Josh Moffett & Stephen Thornton got their 2018 Valvoline Motorsport Ireland National Forest Championship back on track with a hard fought victory on the second round of the series, the Treaty Plant Hire Limerick Forest Rally. Driving a Ford Fiesta R5 they took a while to settle and were lying third until Stage 6 when leaders Andrew Purcell & Mark Wiley picked up a puncture and damaged a wheel. Moffett’s stage six time catapulted him into the lead ahead of Barry McKenna & Leon Jordan with Purcell dropping 40 seconds and into third place. That was the way it remained till the finish with Moffetts Fiesta coming out on top by 13.8 seconds from McKenna’s similar car with Purcell’s Fiesta R5 in third place another 14 seconds further back.
David Crossen & Aileen Kelly made up for the disappointment of a first stage retirement on the previous round and were an impressive 8th overall and top 2WD car in their Escort. They were pushed hard all the way by Shane McGirr & Eamon Hayes in a Toyota Starlet with less than fifteen seconds separating the pair by the end of the eight stages. Mickey Conlon who took top points on the opening round had to settle for third this time around.
The Junior Category was won by Marty Gallagher & Dean O’Sullivan in a Peugeot 208 R2 who were very impressive on their way to 12th overall. Derek Mackarel and & Daire Hayes pushed them hard all day in their Vauxhall Nova and were only twelve seconds behind their rivals with both crews recovering from a non-finish on the opening round. John O’Sullivan and Padraig O’Donovan were third in the category in a Ford Fiesta R2.
The M. O’Brien Plant Hire Junior 1000 category for 15-19 year olds saw Jason Murphy take his second maximum score of the season in his Peugeot 107. Peter Beaton from Scotland pushed Murphy very hard and brought his similar car home second just 18 seconds behind. Aoife Gahan (Chevrolet Spark) was a further minute back ahead of Rory Byrne (Citroen C1).
LIMERICK M C TREATY PLANT HIRE FOREST RALLY AT SILVERMINES, CO TIPPERARY (ROUND 2 OF VALVOLINE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP):
1 Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton (Fiesta R5) 40m 37s,
2 Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan (Fiesta R5) 40m 51s,
3 Andrew Purcell/Mark Wiley (Fiesta R5) 41m 06s,
4 Cathan McCourt/Brian Hoy (Citroen DS3) 42m 19s,
5 Stephen McCann/Kaine Treanor (Fiesta S2000) 42m 39s,
6 Gerard Lucey/J J Cremin (Lancer Evo 8) 43m 45s,
7 Donall Sweeney/Stephen O’Hanlon (Lancer Evo 6) 43m 49s,
8 David Crossen/Aileen Kelly (Escort) 43m 57s,
9 John Byrnes/James Lowry (Lancer Evo 8) 44m 11s,
10 Shane McGirr/Eamonn Hayes (Starlet) 44m 12s.
Junior 1000 Class: 1 Jason Murphy/Matthew Murphy (Peugeot 107) 55m 10s.