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After SS1: Moffett Leads after Slippery Opening Test at Lakeland Stages

AFTER SS1: All of the front running crews reported the opening stage to be very slippery but fastest through the test were Sam Moffett and James Fulton in their Fiesta.

“I’m running first on the road so I’ll use the Ogier excuse and say it was very loose in there!” Moffett laughed.

No excuses were needed though as he set the pace by two seconds from both Desi Henry and Cathan McCourt who shared second fastest time.

“I’m just getting used to the car,” Henry said. “The cars behind will definitely have an advantage.”

Cathan McCourt echoed everyone’s thoughts as he too found the stage slippery while Michael Carbin could be one to keep an eye on. He had a “bit of an overshoot” but still set fourth fastest time.

There were few dramas for the leading crews but Derek McGarrity was concerned about a misfire in his Fiesta WRC. He was 10th fastest, one second behind championship rival Derek McGeehan. McGeehan’s son, Mark, is reading pace notes for the first time in the forests today.

Stephen Wright is another N.I. Championship hopeful. He has won two rounds this year and the Lakeland event marks his first time in the woods in seven years. He managed to match McGarrity’s pace on the opening stage so an interesting battle is on the cards!

Elsewhere, Patrick O’Brien had some intercom trouble, Niall McGonigle isn’t used to running so high up the order and is finding it very slippery, and Liam Regan admitted to being a bit rusty and thought he hit something with the right front wheel.

Donall Sweeney was full of smiles at the stage finish and commented, “that was loose fast and scary…good craic!”

There were some worries for zero car’s crew running at the head of the field. They lost power near the finish, then the car refused to restart but they eventually got going again!

Latest results available from www.rallyscore.net.

Jonathan

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