26 April 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A late switch to a Subaru WRC saw local aces, Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly take a splendid victory in the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Rally, the second round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship. On Friday, Moffett was without a car due to problems with his usual Mitsubishi, keen not to miss his local event, he decided to hire the McKinstry Motorsport S14 Subaru WRC.

On what was his debut in a World Rally Car, the Monaghan ace finished a minute and two tenths of a second ahead of fellow Monaghan crew, Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry. Cork’s, Daragh O’Riordan and his Derry co-driver, Tony McDaid (Ford Fiesta) were third – the Corkman felt unwell throughout the rally. Pre-event series leader, Declan Boyle (Subaru WRC) lost some five minutes when he was off the road on S.S. 5, he eventually finished ninth and shares the lead of the Dunlop series with Maguire.

On the opening stage near Emyvale, pre-event Dunlop National Rally Championship leader, Declan Boyle (Subaru WRC) set the pace despite some concerns about the brakes, finished the stage 11.1 seconds faster that the Ford Fiesta WRC of Daragh O’Riordan, who felt unwell and didn’t know the cause of his sickness. Local hero, Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) a further 1.2 seconds behind in third expressed concerns about the transmission. Sam Moffett in the hired S14 McKinstry Subaru WRC was a fraction of a second further adrift in fourth and marvelled at the handling and power of the car. O’Riordan was quickest on the second stage and Moffett on his debut in a World Rally Car punched in the best time for the third stage.

At the Monaghan service park, some ten seconds covered the leading trio. Leader Boyle held a five second advantage over Moffett with O’Riordan a 5.3 seconds further behind. Maguire occupied fourth followed by the Subaru WRC of Darren Gass and the MG S2000 of Roy White, who completed the top six. British driver, James Belton (Subaru WRC) increased his pace on the third stage to move into seventh.

There was a strong performance from Richard Moffett, seeded at 32, he hauled his Toyota Starlet into eighth place in a top ten that also featured Group N leader, Martin Doherty (Mitsubishi) and Gary McPhillips (Escort). Josh Moffett (Mitsubishi) and Frank Kelly (Escort) were on the fringes of the top ten.

Donagh Kelly, sixth on the opening stage retired his Subaru WRC with engine concerns, top seed, Daniel McKenna (Ford Escort) and James Stafford (Darrian) also retired on the opening loop. Shane Maguire in a hired Mitsubishi retired with transmission failure.

Boyle stretched his lead to 7.2 seconds on S.S. 4 but it all went awry on S.S. 5 when he slid his Subaru off the …

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