The Ulster Rally starts in Newry

The 2022 Ulster Rally began today with a ceremonial start at Modern Tires’ state-of-the-art facility in Newry’s Carnbane Industrial Estate, the same venue as the post-rally celebrations. This is also where the service park is being built, where fans big and small can experience the cars up close.

Spectators will have further opportunities to view the cars and the drivers and co-drivers at rally regroupings tonight, Friday 19 August at 18:30 in Banbridge town center and again at the the following morning from 11:45 to meet the Armagh City Hotel car park.

At this weekend’s Modern Tires Ulster Rally, all eyes will be on Josh Moffett as he seeks his second Irish Tarmac Rally Championship title after seven hard-fought events. As the winner of the title in 2018, the Monaghan man is assured of glory for a second time if he finishes as the top-placed points rider in either Friday’s or Saturday’s Ulster stage.

However, given his pace and consistency in what has been a remarkable year for Moffett so far, few would bet against him to make it his fifth win in the cross-border series. He has previously won the Galway International Rally in February, the West Cork Rally at St Patrick’s Weekend, the three-day Donegal International in June and the Cork ’20’ International in July. He has also achieved consecutive second finishes at the Circuit of Ireland and Killarney International rallies.

That puts him a respectable 32-points ahead of Meirion Evans in second place – the only one who can deny him the crown at the Newry meeting. To do that, the Welshman – at the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 – needs to get maximum points on both days of the Tarmac Classic and hope Moffett’s Hyundai i20 R5 runs into trouble – or finish fifth at the end of Friday or worse again on Saturday.

Meirion Evans.
Meirion Evans is currently the No. 1 seed.

A four horse race for the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship crown has been reduced to two as Claudy’s Callum Devine has opted to miss out on the Northern Ireland Motor Club showpiece after clinching the second win of 2022 that he so badly needed. where Cork had not won in the last month. 20′ International.

Another non-starter is Alastair Fisher – the nephew of four-time Ulster Rally winner Bertie. His title prospects were wiped out early on the final day of the Cork ’20’ International when he was leading when he damaged the suspension of his Modern Tires-liveried Volkswagen Polo. “We won’t compete this time,” he confirmed. “Of course we are disappointed not to support the event on this occasion.”

Other notable Rally2/R5 drivers include reigning Northern Ireland Champion Jonathan Greer (Citroen C3 Rally2) and former Northern Ireland Rally Champion Stuart Biggerstaff (Ford Fiesta R5), multiple rally winner Desi Henry (Ford Fiesta Rally2) and the experienced Alan Carmichael (Hyundai i20 R5).

The Irish Tarmac Rally Championship’s Rally4, Modified and Historic titles are also decided at the Modern Tires Ulster Rally. The junior trophy was already decided in Ryan MacHugh’s favor after he completed the penultimate point in Cork, although fuel rail problems dropped him to the bottom of the field. However, he persevered and continued to rack up the points he needed to take the title over the line.

Those wishing to follow both days’ action can do so by visiting the Ulster Rally website (www.ulsterrally.co.uk) or the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ulsterrally). Results and commentary will also be part of the live action over the weekend.

Modern Tires Ulster Rally – Top 10 Seeds
1. Josh Moffett / Andy Hayes (Hyundai i20 R5)
2. Meirion Evans / Jonathan Jackson (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5)
3. Jonathan Greer / Niall Burns (Citroën C3 Rally2)

4. Desi Henry / Paddy Robinson (Ford Fiesta Rally2)
5. Jason Mitchell/Paddy McCrudden (Ford Fiesta Rally2)
6. Stuart Biggerstaff / Anthon Nestor (Ford Fiesta R5)
7. Alan Carmichael / Arthur Kierans (Hyundai i20 R5)
8. Niall Henry / Barney Mitchell (Citroen C3 R5)

9. Michael McGarrity / Damian Garvey (Skoda Fabia R5)
10. Cal McCarthy/Eric Calnan (Citroen DS3 R5)

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