Moffett's decision to switch cars pays dividends in national series
Sam Moffett stepped down from the international Tarmac championship and dominated the opening round of the Irish national series, the Nenagh-based Birr Rally.
Currently second in the premier Tarmac championship, Moffett switched from his regular R5 Ford Fiesta to a more powerful WRC version and left a quartet of national champions trailing in his wake as he led from start to finish over the eight soaking wet stages in Co Offaly.
Moffett and co-driver James Fulton broke clear from the start, establishing an 11-second lead on the first stage and pulled away from the field until they were over a minute clear of the chasing pack led by two-time champion Declan Boyle in another WRC Fiesta.
With the conditions deteriorating, Moffett eased back over the final two stages but still emerged a clear winner by 59 seconds from Boyle.
Donagh Kelly, another former champion making a comeback, finished in third place in his WRC Ford Focus with Roy White, the current champion, fourth in his WRC Fiesta. Omagh's Mark Donnelly was the top Ulster finisher in fifth in yet another WRC Fiesta and Niall Maguire rounded out the top six in his Subaru.
Adrian Hetherington was top of the two-wheel-drive category in eighth place with Gary McPhillips one place behind, both in Ford Escorts.