Having won all four rounds of the first half of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship season, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett (Ford Focus WRC) will be aiming to retain his unbeaten sequence on Sunday’s Waterford city based Dooley’s Hotel Raven’s Rock Rally. The fifth round of the series is organised by the Carrick on Suir Motor Club and features a loop of three stages repeated three times with the service park at the splendidly appointed Waterford Institute of Technology on the western suburb of the city.
With the exception of the last round where he lost the lead for three stages, Moffett has led from start to finish in the other three rounds and is favourite to continue his fine vein of form. In Waterford, regular co-driver Cork’s Karl Atkinson will return to call the pacenotes.
For former back-to-back champion Donegal’s Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC) “The Rock” is a key event given that he has two non-finishes from the opening four rounds. The Lettermacaward driver has netted 34 points from his outings in Nenagh and Monaghan and could still win the title but he needs to finish ahead of Moffett – another non-finish would virtually end his title bid.
Reigning Triton Showers National Rally champion Clonmel’s Roy White, also in a Fiesta WRC, is currently Moffett’s closest rival – he is 24 points in arrears as he continues to seek that maiden win in a round of the Triton series.
The top quartet also includes former triple national champion Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC), who is six points further behind in equal third with the non-competing Donagh Kelly.
Meanwhile, Dundalk’s Brendan Cumiskey will campaign a Skoda Fabia R5 and is seeded at number five.
Citroen’s World Rally Team driver Craig Breen is shown on the entry list, currently, no other details such as co-driver or type of car are available.
Carrick club member and Kilkenny native Enda O’Brien (Ford Escort) fresh from his victory in the recent Heartland’s Rally in Portlaoise is also in the top ten that’s completed by the Group N trio of David Guest (Mitsubishi), Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi) and Paul Barrett (Subaru).
Monaghan’s Maguire heads the standings in the Motorsport Safety Group N category after he took a strong haul of points form the Circuit of Munster where Cork’s Guest retired and is now nine points in arrears. Barrett and Dubliner Neil Tohill (Mitsubishi) also retired from the last round and need good finishes to get back in the title hunt.
Other entries are Tyrone’s Barry Morris, Cork’s Barry Meade and Welsh ace Adrian Evans, all in Escorts.
In the popular Class 11 that is split in two sections, Waterford’s Richard Harney (Escort) is the leading light in the rear wheel drive (Class 11R) section and Cork’s Jason Ryan (Honda Civic) is the top seeded entry in the front wheel drive category (Class11F).
Local drivers in action include Kilmacthomas driver John Dagge (Peugeot 306) and Gemma Kerley (Mitsubishi).
The Junior category includes the leading Triton Showers trio of Donegal’s Michael Boyle, Meath’s Brian Brady and Monaghan’s Johnny Treanor, all in Honda Civics.
Organising Club: Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club
Clerk of the Course: Terence Kearney.
Rally Headquarters: Dooley’s Hotel, Merchants Quay. 051 873531.
First Car Away: 08.00.
S.S. 1, 4 & 7: Beallough (8.94km) 9.03, 12.05 & 15.07.
S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Mothel (17.75km) 9.36, 12.38 & 15.40.
S.S. 3, 6 & 9: Carrickphilip (8.96km) 10.25, 13.27 & 16.29.
Service: Waterford Institute of Technology 8.15, 11.02 & 14.04.
Finish Ramp: Dooley’s Hotel, Merchant’s Quay, Waterford. 17.08.
Top 10 Starters:
1. Sam Moffett/Karl Atkinson (Ford Fiesta WRC)
2. Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC)
3. Roy White/James O’Brien (Ford Fiesta WRC)
4. Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC S12B)
5. Brendan Cumiskey/Ronan O’Kane (Skoda Fabia R5)
6. Craig Breen/TBA (TBA)
7. Enda O’Brien/John Butler (Ford Escort)
8. David Guest/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi Lancer EvoIX)
9. Shane Maguire/Paul McLaughlin (Mitsubishi Lancer EvoIX)
10. Paul Barrett/Declan Tumilty (Subaru N14)
Provisional Championship Positions after Round 4: 1. S. Moffett 83points; 2. R. White 59pts; =3. D. Kelly & N. Maguire 53pts; 5. S. Maguire 39pts; 6. D. Boyle 34pts; 7. M. Kelly 32pts; 8. L. Hastings 31pts; 9. D. Guest 30pts & 10. A. Hetherington 23pts.
2017 Triton Showers National Rally Championship Diary Dates:
1. Abbey Court Hotel Nenagh Rally S. Moffett/J. Fulton (Fiesta WRC)
2. Midland Rally (Longford) S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
3. Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Rally S. Moffett/K. Atkinson (Fiesta WRC)
4. Circuit of Munster S. Moffett/K. Moriarty (Fiesta WRC)
5. Raven’s Rock Rally (Waterford) June 25
6. Sligo Rally July 9
7. Galway Summer Rally (Gort) August 27
8. Fastnet Rally (Bantry) October 29