With his sixth victory in as many events, the latest on the FAAC Simply automatic/Sligo Park Hotel Rally, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett (Ford Fiesta WRC) has clinched the Triton Showers National Rally Championship in style.
Co-driven by Cork’s Karl Atkinson, 27-year-old Moffett finished a minute and 35.6 seconds clear of the Skoda Fabia R5 of Derry’s Desi Henry and his Cork co-driver Liam Moynihan.
Former champion Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) and his co-driver Enda Sherry were a minute and 22.2 seconds further behind in third.
Moffett held a slender lead after the opening stage but his Fiesta WRC was very twitchy on the remaining two stages, where Declan Boyle (Fiesta WRC) moved into a 9.4-second lead.
Late entry Josh Moffett (Fiesta R5) was 17.4 seconds further behind in third.
On the second loop, both Boyle and reigning champion Roy White (Fiesta WRC) survived incidents after both slid wide on a right-hander and clouted a bank.
Josh Moffett punctured and dropped two minutes on special stage five, while a puncture cost Boyle three minutes and the lead on special stage six, with the Donegal driver subsequently withdrawing at the stage finish.
That allowed Sam Moffett take total control as he led the Skoda Fabia R5 of Desi Henry by a minute and 12.3 seconds. The latter reckoned his car was down on power, possibly due to a leak in the turbo boost.
Maguire, despite a major overshoot on special stage five, was third, albeit a minute and half behind.
The top six also included White, Kenny McKinstry (Subaru WRC) and the unlucky Boyle.
Josh Moffett was eighth.
Sam Moffett went on to seal his sixth win of the season, he also won the power stage. En-route to his first ever national title, he has claimed all but one of the 126 points that were available.
Meanwhile, another Monaghan driver, Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi), won Group N and has opened up a significant lead in the series.