Irishman Josh Moffett and co-driver John Rowan have won the second round of the MSA British Rally Championship.
Ford and DS
No fewer than four drivers held the lead during the two-day event, but the 23-year-old mastered the Belfast-based event in his Ford Fiesta R5 to claim a 27 second margin over Jonathan Greer and Kirsty Riddick in their Citroen DS3 R5.
The cars and stars descended upon Lisburn city centre for a spectacular Ceremonial Start. Thousands of spectators lined the streets to see the crews cross the start ramp in front of the Irish Linen Museum. Louis Walsh of X-Factor fame and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Mayor, Councillor Thomas Beckett helped flag away the cars into the two-day event.
The first day was to be a real challenge for the BRC crews, as treacherous stages and road conditions provided a real test. First on the road were championship leaders Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry, fresh from their opening round success in Mid Wales. The pair drew first blood on the opening stage, leading the event by six seconds before doubling their advantage on the second. Drama and retirement was to follow on stage three as the auxiliary belt let go on the DMACK Ford Fiesta R5. Restarting under super rally rules, the WRC stars showed their class with four fastest overall stage times before retiring again, this time after an accident.
The Circuit of Ireland showed its reputation as one of the most prestigious yet difficult rallying events in the world, as crew after crew fell by the wayside. But as the final loop began, Josh Moffett continued his inspired form and established a comfortable gap ahead of Johnny Greer, who had enjoyed an uneventful rally, staying clear of trouble to take a first BRC podium finish since 2012. Tom Cave overcame gearbox gremlins in his Fiesta R5 to chalk up a solid fourth place while Jamie Anderson, who had never competed in a Tarmac event before, put in a fine drive to round out the top five in a similar Fiesta R5.