Josh Moffett says he is pleased he stuck to his guns and persevered with the R5 version of Hyundai’s i20 after it carried him to successive Irish National Rally Championship titles at the weekend.
Moffett’s incredible run of form continued on last Sunday’s Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally in Clonmel where he won by a minute and nine seconds to make it six perfect scores from the opening six rounds.
That was more than he needed to retain the Vard Memorial Trophy and, in doing so, equalled a win record previously set by older brother Sam when he lifted the title in 2017 aboard a Ford Fiesta World Rally Car, and Donie Keating before that in 1981.
However, no driver in the history of the Championship has managed to make it seven victories on the trot or a full house of firsts in the same calendar year – something that remains within Moffett’s reach with the Galway Summer Rally and the Donegal Harvest Rally still to be held on August 28 and October 8 respectively. He has previously insisted, however, that a clean sweep of first place finishes is not something that has crossed his mind.
Central to Moffett’s success – which extends to the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship that he currently leads with just the Cork ‘20’ and Ulster International rallies left – has been unlocking the speed of the South Korean car. He acquired it last season and initially struggled to gel with it before the flood gates finally opened at the Galway international Rally at the beginning of February.
“We were starting to lose faith in the car towards the end of last year,” he explained. “I think this year we upped it a gear and I started to drive it a bit more on the ragged edge – it seems to be working well for us. I’m really happy with the car, it does everything we want it to do. For sure I’m pleased with it.
“I don’t know what it is but it has all worked this year,” he continued. “It has been a combination of everything, really. If you take from Keith [Moriarty] and Andy [Hayes] who have been sitting with me, sharing co-driving responsibilities, and doing a top job for me all year, to Tom [Gahan] and the boys who run the car and have done a fabulous job with it. Things really could not have gone any better.”