Josh Moffett and co-driver James Fulton claimed a superb 8th overall at the challenging Rally Rzeszów in Poland this weekend. The pair piloted the Combilift Ford Fiesta R5 magnificently over the 11 stage event to also claim 4th in the European Rally Championship under 28 category.
Rally Rzeszów is an extremely specialised event with some of the fastest and most committed tarmac roads in Europe, it was not going to be easy for the Irish pair! Prior to the rally Josh commented “The roads here are nothing like I have driven on before. The are so fast and committed. It will be hard to stay with the locals but we will give it our best!”
The event got underway with 2 stages well in excess of 20 kilometres each, much longer than most stages in Ireland. Josh and James took 9th fastest time on the opener covering the stage in an average speed of 113 kph just illustrating the immense speeds on the Polish roads. A solid time through the 2nd test left the pair in 9th overall dicing with with local drivers. At first service Josh was happy with his mornings work “Its been a good start to the event but you have to be fully committed on this roads to get the times, and we are not there just yet.”
Over the next 2 tests Josh continued to up his pace, staying in touch with the crews around consolidating his 9th place overall. A super special stage around the streets of Rzeszów rounded out the day. At the overnight haul Josh commented “Its been an eye opening day, the speeds are immense and I am still trying to build my confidence after the Monaghan crash. We are delighted to get the here in one piece, tomorrow is another day!”
Day 2 of the rally consisted of 6 stages with over 120km of competitive driving. The Combilift machine rocketed over the first 2 stages cementing their position well within the top 10. Through stage 8 Josh really put the hammer down, claiming 6th fastest time to move him within striking distance of local man Łukasz Habaj in front. “Its been a good morning, the car is working well and we are upping the pace” Josh commented at the midday service. “There are 3 more stages left and we want to get to the finish and get some points on the board in the U28 championship.”
With 3 stages to go it was a case of finishing which is exactly what Josh and James did. More consistent times through the final loop secured their 8th place overall and 4th in the FIA ERC U28’s championship. In the championship standing this move Josh up to 4th in the Under 28’s after missing a round. “It was an amazing event, the speeds were immense, I am just delighted to get to the finish, a big thanks to James for keeping me on the road and everyone at Tom Gahan Motorsport for a great car!”
The next event for the team will be the Czech Baurm Zlin Rally, a real classic in the European Rally Championship. “I can’t wait to go to Zlin, its such an historic event. We have all seen the videos of the rally and it looks absolutely crazy and if this weekend is anything to go by the pace will be nuts!”.
Photo: FIA ERC