Moffett will use Galway rally to test new Ford
Sam Moffett rattled the Irish rally establishment last year when he became the youngest driver to win the Donegal International.
Now he has caused another ripple by opting to bring one of the new breed of WRC cars to Ireland.
The 24-year-old Monaghan driver was the reigning Irish production champion when he came of his comfort zone to drive McKinstry Motorsport's WRC Subaru S14 on the toughest of Ireland's Tarmac championship rallies.
But he showed maturity to steer the car to victory, albeit aided by the troubles which befell Darren Gass and Garry Jennings.
But Moffett is moving on again and will line up for the opening round of the 2014 Tarmac season in Galway this weekend in a Ford Fiesta from World championship team M-Sport in Cumbria.
It is not his car yet but it may soon be. "I'm hiring the car from M-Sport with a view to buying it," explains Moffett. "The Galway International will be a trial run but I'm sure this is the way to go. The 1600cc cars are the future."
Moffett tested the car in the company of M-Sport engineers last week and had another run yesterday ahead of Saturday's start. "It may not have the power of the two-litre Subarus and Ford Focuses but the handling, the cornering speed and the braking are impressive," he said.
"And power isn't always a big factor in Galway. It is usually wet and a car that handles well in the conditions is more important."
It is a view shared by Eugene Donnelly, the record-equalling Tarmac champion who is back seeking a fifth Galway win in a McGeehan Motorsport WRC Mini, another of the current 1.6 turbos.
"I've been close these past two years and with the upgrades to the engine and the suspension I would like to think the Mini is capable to winning this time," said Donnelly.