Cullen leads SEAT Supercup to Mondello
Michael Cullen leads the exciting new SEAT Supercup Ireland as it makes its first visit to Mondello Park this Sunday (7th June), the Murray Motorsport driver holding a slender one point advantage at the top of the championship standings. A race winner on the opening weekend of the SEAT Ireland backed championship, Cullen faces a growing grid of the SEAT Sport built Leon Supercopas for the third & fourth rounds which will be run on the County Kildare’s 3.5km long International circuit. Having commenced last month at Bishopscourt in County Down, the second of championship’s five scheduled race weekend welcomes the addition of Brian Berry and 2013 Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Niall Murray to the grid. While the event will mark the first race outing in a Supercopa for Murray, the 20-year-old reigning Irish Formula Ford Champion is relishing the opportunity having enjoyed a successful test in the car last week alongside potential championship addition Richie Faulkner.
Behind the Supervalu Killester backed Leon of multiple saloon car champion Cullen, MM Motorsport’s Rod McGovern and Sean Woods Racing’s John Farrelly sit joint second. Former Irish Supercar Champion McGovern, a driving force behind the introduction of the SEAT Supercup, was disappointed with his performance at the opening event, picking up a 4th in Race 1 and a 2nd in Race 2. Looking for a better weekend in Mondello, the MM Motorsport driver has drafted in Morgan Dempsey Jnr to assist the team with ensuring the Medical Banks backed car runs right at the sharp end. Opening his campaign with two podium finishes, Farrelly will be looking to repeat the form he showed at Mondello earlier this year when in preparation for the SEAT Supercup he entered the MicksGarage Irish Tourng Car Championship and claimed a double victory.
Going down as the championship’s first ever race winner, having topped qualifying for round 1 at Bishopscourt, Niall Quinn can again be expected to a forced to be reckoned with. With Coffee Perfect just one of a number of companies supporting the former A1 Grand Prix driver’s self run effort, the 26-year-old former Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year is excited about the prospects of going up against a more recent winner of that prestigious award in Niall Murray. Fourth in the championship standings, the Dunboyne driver has only raced on the Mondello’s international circuit once before back in 2006, but as he showed on when he raced the front wheel drive Leon for the first time and won an ITCC encounter on the National track he is quick to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings.
Running on Yokohama tyres, with the Japanese manufacturer again sending a tyre technician to support teams & drivers for the event, qualifying takes place at 09:40 on Sunday morning with a bonus championship point on offer to the driver who secures pole position. The first of the two races takes place at 14:00 with Race 2 scheduled for 17:20.