Belfast Telegraph

Moffett closes in on National title with five wins out of six

 

Josh Moffett
Josh Moffett

By Sammy Hamill

Josh Moffett has moved to within touching distance of adding the Irish National Rally Championship to the Tarmac and Forestry titles he won in 2018 with a start to finish victory in Sligo yesterday.

Moffett and co-driver Andy Hayes won by 23 seconds in their Ford Fiesta WRC from the similar car of Roy White and James O'Brien to make it five victories in the first six rounds of the Triton Showers series.

Third place went to the R5 Fiesta of former Northern Ireland champion Jonny Greer and his co-driver Kirsty Riddick, who were using the event as a warm up for next weekend's Down Rally which they won last year.

After missing out on the National title last season and failing to equal his brother Sam who won all three major championships in 2017, Moffett has been in dominant form this year, only missing out on his home Monaghan round when he was denied by a puncture.

But as potential rivals like past champions Declan Boyle and Donagh Kelly have fallen by the wayside, it has been White, the 2016 champion, who has maintained his challenge, picking up consistent second places, but he is now 18 points behind Moffett.

Donegal pair Kevin Eves and Chris Melly were the top two-wheel drive finishers in an impressive fourth overall in their Toyota Corolla. Monaghan's Shane Maguire won the Motorsport Safety Team Group N category, and co-driver Darragh Kelly were the Group N winners in their Mitsubishi.

Meanwhile, Craig Breen declared himself "satisfied" with a fifth place finish in Rally Estonia, his debut event for the Hyundai team.

The Irish Tarmac Championship leader has been called into the Hyundai's World Championship team for Rally Finland next month and was given the opportunity of a first competitive outing in Estonia at the weekend. He said it was all about getting through the rally without mistakes and adjusting to the car.

The rally was won by home favourite, Toyota's Ott Tanak, with Andreas Mikkelsen second for Hyundai ahead of Citroen's Esapekka Lappi and Ford's Elfyn Evans, all using the event to prepare for Finland.

At Silverstone Daniel Harper fought hard for an eighth place finish on his debut in the Porsche Supercup which supported yesterday's British Grand Prix. Harper leads the Carrera Cup GB and was a guest starter in the Supercup round.

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