Moffett Claims MIJRS J1000 Title with Carrick Sprint Win
Tommy Moffett celebrates 2023 J1000 series title and victory on final round. Pic by Cian Donnellan.
Setting a scorching pace all day, including concluding the day with the fastest stage time recorded in the Class, it was fitting that Tommy Moffett would conclude an incredibly successful 2023 Motorsport Ireland Junior Rally Series J1000 campaign with victory on the Carrick-on-Suir Rallysprint. Based in the surrounds of Waterford Airport, the sealed surface sprint offered the youngest competitors within the series a second opportunity to compete on the surface within the year, and as what had occurred on Round 3, the Wexford Albatross Sprint, it would be Monaghan’s Moffett who would take victory.
At the end of five high speed runs around the Waterford venue, it was Moffett that had built a 5.3 second advantage over Danny Brady to take victory, with series debutant David Travers taking a very well deserved third place. Ireland Junior National Mixed-Surface Rally Series, the victors this year will receive development opportunities offered through the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy with the aim of helping to advance the future of Ireland rallying talent, and with the J1000 series it is the ultimate starting step for some of the youngest competitors competing on Irish stages. For Moffett, looking back at his season will surely raise a wry smile, with plenty of highlights to reflect upon including victories on both of the Tarmac Rallysprints, as well as a memorable breakthrough win on the Tipperary Forest Rally earlier in the year.
One of the more remarkable stories of this year’s title race will surely be the efforts made by Ross Ryan over the short seven-day turnaround between Round 5, the Jim Walsh Cork Forest Rally, and the Carrick-on-Suir Rallysprint. For Ryan, his MIJRS hopes looked to be in tatters, quite like his Citroen C1, following a high-speed accident in the woods. But, not to be ones to give up as seen all season, Ryan and his family rallied and sourced a car to use on Sunday, and even in unfamiliar surroundings and on a surface almost unknown to him, he pushed remarkably hard and claimed 4th place, gaining the necessary points to grab what had looked like an unlikely 2nd place only a few days earlier.
The man beaten to third, by a single point, is Jack Harris. Still rueing a costly error on Round 2, the MIJRS J1000 series finished on a high with victory on the Cork Forest event, and many in Irish rallying are excited to see the progression of this young star in the making as he begins a new chapter in his career in a newly acquired Ford Fiesta R2.
While the season is now over for the J1000 section of the series, all our other classes conclude with one final high-speed Tarmac extravaganza as we head to the Clare Stages Rally on September 24th. While the J1600 and Rally5 classes are sown up by Jack McKenna and Jack Brennan respectively, the chase for the premier Rally4/R2 MIJRS title is absolutely red hot. With a lot of drop scores and permutations floating around, the leading duo of Ryan Caldwell and Dylan Eves are the two with the required events completed that are in with a chance at the title, with Caldwell currently holding a six-point advantage on how the Best Two Gravel, Best Two Tarmac and Best Other scoring system looks, but this could very well change come the finish ramp in Ennis.