Belfast Telegraph

Loughman Rally will aid Moffett's bid for assault on British title

 

By Sammy Hamill

He's the reigning Irish Tarmac and Forest champion and now Josh Moffett is targeting the British rally title too.

Moffett is one of a number of drivers who will use this weekend's opening round of the Irish Forestry series, the Willie Loughman Memorial Rally, to kick start their season ahead of the Irish Tarmac and British championships next month.

Among those joining him in the Loughman line-up are his brother Sam - the triple Irish champion in 2017 - Marty McCormack, Niall Henry, William Creighton, James Wilson, Josh McErlean and Marty Gallagher, all of them looking ahead to events like the Galway and Cambrian rallies which open the major championships on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Moffett will be involved in all three again this year but has added the British series, which he last contested in 2016, to his list as well.

"With two rounds of the BRC, the West Cork and Ulster rallies also being part of the Irish Tarmac championship, it was a no-brainer to have another go," said the Monaghan man.

First up, however, are the Kilkenny and Wexford forests of the Loughman Rally, where Moffett is seeded No.2 behind last year's runner-up, New York-based Barry McKenna, and just ahead of brother Sam, all three in R5 Ford Fiestas.

The top Ulster driver is Garry Jennings who breaks the R5 sequence by lining up at No.4 in one of the McKinstry Motorsport's S14 WRC Subarus. His own S12 Subaru is being prepared for the Galway Rally a fortnight later when he will be bidding for three wins in a row.

The big Ulster contingent heading south also includes Cathan and Conor McCourt, Patrick O'Brien, Niall Henry, Adrian Hetherington, David Crossen, Shane McGirr, Vivian Hamill, Stephen, Ashley and Ian Dickson and the British-bound R2 youngsters Wilson, Creighton and McErlean.

Taking part, too, is former national champion Ray Breen, father of Craig, who will drive an R5 Fiesta - a car which it is being rumoured could appear in the hands of the ousted Citroen WRC star in Galway.

The Galway organisers have released few details of the entries so far but we know Jennings will be there along with the Moffett brothers, Donagh Kelly and Declan Boyle while another former Tarmac champion, Darren Gass, is planning a return in his S12 Subaru.

Belfast Telegraph

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