The AceSigns Cork 20 International Rally, the final round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship has turned into a battle between Sam and Josh Moffett with half of the event completed. Newly crowned Tarmac Champion Sam Moffett currently leads his brother Josh by 10.8 seconds overnight after a day that tested competitors due to very tricky weather conditions. Aaron MacHale was the first major casualty when he went off the road on the opening stage while Alastair Fisher who had been lying in third and well in contention stopped in Stage 5 with a mechanical problem. He is still in the event but has dropped back to sixth overall which leaves Donegal driver Joe McGonigle in third place over two and a half minutes off the lead. With 8 more stages tomorrow in ‘Coleman Country’ around Millstreet the leaderboard could change in a big way if the weather conditions are anything like today with heavy rain at times and generally slippery conditions.
The front wheel drive international battle is hotting up with both William Creighton and James Wilson featuring strongly in the top ten and separated by just over 3o seconds which leaves it all to play for while William Mavitty in thirteenth place has the Group N title wrapped up for 2017. The Modified Champions Kevin Eves and William Lynch show no signs of letting up as they look like adding to their tally of maximum scores. Jason McSweeney and Eugene Meegan are the closest championship registered crews to Eves but both are over a minute behind while Sean Moynihan, John Devlin and newly crowned Historic Champion Barry Jones are all featuring in the top ten.
The Historic category is being led comfortably by Keith McIvor who has second place in the series secured while Duncan Williams and Alan Watkins are looking to end the season on a high and lie in second and third place respectively. Shawn Rayner suffered a broken driveshaft on stage two but is back running in Rally 2. The Junior Championship is still very much up for grabs with Justin Ryan and Jenna McCann doing battle and lying an impressive third and fourth overall in a very competitive field. With these crews tackling four of the remaining eight stages tomorrow it will go right down to the wire in the quest to become Irish Tarmac Junior Champions for 2017.