Donagh Kelly, who is one of the Donegal entries in the Munster Rally
As the Triton Showers National Rally Championship reaches the halfway mark with the Rathkeale Hotel Circuit of Munster Rally on Sunday next, the main question is can any of the Donegal crews (Boyle or Kelly) stop the Sam Moffett march to the national title for the Vard Memorial Trophy? Manus Kelly is the other big Donegal interest on Sunday.
There’s a fascinating entry for the nine-stage event that will be contested over a three-stage loop just off the N21 around Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale.
Monaghan ace Sam Moffett has virtually been invincible in the current series. On-board his Ford Fiesta WRC, he has won all three rounds to date – taking 62 of the 63 Triton points that were available.
Former national champions Kelly (2015) and Declan Boyle, who won the series in 2014 and 2013, know what’s needed and they must break Moffett’s dominance to have any chance of success.
In addition to his Triton title bid, Kelly, who won the Circuit of Munster two years ago, will also be using the rally as a shakedown for his home event, the Donegal International in a few weeks time. Indeed, many of the others in the top ten are on a similar mission including fellow Donegal driver Declan Boyle (Ford Fiesta WRC), Manus Kelly (Subaru WRC) and Monaghan’s Josh Moffett, who will be on his first event since crashing on the last Triton round in Monaghan.
Boyle, who won last week’s Cavan Rally, will be in buoyant form as he too tries to stop the Moffett express and secure his own third national title.
The top quality entry also features Fermanagh’s Alastair Fisher (Ford Fiesta R5), who is also on a test ahead of Donegal while Cork’s Keith Cronin will use his own Ford Fiesta R5 as he gets in some tarmac experience ahead of his BRC outing in the Ypres Rally.
In the Junior category, Donegal’s Michael Boyle (Honda Civic) is the top seed with opposition emanating from fellow Honda Civic drivers Brian Brady (Meath), Jonny Treanor (Monaghan), Tom Holton (Meath), Shane Norris (Tipperary) and Patrick Naughton (Limerick).