Se­cond for­est win in a row for Sam Mof­fett

Fivemile­town Spring Rally

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Wil­liam Neill Re­sults

Or­gan­iser: Omagh Mo­tor Club Ltd When: Fe­bru­ary 27 Where: Eskra, County Ty­rone Starters: 59 Stages: 10

Af­ter the mid-event ser­vice, Sam Mof­fett took the lead from his brother Josh to add a Fivemile­town Spring Rally win by 48s to his Lough­man vic­tory ear­lier in the month.

The club­man rally was a fi­nal chance for the Mon­aghan duo to pre­pare their Ford Fi­esta R5s for this week­end’s BRC opener. Josh had a 12s lead af­ter SS5 be­fore he re­tired with a flight to a busi­ness­re­lated award evening loom­ing.

Josh won the open­ing 1.6-mile Car­rick­a­henny test from Sam by two sec­onds. But Mark Don­nelly and Barry Mcnulty were fastest on SS2, Doon, to move their S10spec Subaru Im­preza to the front by 5s with Kumho tyres at their dis­posal for the first time. Then, on the first pass of the long­est stage, Jenkin, the Omagh-based driver in­creased the ad­van­tage to 18s and 23s on SS4. But a fan belt later snapped and side­lined any win­ning hopes.

Sam Mof­fett and Ja­son Mckenna went on to win each stage in the se­cond half of the event, with 7s on the Jenkin re­peat their big­gest mar­gin.

An­other Mark Don­nelly – not to be con­fused with the Mark Don­nelly who re­tired his Subaru – fin­ished se­cond with Stephen O’han­lon on the notes in their Mit­subishi Lancer E9. The KG Mo­tor­sport car punched in four se­cond-place stage times af­ter hav­ing fin­ished SS1 in ninth.

With a stage to go, three sec­onds split four cars with a se­cond be­tween each to leave a cli­matic 3.2-mile Crock­na­grally. And af­ter over half an hour of ral­ly­ing three of those crews could not be sep­a­rated on time to cause some con­fu­sion as to who would claim the fi­nal podium place.

Of­fi­cial re­sults later stated the team with the faster time on SS1 would get the place, favour­ing Niall Mccul­lagh and Ryan Mccloskey, 25s from Don­nelly.

Frank Kelly and Sean Fer­ris claimed fourth af­ter an­other day­long two-wheel-drive bat­tle with friendly ri­vals Shane Mcgirr and Jackie El­liott, who slipped back from third to sixth.

On only their fourth rally and split­ting the two-wheel-drive run­ners in fifth were Frank and Steven O’brien, brothers of Team Ire­land’s Pa­trick. Set-up changes en­cour­aged the re­sult.

Drive DMACK Tro­phy driver Jon Arm­strong pleased spectators with a flam­boy­ant dis­play in a sim­i­lar Ford Fi­esta R2T to the one he’ll use in the DDT this year. He headed Class 5.

Sam Mof­fett made most of Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship warm-up

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