KELLY WINS FASTNET AS CURTAIN FALLS ON TRITON SERIES
Report courtesy of Triton Showers - proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship
Donegal’s Donagh Kelly and his Monaghan co-driver Conor Foley in a Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 won the Fastnet Rally in Bantry, the final round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
They finished 37.1 seconds ahead of the Ford Escort of Donegal’s Damian Tourish/Domhnaill McAlaney with Welsh pair Mel Evans and Patrick Walsh in a Skoda Fabia R5, 50.8 seconds further behind in third.
Donegal’s Kevin Eves (Toyota Corolla) and co-driven by Chris Melly, who was eighth overall did enough to clinch third overall in the Triton series and also won the rally.ie award (top two-wheel drive) within the eight round series.
Meanwhile, Donegal’s David Kelly (Toyota Starlet) co-driven by Kenny Bustard, won the Junior (Class 16A) event, however, David lost out to Limerick’s Nigel Roche (Honda Civic) by a single point for Class 16A within the Triton series that carries a nomination for the Billy Coleman award.
On the opening 15.8 kilometre stage that skirted along the Wild Atlantic Way on the Mizen Head peninsula, Kelly was two seconds faster that last year’s winner and fellow Donegal man Damian Tourish (Ford Escort) with Bandon’s Vincent McSweeney (Mitsubishi Evo) leading the local challenge - 5.6 seconds further behind in third followed by former Fastnet winner Daniel Cronin (Ford Fiesta R5), who was just a tenth of a second further adrift but was concerned with an overheating issue. Yet another Fastnet winner, Welsh ace Mel Evans (Skoda Fabia R5) and Cavan’s Chris Armstrong (Ford Escort) completed the top six.
McSweeney and Cronin departed the fray on the second stage, Mount Gabriel, where they both crashed out as Kelly stretched his advantage over Tourish to 15.5 seconds. Although Evans moved into third, he was 19.2 seconds further behind
Kelly and Tourish were both credited with the same time for the stage at Mount Kid.
At the Bantry service rally leader Kelly remarked that he had opted for a tyre compound that was far too soft for the opening stage while he had a few moments on the second stage. Tourish reckoned that the second stage was very tricky and he wasn’t as quick as he was the previous year. Evans, 21.6 seconds further behind in third was untroubled but admitted he lacked match practice. The Escorts of Gary Kiernan, Chris Armstrong and JF Shovelin completed the top six.
Kevin Eves reckoned a change of springs for the previous rally didn’t suit the West Cork terrain and having lost time opted to concentrate on securing third overall in the Triton series and also claiming the rally.ie award for the top two-wheel drive in overall standings. The remaining places in the top ten were annexed by Monaghan’s David Moffett (Toyota Starlet), Donegal’s Aaron McLaughlin (Ford Fiesta R5) and Cork’s Daragh O’Riordan (Ford Escort). Having finished the opening stage in eighth place, Carlow’s David Condell plummeted down the order when he slid his Proton Iriz R5 off the road albeit with superficial damage, he eventually finished 51st. Paul Barrett retired his Fiesta R5 with a water leak.
Out on the repeat loop Kelly took total command and with gains of 8.2 and 7.9 seconds on stages four and five respectively, he arrived at the final service in Bantry leading Tourish by 31.6 seconds, the latter was the quicker on the pair albeit by a tenth of a second on S.S. 6, Mount Kid. Having used a soft Michelin tyre on the opening loop Kelly decided to try a medium compound Pirelli for the second loop. “The car is getting better at every corner, it’s brilliant.” Kiernan slotted into third but admitted he lost too much time to Tourish to force a proper challenge, Evans was 1.1 seconds further behind as Armstrong and Eves rounded out the top six. The rest of the top ten spots went to Shovelin, McLaughlin, Moffett and O’Riordan, all of whom were untroubled.
Kiernan retired from third place on the penultimate stage with a broken rear differential. While Kelly went on to claim the spoils and give the VW Polo GTi its first Irish national win, he backed off on the final pair of stages as the car felt somewhat twitchy “I’m not sure what it was, it’s either suspension or alignment, it’s just some wee thing that was making the car nervous. It was perfect before that so we just took it handy.”
Following Kiernan’s demise, Evans slotted into third with Armstrong, David Moffett and JF Shovelin rounding out the top six. Donegal’s Aaron McLaughlin (Fiesta R5) was next in a top ten that was completed by Eves, Daragh O’Riordan and Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC).
1. Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (VW Polo GTi R5) 1h. 1m. 26.2s
2. Damian Tourish/Domhnall McAlaney (Ford Escort) 1h. 02m. 03.3s
3. Melvyn Evans/Patrick Walsh (Skoda Fabia R5) 1h. 02m. 54.1s
4. Chris Armstrong/Dylan Doonan (Ford Escort) 1h. 03m. 12.2s
5. David Moffett/Martin Connolly (Toyota Starlet) 1h. 03m. 58.4s.
6. JF Shovelin/Emmet Brosnan (Ford Escort) 1h. 03m. 58.4s.
7. Aaron McLaughlin/Darren Curran (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h. 03m. 59.8s.
8. Kevin Eves/Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla) 1h. 04m. 06.4s.
9. Daragh O'Riordan/Mikey Walsh (Ford Escort) 1h. 05m. 04.2s.
10. Kevin Barrett/Declan Tumilty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 05m. 57.1s.
TRITON SHOWERS NRC STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 8:
Triton Showers NRC (Provisional Standings after Round 8) 1. J. Moffett 143pts (Champion) 2. R. White 103pts; 3. K. Eves 62pts; 4. D. Moffett 55pts; 5. S. Maguire 52pts; 6. D. Boyle 51pts; 7. A. McLaughlin 49pts.
MOFFETT IS SLIGO CHAMPION AS HE CLOSES IN ON TRITON TITLE
Report courtesy of Triton Showers - proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship
With his fifth victory in this season’s Triton Showers National Rally Championship, on this occasion on the FAAC Simply automatic/Sligo Park Hotel Rally, round six of the series, Monaghan’s Josh Moffett and his Wexford co-driver Andy Hayes (Ford Fiesta WRC) are just one event away from clinching the Vard Memorial Trophy.
They finished the nine stage rally with a 23 second advantage over title rivals, Clonmel’s Roy White and his Cork co-driver James O’Brien, also in a Fiesta WRC.
Belfast’s Jonny Greer and co-driver Kirsty Riddick (Ford Fiesta R5) were a minute and 35 seconds further behind in the third.
Donegal pair Kevin Eves/Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla) were the top two-wheel drive finishers and an impressive fourth overall.
Monaghan’s Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) won the Motorsport Safety Team Group N category, he was co-driven by Darragh Kelly.
On the opening stage that skirted the picturesque Glencar Lake, Moffett was on a strong pace and took a 5.3 seconds advantage over the similar car of Roy White with Jonny Greer (Fiesta R5) 12.7 seconds further behind and sixteen seconds clear of Daniel Cronin, who spun half way through the stage and lost at least twelve seconds.
An impressive Johnny Jordan (third in last year’s rally) had his Toyota Starlet in fifth place followed by the Fiesta WRC of Derek McGarrity.
Moffett was also quickest through the remaining two stages of the opening loop and arrived at he Sligo IT service park leading White by 10.1 seconds. The rally leader commented, “Yes, all is good, the opening stage had a very good mix while S.S. 2 was very bumpy and you were really holding on.” White admitted he tried hard on the opening stage where he was fortunate not to have spun going out of a junction in Glencar.
Greer was 28.4 seconds adrift in third, he made some changes to the set-up of the car at the Sligo service. Cronin - a further twenty seconds down in fourth - reckoned he was a bit rusty on the opening stage.
An untroubled Kevin Eves (Toyota Corolla) followed in fifth with McGarrity, on his first outing since the Easter Rally, sixth. The top ten also included the Toyota Starlet of Monaghan’s David Moffett, Donegal’s Aaron McLoughlin (Mitsubishi), Jordan and Motorsport Safety Team Group N leader, Monaghan’s Shane Maguire. Following a great run on the opening stage Jordan spun on a very tight section of road on the second stage and lost some forty seconds and dropped to ninth. Maguire lost a few fleeting seconds with a puncture on the second stage.
Elsewhere and having traversed the opening stage with his Subaru WRC down on power, Tyrone’s Frank Wray retired with a blown turbo on S.S. 2. Donegal’s JF Shovelin (Escort) broke the exhaust manifold on the opening stage and having lost significant time, he withdrew from the rally.
On the repeat loop Moffett continued to set the pace and with another three fastest stage times extended his lead margin over White to 16.7 seconds, neither driver had any problems. Greer, a minute further behind in third opined that some of the changes made worked while others didn’t. He said, “It’s a case of finding a happy medium.” Eves slotted into the fourth at the expense of Cronin, whose Fiesta R5 cut out on S.S. 4 and he lost over three minutes before he could get it restarted. Then, on the next stage he lost further time with a front right wheel puncture and dropped way down the order. Meanwhile, Eves made some adjustments to the front suspension and his times improved. David Moffett was next with Derek McGarrity’s Ford Fiesta WRC sixth, the Glengormley driver reckoned there was an issue with the throttle.
Jordan continued to recover from his second stage mishap and was next in classification in a top ten that also featured the untroubled Aaron McLaughlin (Mitsubishi), Shane Maguire and Colin O’Rourke (Ford Fiesta WRC).
Little changed on the final loop as Moffett netted yet another victory and also took the bonus point for winning the Power Stage to close in on the Vard Memorial Trophy - a top eight finish on the next round, the Galway Summer Rally, will suffice.
White and Greer completed the top three with Eves winning the two-wheel drive category ahead of David Moffett and Jordan, who rounded out the top six. Maguire took the Group N honours.
Donegal’s Ryan Moore (Honda Civic) won the Junior (Class 16) category - finishing 13.8 seconds ahead of the similar car of another Donegal driver Ryan Diver. Mayo’s Brian Moore (Honda Civic) won Class 16A - just 2.6 seconds ahead of Killarney’s Colin O’Donoghue (Ford Escort).
1. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Ford Fiesta WRC) 58m. 49.6s
2. Roy White/James O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 59m. 12.6s.
3. Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h. 00m. 47.6s.
4. Kevin Eves/Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla) 1h. 02m. 30.4s.
5. David Moffett/Martin Connolly (Toyota Starlet) 1h. 03m. 28.7s.
6. Johnny Jordan/Paddy McCrudden (Toyota Starlet) 1h. 03m. 57.6s.
7. Derek McGarrity/Niall Burns (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 04m. 04s.
8. Shane Maguire/Darragh Kelly (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 05m. 18.5s.
9. Aaron McLoughlin/Darren Curran (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 05m. 30.9s
10. Eamonn Kelly/Conor Mohan (Ford Fiesta R2) 1h. 06m. 27.8s.
Triton Showers NRC (Provisional Standings after Round 6) 1. J. Moffett 121 pts; 2. R. White 103pts; 3. D. Boyle 51pts; 4. K. Eves 47 pts; 5. P. Hurson 40pts; 6. S. Maguire 39pts.
JOSH MOFFETT WINS RAVEN’S ROCK RALLY
Report courtesy of Triton Showers - proud sponsors of the Irish National Rally Championship
With victory on the Waterford based Kilsheelan Limestone Quarries/Dooley’s Hotel Raven’s Rock Rally, Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) and his Wexford co-driver Andy Hayes have tightened their grip on the Triton Showers National Rally Championship. On what was their fourth win of the current campaign, they finished 18.3 seconds ahead of title rivals, Clonmel’s Roy White and his Cork co-driver James O’Brien, also in a Ford Fiesta WRC. Wexford’s Richard Moore (Ford Escort) and co-driver John McGrath were a distant third – two minutes and 55.6 seconds further behind.
Monaghan’s Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) and his Limerick co-driver Anthony Nestor won the Motorsport Safety Team Group N category.
Meath’s Brian Brady/Gary McNamee (Honda Civic) took a facile victory in the Junior category.
Moffett was best on the opening stage near Grange to the south-west of Dungarvan where he was 1.6 seconds faster than White with the Ford Focus WRC of Hugh Hunter another 2.1 seconds further behind. Welsh driver Sebastien Ling (Citroen DS3 R5) was some 14 seconds behind Hunter in a top six that also included the two-wheel drive cars of Richard Moore (Ford Escort) and Welsh ace John Dalton (Darrian T90 GTR).
Even though he spun and overshot, White was best on S.S. 2 and moved 2.4 seconds ahead of Moffett. Hugh Hunter retired when his Ford Focus WRC hit a wall and damaged the steering. That promoted Dalton into third - 23.5 seconds further behind and 8.3 seconds in front of Cork driver David Guest (Skoda Fabia S2000). Sebastien Ling (Citroen DS3R5) bowed out on the second stage when he hit a wall.
Out on the third stage White and Moffett set identical times with White arriving at the Dungarvan service with that 2.4 seconds advantage as Moffett declared that he was finding it difficult to commit to the stages. The pair had moved well clear of the opposition with Dalton 42.5 seconds adrift in third and Guest another 9.3 seconds in arrears. An untroubled Richard Moore (Ford Escort) was fifth while Waterford driver Keith Power (Mitsubishi) was sixth overall and untroubled.
Burnley driver Daniel Harper (Mini WRC) on his first tarmac rally within the jurisdiction of Motorsport Ireland in some ten years, was seventh, he lost brakes about four kilometres from the end of the second stage. Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) in eighth place led the Motorsport Safety Team Group N category as the remaining places in the top ten were occupied by the Escort of Monaghan’s Mickey Conlon and Wexford’s Tomas O’Rourke (Mitsubishi Evo IX). Local driver Simon Reid (Escort) broke a front shock absorber half way through the second stage.
Out on the second loop as Moffett tried to get back to his usual pace, disaster struck for White. On S.S. 4, he had no handbrake, spun and stalled his Fiesta WRC, on S.S. 5, fifth gear broke and on S.S, 6, he was stymied by a rear differential problem. The net result was that he dropped to second - 24 seconds behind Moffett. Moore powered his way through to third albeit a minute and 42.2 seconds behind. Dalton was fourth, Guest in fifth had to contend with the lack of gear display in his Skoda. Power in sixth had to change a wheel due to a massive vibration but the odd combination proved a trifle difficult.
English driver Harper improved his times on the second loop, he was seventh in general classification followed by the Escorts of Tomas Davies and Mickey Conlon and the Mitsubishi of Donegal’s Aaron McLaughlin. Tomas O’Rourke crashed his Mitsubishi on the fifth stage and while Shane Maguire lost time with a puncture on S.S. 6 he still had a comfortable advantage over the Mitsubishi EvoX of Neil Tohill.
Moffett went on to take his fourth win of the season and edges closer to the Triton title and the Vard Memorial Trophy. White’s second loop issues ultimately cost him a shot at victory but he was pleased with his pace, he was fastest through the Power Stage to secure an additional Triton point.
In a dramatic final stage Moore regained third after a titanic battle with Dalton, who was three seconds ahead entering the stage only for Moore to storm through and snatch the spot albeit by 1.4 seconds. Guest and Harper completed the top six.
Power was untroubled as he came home as the top Carrick on Suir Motor Club driver. The top ten was rounded out by Welsh driver Tomas Davies (Ford Escort), Donegal’s
Aaron McLoughlin (Mitsubishi EvoIX) and Motorsport Safety Team Group N winner
Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi).
1. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 06m. 39.2s.
2. Roy White/James O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 06m. 57.5s.
3. Richard Moore/John McGrath (Ford Escort) 1h. 09m. 53.1s.
4. John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian T90 GTR) 1h. 09m. 54.5s.
5. David Guest/Jonathan McGrath (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1h. 10m. 34.6s.
6. Daniel Harper/Chris Campbell (Mini WRC) 1h. 11m. 31.6s.
7. Keith Power/Tommy Cuddihy (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 11m. 50.9s.
8. Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies (Ford Escort) 1h. 12m. 02.4s.
9. Aaron McLoughlin/Darren Curran (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 12m. 12.9s.
10. Shane Maguire/Anthony Nestor (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 12m. 52.4s.
TRITON SHOWERS NRC STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 5 (Provisional):
1. J. Moffett 100pts; 2. R. White 87; 3. D. Boyle 51pts; 4. P. Hurson 40pts.
MOFFETT LEADS THE WAY IN LYONS OF LIMERICK CIRCUIT OF MUNSTER
Taking the lead on the third stage Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) and his Wexford co-driver Andy Hayes won the Lyons of Limerick Circuit of Munster Rally, round four of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship. They finished 21.1 seconds ahead of Donegal cousins Declan and Brian Boyle. Clonmel’s Roy White and his Cork co-driver James O’Brien were 24.2 seconds further behind to complete an all Ford Fiesta WRC top three. Early leaders Donegal’s Donagh Kelly and Monaghan’s Conor Foley retired their Ford Focus WRC with a broken throttle spring on the seventh stage.
Kelly was quickest through the opening stage - 4.8 seconds ahead of Moffett, who had gear issues with Boyle 3.6 seconds further behind. Boyle was best on the second stage as Kelly continued to lead Moffett by 6.1 seconds with Boyle closing to within 1.8 seconds of second spot. The stage was curtailed when Donegal’s Declan Gallagher crashed his Proton Iriz R5. On the longest stage of the rally Moffett set the fastest time to move into a 4.8 second lead over Kelly, who reckoned that while his tyre selection was correct for the first two stages, they were not suited the third stage.
Third placed Boyle reckoned he could have done with a harder compound tyre while the suspension was a little too hard.
Fourth placed Roy White (Ford Fiesta WRC) was 19.4 seconds off top spot and remarked that he had a major moment on the third stage when his Fiesta WRC went sideways into a hedge, luckily, it was unscathed. He added he was a trifle too cautious on the opening pair of stages.
Cathan McCourt (Subaru WRC) had a slipping clutch and opted not to use the launch control for the second stage. Hugh Hunter (Ford Focus WRC) was sixth and while Kevin Eves (Toyota Corolla) was seventh and led the two-wheel drive category, he withdrew at the service park as he was concerned about an oil problem.
Stephen Wright (Fiesta R5), Mel Evans (Skoda Fabia R5) and Donegal’s Paul Reid (Ford Escort) rounded out the top ten. In Group N, Tyrone’s Niall Devine (Mitsubishi) was untroubled and led the similar car of Michael Boyle by 10.8 seconds, the latter admitted he made a cautious start and his tyre selection was incorrect.
Out on the second loop of stages Boyle, having softened the suspension and picking a harder tyre, set the best times on all three stages to share second with Kelly and close to within four seconds of Moffett, who opined that he had no great rhythm, particularly on S.S. 6, the longest of the three stages. Kelly had a clutch problem.
Meanwhile, Roy White was 26.1 seconds further behind in fourth and had a simple answer as to why he wasn’t closer, “I’m not brave enough.” Cathan McCourt had an altercation with a chicane on S.S. 4, he was fifth followed by Welsh duo Hugh Hunter (Ford Focus WRC) and Melvyn Evans (Skoda Fabia R5). Stephen Wright was pleased with the increase of his pace through the repeat loop as the final places in the top ten were annexed by Steve Wood, debuting the ex-Daragh O’Riordan right hand drive Ford Fiesta WRC and leader of the two-wheel drive category Donegal’s Paul Reid, who lost time on S.S. 6 with a broken exhaust just a kilometre into the stage.
In Group N, Niall Devine (Mitsubishi) continued to lead as Wexford’s Tomas O’Rourke (Mitsubishi) slotted into second – 11.2 seconds behind and 2.8 seconds ahead of Michael Boyle.
Kelly’s rally ended on stage seven when the throttle spring broke and jammed open forcing his retirement. Moffett went on to claim his third win of the campaign, he also won the Power Stage. White, McCourt, Hunter and Wright completed the top six.
Donegal’s Paul Reid (Ford Escort) took the two-wheel drive category. In Group N, Tyrone’s Niall Devine (Mitsubishi) took the spoils with Donegal’s Michael Boyle edging out Wexford’s Tomas O’Rourke on the final stage to claim runner-up.
Derry’s Jordan Hone (Opel Adam R2) and his Cork co-driver Aileen Kelly were emphatic winners of the Junior category while the Cork/Galway duo of Luke McCarthy/David Hogan (Ford Escort) won the Historic category.
Non-starters included Peadar Hurson (Ford Fiesta WRC), Ian Barrett (Subaru WRC) and Seamus Leonard (Ford Focus WRC).
1. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Ford Fiesta WRC) 56m. 21.4s
2. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) 56m. 42.5s
3. Roy White/James O'Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC) 57m. 06.7s.
4. Cathan McCourt/Barry McNulty (Subaru WRC) 58m. 44.7s.
5. Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg (Ford Focus WRC) 59m. 39.9s.
6. Stephen Wright/Liam Moynihan (Ford Fiesta R5) 59m. 51.0s.
7. Melvyn Evans/Mark Glennerster (Skoda Fabia R5) 1h. 00m. 06.2s
8. Steve Wood/Keith Moriarty (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h. 00m. 49.8s.
9. Paul Reid/Karl Reid (Ford Escort) 1h. 01m. 19.1s.
10. Niall Devine/Mac Kierans (Mitsubishi EvoIX) 1h. 01m. 22.6s.
TRITON SHOWERS NRC STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4:
1. J. Moffett 80pts; 2. R. White 68pts; 3. D. Boyle 51pts.
MOFFETT MAKES IT TWO FROM TWO IN TRITON SERIES
At the finish of the Longford based Admore Air Conditioning Corp Midland Moto Rally, the second round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship were (left to right): Declan Tumilty (TSNRC Chairperson), Orlagh Reynolds, Longford Arms Hotel, Andy Hayes (winning co-driver), Josh Moffett (winning driver), Jeremy O'Connor, Clerk of the Course and Laura McMenamin (TSNRC Registrar). Photo: Martin Walsh.