While rooting through my collection of VHS tapes the other day, I came across this one. By 2004, I had semi retired from racing and begun doing some commentary and journalism work. The Phoenix Park was always special though and after a night socialising with Sean Woods, I was somehow persuaded to drive his SWR Uno in the traditional August meeting.
Having just missed out on a Vee win 10 years before after a great battle with Brian Hearty and Ray Moore and finally got my Park win in 2008 in a Ritmo, I knew I would be in with a shout as Sean was always one of the best at preparing the little Fiats. (Quick Unos were always a bit pointy and taily but Sean’s was so severe I nearly lost it coming out of assembly!) Qualifying was close though and I was pipped to pole by a tenth by Paul Dalton. After a messy first start and subsequent red flag, when half the Unos went on the Punto flag, while I had my arms folded (!), we got away again and I managed to wrest the lead from Paul and hang on for the win. Richie Kearney took the Punto honours and we partied until the early hours. somehow we got up and emulated the result on the Sunday, but Gary Cunningham made me work a bit harder second time round! Hard to believe this is 11 years ago!
Excellent coverage by Senan O’Connor. Image from Con Connolly.
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