A successful weekend of Motorsport for our Club and Members was topped off on Sunday Evening when news came through that popular Club Member Andy Hayes had guided Monaghan’s Josh Moffett to victory on the M-Sport Stages in the UK.
Andy has had a busy few weeks on both sides of the Atlantic as he sat with Josh for the Neil Howard Stages which was the 1st Round of the British Rally Championship where they finished 11th Overall in their Hyundai I20 R5 before heading to Ohio in the USA to take the hotseat in a Skoda R5 for Round 4 of the ARA with Ryan Booth, where the crew were running an excellent 4th overall before their Rally ended on Stage 12.
The M-Sport stages was a Ford only event attracting some of the Top Drivers and Machinery from both the UK and Ireland so any victory was going to be hard fought and so it proved on Stage 1 when Andy and Josh in their Fiesta WRC went 2nd Fastest, 7 secs down on fellow BRC Contender Rhys Yates with M-Sports Matthew Wilson giving the new Fiesta R3 its debut 3rd Fastest. Yates would also top the timesheets on Stages 2 & 3, but Josh and Andy were well in touch just 10 secs off the M-Sport backed driver.
The cancelation of Stage 4 gave the guys a chance to re-focus before setting the fastest time on Stage 5, 1 sec quicker than Yates and were fastest again on Stage 6 – reducing the deficit to Yates to 7 secs. A blistering time on Stage 7 saw Josh and Andy turn a 7 second deficit into a 10 second lead and with the Fiesta R2 of Cork Man Keith Cronin 57 secs in arrears in 3rd place it was going to be a 2-way battle for top spot on the podium over the last 3 Stages.
Josh and Andy were again fastest on Stage 8 by 4 secs from Yates and Morgan, and with both crews setting an equal fastest time on Stage 9 the guys had a 14 sec lead going into the Final Stage. Thankfully, there were to be no dramas on the final stage with Josh and Andy setting 2nd fastest time to take the win by 13 secs from Rhys Yates and James Morgan with Keith Cronin and Mikey Galvin taking the final podium spot.
All of us at Wexford Motor Club would like to pass on our congratulations to Josh and Andy on a great win. The guys won’t have much time to celebrate their win as they take to the stages once again this weekend for the Nicky Grist Stages Rally which is Round 2 of the British Rally Championship where they will revert back to the Hyundai I20 R5. Josh and Andy will battle it out once again with Yates, Cronin, Wilson, and a host of others for what should be a hugely exciting event and hopefully the guys will be celebrating their 2nd win in succession come Saturday Evening.
The best of luck Andy and Josh from all at Wexford Motor Club…