Photo courtesy of Seamus Counihan
The third round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes, had a dramatic conclusion with Sam Moffett taking his first international win of the year right at the end. Overnight leader Declan Boyle looked set to continue his winning ways as he led overnight and stretched his lead after the first Molls Gap stage, but after Donagh Kelly had closed the gap again on Borlin; Boyle went off the road and out of the rally on Stage 10, Lough Allua. This left his fellow Donegal man Donagh Kelly in line to take his first ever international victory as he held a 48 second lead over Sam Moffett. However Moffett began to exert pressure and by stage 13 the gap had closed to just 26 seconds with just two stages remaining. It all went wrong for Kelly who rolled into a bog on Fuhiry and his dreams went up in smoke leaving Moffett in pole position with just one run over Molls Gap to be completed, and he didn’t disappoint.
Alan Ring was next up in his hired Impreza WRC, his best ever international result while it was a good day all round for the Moffetts as Sam’s younger brother Josh took third place and also won the Group N category quite comprehensively. Eugene Meegan and Stephen McCann were next up just separated by five seconds after a long tough weekend, while Joseph McGonigle rounded off the top six in his Renault Clio. After three rounds of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship the provisional standings are 1- Declan Boyle (54), 2 – Donagh Kelly (33), 3 – Josh Moffett (32.5), 4 – Sam Moffett (31), 5 – Garry Jennings (25).
In the Modified Championship Wesley Patterson took a fine second place behind Roy Whites MG to stop Declan Gallagher’s run of maximum points in the three rounds before this weekend. Gallagher though still managed to take third place and is still strongly positioned to take the title as he holds a 20 point lead over Patterson in the category. Mark Nangle remains in third place but a long way off the leading pair. Provisional championship standings are 1 – Declan Gallagher (57), 2 – Wesley Patterson (37) and 3 – Mark Nangle (20). The Historic Championship also has a new leader as Denis Moynihan held off some strong challenges to win the FIA Historic Category and move into a three point lead. Once his closest rival Mark Falvey had rolled out of the event on stage 11, Moynihan only needed to hold position to replace the non-competing Ray Cunningham at the top of the championship pile. Provisional standings after four rounds are; 1 – Denis Moynihan (33), 2 – Ray Cunningham (30), 3 – Mark Falvey (22.5).
There is now a six week break before the next round of the championship, the Donegal International Rally in the middle of June and the championship has now been opened up. It promises to be a fantastic event and all of the championship regulars should be there to try to further their prospects this season.
TROA Press & Media Officer,
Phone: +353 86 286 6256