MOFFETT TAKES DOM­I­NANT WIN AHEAD OF HENRY

Motor Sport News - - Feature: Bars Licence - Lim­er­ick For­est Rally By Brian Pat­ter­son Re­sults

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

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