entries are Maynooth’s Paul Barrett (Ford Fiesta R5), Clonakilty’s Cal McCarthy (Citroen DS3 R5), Limerick’s Keith Lyons (Ford Fiesta R5), and Louth’s Eugene Meegan (Citroen DS3 R5).

Monaghan’s Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) is on the cusp of the Motorsport Safety Team Group N series. The first stage begins just after 10am.

After last evening’s opening stage of ADAC Rallye Deutschland, round 10 of the World Rally Championship, just two seconds cover the top eight drivers, suggesting a titanic struggle over the 18 stages until Sunday’s finish.

Tyrone’s Kris Meeke (Toyota Yaris WRC) lies in fifth place — 1.4 seconds behind his teammate Ott Tanak, who finished the stage minus both wing mirrors as he flicked the car between the chicane bales.

The stage was identical to the morning’s shakedown test with Meeke remarking: “My primary focus is constructor’s points, the rally proper starts tomorrow.”

Dani Sordo, Sebastien Ogier, and Thierry Neuville are within a second of Tanak.

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