MOFFETT TAKES DOMINANT WIN AHEAD OF HENRY
Organiser: Limerick Motor Club When: October 16 Where: Murroe, County Limerick, Ireland Championship Irish Forest Rally Championship Stages: 6 Starters: 48
Monaghan’s Josh Moffett made winning look easy on this Limerick Forest Rally, where many drivers struggled. Moffett, co-driven by Emmet Sherry in his Ford Fiesta R5, had a lead of well over a minute by the half-way mark, and was able to cruise to victory from then on.
On the opening stage, Glenstal, Moffett was 26s faster than second place Michael Carbin. Desi Henry really struggled on the opener. His Skoda suffered a puncture, as well as a broken alternator belt. A trip into the scenery didn’t help either. He managed to hold seventh, but was over a minute down on Moffett.
On SS2 Henry was fastest and then on stage three Moffett had another very quick time, almost 20s faster than Henry. Frontrunner Niall Henry had been in the top 10 during the morning stages, but a puncture, which caused damage to the front suspension of his Lancer, and then a slipping clutch, meant retirement at just the midday service.
Through the afternoon stages Moffett was able to cruise, and concentrated on keeping out of trouble, particularly avoiding the worst of the stones that had been dragged out by cars cutting corners on the first loop.
Desi Henri’s fastest times through the afternoon soon moved him ahead of Darren Mckelvey, who ended the day third in his Mitsubishi Lancer E9. Shane Mcgirr overcame a stage three misfire in his Toyota Starlet to take fourth place.
Dermot Kelly, a forest champion, is making a fresh foray into rallying, and soon got to grips with his newly acquired Lancer E9. He finished fifth, but admitted there was a lot more to come from the car, which boasts a sequential gearbox. John Gordon/ Thomas Wedlock rounded off the top six in their Ford Escort.
Group N was won by Ed Muldoon in 10th overall, while Derek Mackeral from Monaghan impressed. He finished 11th overall in his Corsa and won his class.
A measure of his enthusiasm was that he had travelled down the day before and competed on a major navigation rally during the thunderstorm-blighted night. He finished second overall on the navigation event, having enjoyed a fantastic weekend.
In Irish Forest Rally Championship terms, the event was significant in that two of the frontrunners, Carbin and Ger Lucey, didn’t make the finish. This brings Desi Henry into the championship spotlight for the final round, the Glens of Antrim rally, which is in Desi’s home territory. Carbin had been sixth at the halfway point, but then a couple of punctures and a transmission vibration brought his Lancer to a halt. Lucey retired his Lancer on the first stage.
In the two-wheel-drive section, Mcgirr is looking very strong for the championship title.
Moffett was dominant in County Limerick