Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes clinched win quantity 4 of their gorgeous Irish Tarmac Rally Championship marketing campaign on the Cork 20 Worldwide Rally.
The Hyundai i20 R5 duo was pushed to the restrict by Callum Devine and Noel O’Sullivan after Cork 20’s overnight leaders Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble crashed out on Sunday’s opening stage.
A closing day cost from Devine decreased Moffett’s 11.6-second benefit to three.1 seconds with two levels left of the 15-stage occasion.
The Derry driver’s quickest time on Stage 12, Chimneyfield, was significantly spectacular and halved the hole to Moffett on a single check.
Moffett feared the worst as he admitted he was already wringing the neck of his Hyundai with loads of shut calls alongside the best way. When requested a few rumoured second on Stage 13, Moffett shortly replied to clarify there was greater than only one.
Moffett and Devine’s duel adopted the early demise of Fisher’s Volkswagen Polo R5 on Stage 10. The Circuit of Eire winner had held a 16.9-second lead after three stage wins within the moist on Saturday afternoon.
Fisher attacked Sunday’s first Badgers Hill check in an analogous vein however his time on the high ended three-quarters of the best way into the 20-kilometre stage. His Polo clipped a financial institution on a misleading left-hander, damaging its suspension, and placing the ITRC hopefuls out of rivalry for the third rally in a row.
Meirion Evans grabbed his first quickest time of the rally on Badgers Hill and moved into third lower than 25 seconds off the lead. The Welshman was too far again to problem Moffett and Devine and opted to run used tyres for Cork 20’s final loop of levels.
Nonetheless, Evans was blissful together with his fourth podium end of the yr which retains him within the title hunt heading to Ulster Rally’s ITRC decider.
“The tempo and the sensation have been fairly good immediately,” mentioned a constructive Evans. “I will be blissful that we have been capable of follow the boys earlier than the final loop.”
Devine’s Sunday morning fightback ensured Cork 20’s enthralling storyline stored to its charming tone proper to the top.
The rally began off in a dramatic vogue with Munster’s native favorite Daniel Cronin struggling a double-puncture on Saturday’s first stage. Moffett, Devine, Evans, and Fisher have been nip and tuck all through day one of many Cork 20 Rally with an unexpectedly moist closing loop catching all of them out on slick tyres on the finish of Saturday.
Moffett and Devine put every part on the road during the last two Cork levels and regardless of Devine’s greatest efforts he couldn’t match the tempo of Moffett. The not too long ago topped Nationwide Rally Champion received each Badgers Hill and Chimneyfield to assert his second Cork 20 victory by 8.4 seconds.
“We needed to actually push on the final two levels,” admitted Moffett after Cork’s closing check. “It’s good to come back out on high after the race we now have had all weekend.
“I’m undecided that this has been my hardest win however it’s positively up there.”
David Visitor and Andrew Purcell accomplished Cork 20’s high 5 with the Ford Fiesta Rally2 and Skoda Fabia R5 drivers having fun with a race of their very own on Sunday.
Purcell, who hadn’t competed on asphalt since 2019, set a string of sturdy occasions to climb from seventh to fourth on Sunday morning. Enda O’Brien had held fourth however a number of scrappy levels dropped him down the pack.
Visitor had Purcell in his sights once more on Cork’s closing loop transferring inside 4 seconds of the Skoda with one stage remaining. Purcell pushed onerous to defend his place on the final 18-kilometre stage however a spin ruined his hopes of holding off Visitor.
Casey Jay Coleman stayed out of hassle to seal high spot in Rally4, two minutes forward of Jason Dickson. Dickson had moved into the lead on Sunday’s opening stage, forward of in a single day chief Ryan Caldwell, however his Ford Fiesta Rally4 broke two driveshafts earlier than the top of the rally to drop him down to 3rd with one stage to go.
Caldwell additionally bumped into hassle on Sunday together with his worse-for-wear Ford Fiesta crabbing via Stage 11 two minutes off the tempo. Dickson’s points put Caldwell in second forward of Cork 20’s closing check. Extra drama was to come back although with a misfire crippling Caldwell’s engine, costing him a bundle of time and placing him again to 3rd behind Dickson.
Colin Byrne regarded to have Cork 20’s nationwide part wrapped up when nearest challenger Padraig Egan pulled in with gearbox failure on Stage 11. Byrne had over one minute to spare with two levels to go however he misplaced all of it when his Ford Escort Mk2 slid and received caught at a baled chicane on the penultimate stage.
The incident handed Irish Tarmac Modified rival Simon Reid and John Murphy high factors in Cork and a memorable nationwide victory.
“It’s unbelievable,” mentioned Reid. “It wasn’t good to see Colin off however it’s the first time I’ve received the nationwide part.
“We now have had our ups and downs this weekend however we stored attempting and in equity, we had no reply to Colin.”
Neil Williams continued his incredible kind from Saturday into Sunday’s six levels to assert a two-minute victory in a aggressive Cork 20 Historic Rally.
Luke McCarthy secured sturdy championship factors in second with Adrian Evans finishing the rostrum positions.
Evan McEvoy and Aaron McEvoy received the Junior part, one minute forward of Gary Healy and Gearoid Moynihan. Anthony O’Driscoll had been second however Healy pipped him to the place by 4 seconds on Cork 20’s final stage.
Ryan MacHugh dropped to the again of the Junior area with gasoline distributor points however defied the chances to complete the rally and rating essential factors within the Irish Tarmac Junior Championship.
Photographs by Roger Dawson