Sam Moffett took his maiden British Rally Championship victory on the opening round of the 2021 season at Oulton Park.
Taking victory on the Neil Howard Stages in assoc. with Graham Coffey & Co. Solicitors by just one second, Moffett and co-driver Keith Moriarty slowly worked their way up the leaderboard throughout the day.
In his first event in his Ford Fiesta Rally2, the Irishman finished the first stage in a steady fifth place, and used the day to learn the car and increase their pace to be in second after SS6. Time dropped by eventual second place finisher Rhys Yates/James Morgan on SS7 saw Moffett take a slender two second lead going into the final stage which he was able to hold onto.
Second place for Yates matched his previous best finish in the BRC so marked a solid start to his campaign, also in a Fiesta Rally2. He held off a whole host of rapid drivers as the unique single venue nature of this round kept the overall times tight. Frank Bird and Jack Morton led for most of the event, before a spin on SS6 dropped them down to fourth but they battled back to take third by the end of the event.
Sadly for Bird he would later be excluded from the event for his Fiesta Rally2 being underweight at the post event scrutineering checks, which promoted Osian Pryce and Noel O’Sullivan in their VW Polo GTi R5 to the final podium position.
Reigning champions Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod were on the pace from the off, holding a solid second before a 10 second time penalty for failing to slow down after the flying finish dropped them down to fourth overall as they debuted their Polo GTi R5.
Desi Henry and Dale Furniss returned to the championship with a fifth place in their Hyundai i20 R5, whilst another BRC debutant Seb Perez took sixth in his Fiesta Rally2 with Gary McElhinney calling the notes beside him.
Overall winner Sam Moffett’s brother Josh Moffett took seventh with Andy Hayes in a Hyundai i20 R5 while Oli Mellors and Max Freeman took eighth in their Proton Iriz R5, the fourth model of car in the top ten. The final top ten positions were taken by James Wilson/Arther Kierans and Brendan Cumiskey and Ronan O’Kane.
Top 3 Overall:
- Sam Moffett – Ford Fiesta Rally2
- Rhys Yates – Ford Fiesta Rally 2 – +1.0
- Osian Pryce – VW Polo GTi R5 – +8.0
Junior British Rally Championship
William Creighton/Liam Regan used all of their recent Junior World Rally Championship experience to take a start to finish victory in the JBRC. Doing most of the work in the morning, the Ford Fiesta Rally4 crew were able to manage their lead in the afternoon and finished with a winning margin of eleven seconds.
In second was a hard charging Kyle White/Sean Topping, who despite being in a older spec Peugeot 208 R2 showed terrific pace around the eight stages and took a comfortable second. Taking the final podium place was another Fiesta Rally4 occupied by Eamonn Kelly and Conor Mahon who ensured a fully Irish podium.
Finlay Retson/Rhys Stoneman (Fiesta Rally4), took fourth following a day long battle with Kelly, with another Irish crew of Eamonn Creedon and Brian Brady taking fifth in an older Fiesta R2T.
JBRC Top 3:
- William Creighton – Ford Fiesta Rally4
- Kyle White – Peugeot 208 R2 +11
- Eamonn Kelly – Ford Fiesta Rally4 +18