Sam Moffett triumphs in Tyrone

Monaghan’s Sam Moffett (Ford Fiesta R5) won the Dickson Insurance Fivemiletown Spring Rally in Tyrone. Co-driven by Jason McKenna, they finished 48 seconds ahead of the Mitsubishi of Omagh’s Mark Donnelly/Stephen O’Hanlon. Another Omagh crew, Niall McCullagh/Ryan McCloskey (Mitsubishi Evo VI) were third.

On the opening stage, Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta R5) led his brother Sam by two seconds with Omagh’s Mark Donnelly (Subaru WRC) a similar margin behind in third, followed by Group N leader Paul Britton (Subaru). The second Mark Donnelly, also from Omagh but driving a Mitsubishi, was down in ninth place.

Shane McGirr (Toyota Starlet) set the pace in the two-wheel drive section.

Mark Donnelly (Subaru WRC) upped the tempo and headed the time sheets through stages two, three, and four to move into a commanding lead of 23 seconds over Josh Moffett, Sam Moffett was three seconds further behind in third. Mark Donnelly (Mitsubishi) occupied fourth — 49 seconds off top spot.

The lead changed after SS5 when Donnelly made his exit after his Subaru developed transmission troubles following a heavy landing over a jump towards the stage finish.

Josh Moffett, who was quickest through the stage, moved into the lead — 12 seconds ahead of his brother Sam, who lost a few seconds with a slight misfire that was traced to the pop-off valve. Mark Donnelly was a further 24 seconds adrift in third.

At the service halt, rally leader Josh Moffett withdrew to catch a flight to the UK for a business award. His brother Sam took up the mantle and with a string of fastest times, took a fine win and perfect preparation ahead of the opening round of the British Rally Championship in Wales.

Meanwhile, Frank Kelly put in a sterling drive to win the two-wheel drive category a mere second ahead of McGirr.

The Cavan Navigation Trial, the penultimate round of the Navigation Trial Championship was won by the Longford/Monaghan crew of Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes (Subaru).


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