A Moffett in a Mk2 Escort… Yes, you have read it correctly – David Moffett will start Sunday’s Cork 20 International Rally in a Ford Escort Mk2. It’s the first time in his 12 years of rallying he’ll drive anything other than a Toyota Starlet, a car with close ties to his family.
“We felt we were ready for a move up from Class 13 to Class 14,” explained Moffett. “Unfortunately the rules no longer allow us to build a Toyota Starlet with a 2.5 litre engine.
“We had been keeping an eye out and thought this Escort fitted the bill. We traded the car in 2020 and ended up changing the engine so it has taken a while to get sorted.”
Moffett has fitted a 2.5 litre KPG engine along with the usual suspects that lie beneath a modern modified Escort. The car was built in 2018 and has yet to complete a stage, although Moffett has been out for some test runs.
“I drove it around Ballykelly at an RSA event two weeks ago but unfortunately had a few issues.
“We got a few laps around Nutts Corner last week and everything is sorted now. I haven’t been on a closed road yet so we’ll find out in Cork.
“On first impression it feels quite big compared to the Starlet!”
The Monaghan duo of Moffett and Martin Connelly had quite the year in 2019. They claimed the Class 13 National Rally title in the Starlet with two top five overall finishes in Sligo and the Fastnet Stages to round out the season.
With more grunt under the bonnet of Moffett’s new Escort, it will be interesting to see where he ends up in Cork 20’s stellar modified line-up.
“I can’t wait to get rallying again, it’s been a long time. We had a great year in 2019 and then it all stopped – hopefully we haven’t forgotten!
“We don’t really have any aims for Cork just because we don’t have much seat-time and need to get used to the new car.
“Fingers crossed we get a clean run and hopefully we can get close to the pace towards the end of the day.”
Photos by Philip Stewart and Adam Hall