The Moffett domination of the Monaghan Rally continued yesterday but it was the younger sibling Josh that won the event.
Driving a Ford Fiesta WRC, he finished 40 seconds ahead of Sam’s Ford Fiesta R5. Both were untroubled throughout. Fellow Monaghan driver Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) was 34.2 seconds further adrift in third.
Cavan’s Jonathan Pringle (Ford Escort) was the top two-wheel drive competitor, he also finished fourth in general classification.
Switching to the Fiesta WRC he campaigned last year, Josh was quickest through the first stage — 8.2 seconds ahead of brother Sam, winner for the previous two years. Niall Maguire was 4.4 seconds further behind in third. Meanwhile, Jonathan Pringle (Escort) the top two-wheel drive competitor occupied fourth. Sam Moffett was quickest through S.S. 2, albeit a fraction of a second ahead of his brother, who dominated the third stage and extended his lead to 14.3 seconds. Although Maguire retained third he slipped further behind. Stephen Wright (Fiesta R5) displaced Pringle for fourth, the latter lost about 10 seconds when he slid off on the second stage.
On the repeat loop, Josh was quickest on all three stages and extended his lead to 25.9 seconds as Maguire continued in third. With a steady run Pringle regained fourth at the expense of Wright. Without any incident on the final loop of stages Josh Moffett claimed victory with brother Sam and Niall Maguire completing the top three. Pringle had some 30 seconds to spare in the two-wheel drive section while Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) won the Group N category.
Meanwhile, Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20 WRC) overcame transmission problems to claim victory in Rally Argentina, the fourth round of the World Rally Championship.
He finished 14.3 seconds ahead of the VW Polo WRC of Sebastien Ogier. It was the first ever victory for a New Zealand driver in a round of the WRC. Andreas Mikkelsen (VW Polo WRC) was 50.9 seconds further behind in third.
Jari Matti Latvala (VW Polo WRC) crashed out of the lead during the penultimate day with Paddon leading Ogier by 29.8 seconds overnight.
Paddon lost time on yesterday’s opening stage when his Hyundai stalled twice due to gear selection woes. Although Ogier cut the deficit to 2.6 seconds prior to the final stage, Paddon hung on to claim victory and also deny Ogier a first win in Argentina.
Elsewhere, Donegal’s Joe McGonigle took a start to finish victory in the Lark in the Park Rally in Derry. A string of fastest stage times gave him a 16-second victory over Adrian Hetherington.
In racing, Cork’s Matt Griffin and his British team mate Duncan Cameron in their new Ferrari 488 GT3 were forced to retire from the opening round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in Monza. Qualifying on the fourth row of the grid, their car was hit at the first corner of the opening lap. Although Cameron managed 10 laps, a damaged rear diffuser forced them out.
Nenagh’s Whitby Moynan (Toyota Special) won the Munster Autocross in Midleton, the opening round of the Five Star Catering National Loose Surface Autocross.
In the opening rounds of the Naylor Engineering National Hillclimb & Sprint Championship at the Corkscrew Hill (Saturday) and Ballinalacken Hill (yesterday) local ace Sylvie Mullins took his Gould GR37 to a brace of wins.
In Kirkistown, Noel Robinson (van Diemen) netted a double in the Formula Ford 1600 races.
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