Ballybeg’s Jemma Kerley and Piltown’s Tommy Cuddihy (Mitsubishi) compete in Sunday’s Dooley’s Hotel/Kilsheelan Limestone Quarries Raven’s Rock Rally. Photos: Martin Walsh.
As the Triton Showers National Rally Championship weaves its way around the country, the Carrick on Suir Motor Club hosts the fifth round, the Kilsheelan Limestone Quarries Raven’s Rock Rally on Sunday next. The nine-stage rally will be based at Dooley’s Hotel, The Quay, Waterford and marks the beginning of the second half of the Triton series.
So far this season, Monaghan’s Josh Moffett has won three of the four rounds – he took the spoils in Abbeyleix, Longford and Limerick, ironically, he missed out on victory on his home event in Monaghan when his car sustained a puncture whilst leading.
On each rally, there are twenty championship points awarded to the winner, eighteen for second, sixteen for third, fourteen for fourth and descending by a point per position thereafter. In addition, the driver (registered for the series) that sets the best time on the final stage, called the “Power Stage” will gain an additional point.
Moffett has won all the other top rally championships in Irish rallying – the Irish Tarmac series and the Irish Forest Rally Championship of which the Carrick on Suir Motor Club’s event, the Willie Loughman Forest Rally was a counting round.
Out of the maximum 84 points available from the previous four events Moffett, who drives a Ford Fiesta WRC, has garnered 80 points and while that is certainly championship winning performance, he will take nothing for granted over Sunday’s nine stages that are located near Dungarvan.
Former Triton champion Clonmel’s Roy White, also in a Ford Fiesta WRC, is Moffett’s nearest rival albeit twelve points behind. The series is based on the best seven scores from its eight rallies and history shows that consistency is the hallmark of championship success. White won the series in 2016, fittingly on his home rally, the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally that was based in Clonmel, ironically, he won the series without actually winning an event, a strong and consistent series of top finishes was enough to seal success.
In the meantime, he has won rallies in Nenagh and Cork, the latter on the Cork “20” International Rally, his first at this level. However, he has still to win a round of the Triton series and he will be aiming to end that statistic on Sunday.
Another former champion Donegal’s Declan Boyle, also in a Fiesta WRC, is also in the title equation. Last year he became only the second person to win the series for a third time. He has a tough task to land a record breaking fourth crown and having retired from the Longford Rally he has no further room for error.
Championship sponsor Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett in his Triton Showers liveried Subaru WRC is also competing.
Cork’s David Guest competes in his Skoda Fabia S2000 and his fellow countyman Jason Ryan (Toyota Starlet) from nearby Youghal will be one of the main contenders in Class 11F. Given its location, the rally is popular with overseas competitors, Welshman John Dalton (Darrian T90), England’s Sacha Kakad (Ford Fiesta R5) and Martyn England (Ford Fiesta R5) and Welsh aces Hugh Hunter (Ford Focus WRC) and Tomas Davies (Ford Escort) are just some of the drivers journeying across the Irish Sea.
However, for the likes of Dunhill’s Richard Harney (Ford Escort) and Dungarvan’s Shane Kenneally (Honda Civic) and Ballybeg’s Gemma Kerley (Mitsubishi) the trip is only a few kilometres and they will all be aiming to impress on home territory. In the Group N category Clashmore’s Brian O’Keefe (Mitsubsihi EvoIX) is the top local entry, he faces oposition from Monaghan’s Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi EvoIX) and Dubliner Neil Tohill Gerard Tohill (Mitsubishi EvoX). Elsewhere, Killarney’s Colin O’ Donoghue (Ford Escort) and Down’s David Armstrong (Ford Escort) are also on the entry list.
Organising Club: Carrick on Suir Motor Club.
Clerk of the Course: James Coleman.
Rally Headquarters: Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford.
TIMES & PLACES
First Car Away: The Quay, Waterford.
S.S. 1,4 & 7: Grange (15.00Km) 9.12, 12.15 14.21.
S.S. 2, 5 & 8: Kilnafarna Hill (17.12Km) 9.52, 12.55 & 15.18.
S.S. 3,6 & 9: Woodhouse (7.77Km) 10.35, 13.38 & 16.41.
Service: Storeall Warehouse complex, Dungarvan. 8.35, 11.18 & 14.21
Finish Ramp: The Quay, Waterford 17.56.
Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) and his Wexford co-driver Andy Hayes lead the way in the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.
TRITON SHOWERS NRC STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4
1. J. Moffett 80pts; 2. R. White 68pts; 3. D. Boyle 51pts; 4. P. Hurson 40pts; 5. J. McGonigle 35pts; 6. K. Eves 31pts; =7. N. Devine & S. Moffett 26pts; 9. J. Stafford 25pts & 10. D. Kelly 21pts.