Belfast Telegraph

Even Supercars may not stop Moffett on his return to rallying

By Sammy Hamill

They are two different disciplines of motorsport, racing and rallying, and few Irish drivers cross the divide. Robert Barrable is a notable exception, although he has put his 2015 Circuit of Ireland heroics behind him to concentrate on racing and was a winner in the British GT championship at the weekend.

Another weekend winner was Sam Moffett who topped the podium in an Irish supercar race at Mondello on Sunday. But he will swap track for special stage on Friday as he returns to rallying and the Joule Donegal International.

Moffett has been a winner there, too, pulling off a shock victory in 2013 in only his second drive in a McKinstry Motorsport WRC Subaru.

Since then he has become one of a growing band of young Irish drivers who have embraced the move to a newer generation of R5 cars which are now the primary category in the Irish Tarmac championship.

It means Moffett is unlikely to repeat his victory of three years ago in a Donegal field which still contains the WRC supercars of Garry Jennings, Donagh Kelly and Declan Boyle but the R5 switch has breathed new life into an ailing championship.

Moffett, from just across the border in Clontilbret, sits second in the Tarmac standings, six points behind leader Alastair Fisher and four ahead of his younger brother Josh as the championship passes the halfway mark. He has no regrets about joining the R5 revolution even if it means another outright Donegal victory may be out of reach.

It is not impossible, of course, as Moffett proved with his win in his R5 Ford Fiesta against WRC machinery in the Cavan national round just a couple of weeks ago. And Josh, who led the British championship earlier in the year, also chalked up a win on the Monaghan Rally.

But Tarmac points are the priority this weekend and the Moffetts represent a major threat to the pre-season championship favourites, Fisher and Keith Cronin.

And the racing? "It's just a bit of fun," says Sam, "but you can learn a lot about the quickest lines and it keeps you sharp between rallies."

Expect Moffett to be near the sharp end of the Donegal leaderboard this weekend.

Belfast Telegraph


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