Belfast Telegraph

Boyle pays penalty as Moffett masters Cavan Rally


Clear winner: Sam Moffett came out on top in Cavan
Clear winner: Sam Moffett came out on top in Cavan

By Sammy Hamill

It was a tight battle on the Cavan Rally stages between two former multi Irish champions in their WRC Ford Fiestas but it was Sam Moffett who took a comfortable win in the end ahead of Declan Boyle.

This year the rally was not a round of the Irish National Championship, which they have both won, but the Cavan even still attracted a top entry in what some regarded as a rehearsal for next month's Donegal International.

And it was the elder of the Moffett brothers, Sam, and co-driver James Fulton who came out on top, winning the battle on the stages by 14 seconds but having the margin increased when it emerged Boyle had suffered a 30-minute road penalty.

Three Ulster drivers, all with Donegal in their sights, filled the next three places in WRC cars, Desi Henry claiming the last podium position on his debut drive in his new Fiesta ahead of the Subaru of Cathan McCourt and the Fiesta of Joe McGonigle.

Gary Kiernan was the top two-wheel-drive finish, taking sixth in his Ford Escort.

Garry Jennings, another driver looking to Donegal, was in third when he retired his Subaru after stage three.

Over in Latvia, Tyrone co-driver Aaron Johnston shared in a history-making result in the European Championship when he and teenage star Oliver Solberg won Rally Liepaja.

Still only 17 and technically competing in the ERC Junior category, Solberg, son of former World champion Petter, led from start to finish in his R5 Volkswagen Polo to beat the reigning European champion Alexey Lukyanuk by 22 seconds.

The talented Norwegian teenager, just back from winning the Olympus Rally in America, becomes the youngest winner of a round of the European series.

Meanwhile, the 500 Club marked the 60th anniversary of the Mini at their Kirkistown race meeting on Saturday but it was David McCullough who was doing the celebrating with a double victory in the Dawson-WAM Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship.

Having qualified on pole position in his Van Diemen, the Ballymena driver went on to edge out the Mondiale of arch rival Alan Davidson by a fraction of a second in the first of the two rounds with Will Herron on their tails as they crossed the line.

Race two proved a disaster for Davidson who got caught up in trouble and failed to finish even though he again set the fastest lap. Herron made it into second this time with Scott Finlay in third.

The meeting featured the appearance of the a Scottish contingent for three rounds of their Celtic Mini Cooper Cup and Robbie Dalgleish, already a five-time winner this season, added two more victories.

Other winners on the day included Robert Kennedy, who twice broke the class track record on his way to two wins in the combined Mazda MX5/Ford Fiesta races, Donal O'Neill and Oly Mortimer in the saloon category.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph