Tom Cave wins Exciting West Cork Rally

IRDC member Tom Cave took his first four wheel drive British Rally Championship win on the West Cork Rally 16 & 17 March. With co driver James Morgan, Cave won the event by 4.8 seconds in their Hyundai i20 R5 from reigning champion Matt Edwards Ford Fiesta R5 in second, with defending Irish Tarmac champion Josh Moffett Ford Fiesta R5 rounded out the podium. This win was the first BRC win for the Korean manufacturer Hyundai since David Higgins in 2004.

The Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally formed the second round of the BRC for the very first time and the event provided two days and over 200km of exciting rallying action. On some of the most iconic roads in Irish rallying, the weather also provided a formidable challenge as a wet and slippery first day was coupled with a flat out blast on bone dry asphalt on the second.

FIA World Rally Championship regulars Craig Breen and Paul Nagle took a comfortable overall win on the rally, but it was the fight in Britains premier rallying series that kept everyone on the edge of their seats right until the end. Defending Irish Tarmac Champion Josh Moffett with Keith Moriarty on the notes were quickest out the blocks, making their aspirations very clear and over the course of the opening five stages pulled out a 14.4 second lead. However, driveshaft woes forced them into two wheel drive on stage six, dropping them down to third and out of the leading battle.

Desi Henry was another driver keen to make his mark but unfortunately, he and navigator Liam Moynihan crashed out of second place on the first loop of stages in their Skoda Fabia R5, thankfully both were unhurt. Up stepped 2018 British Rally Champion and series leader Matt Edwards and co driver Patrick Walsh in their Pirelli supported Ford Fiesta R5. The Welsh crew were building the pace as the opening day unfolded and went into the overnight halt with a slender lead over Tom Cave.

Going into the final day, the two Welsh crews fought for the BRC win. Cave woke up in an inspired mood to go eight seconds quicker than Edwards and leap frogged the M Sport star in the process. The tussle for victory was to be a seesaw affair as the duo traded times and positions all afternoon with only 4.9 seconds going into the final stage.

Despite Edwards best effort, Cave was to be too strong this weekend and he and James Morgan won the BRC section of the event by 4.8 seconds to take their first BRC win together. After coming so close to an event win in recent times, Tom was elated at the finish. Matt Edwards did all he could, but a strong second place stretches his championship lead going into the Pirelli International Rally, an event he won last year. Josh Moffetts rhythm was effected after his driveshaft issues, but did enough to round out the final rostrum position.

BRC Championship Positions after two rounds
1. Matt Edwards 43
2. Marty McCormack 27
3. David Bogie 26
4. Tom Cave 25
5. Josh Moffett 25
6. Desi Henry 12
7. Jonny Greer 10
8. Meirion Evans 8

18th March, 2019