Grzegorz Kalinecki’s SEAT Leon FR showed improved pace at Mondello park yesterday as the MicksGarage.com ITCC returned to the Kildare venue for rounds 7&8 of the series. Since their double win in Bishopscourt last month, the Sportchip.ie team had not been resting on their laurels, and had managed to remove an incredible 42kg from the SEAT Cupra R in their quest to improve performance even more.
In qualifying, Grzegorz was second, pipped to the class pole by main rival Ian O’Driscoll, but happy to be on the front row for the Touring Class. When the lights went out, O’Dricscoll led away, but at turn 4, under pressure from Kalinecki, he went wide and dropped back. In the early stages, the Sportchip.ie SEAT, now leading the class comfortably, hung onto the coat tails of the slick shod Super Touring Class cars. Towards the end, with Kalinecki having eased off to ensure the win, O’Driscoll was almost close enough to challenge but an ill timed move resulted in contact between both, with Kalinecki retiring on the spot and the officials subsequently adding a time penalty to O’Driscoll from the results for his part in the incident.
In race two, with the grid reversed, the Sportchip.ie SEAT started at the back, whilst main rival O’Driscoll started on pole, a legacy of his race one penalty! The pair soon got to the front though and enjoyed a spectacular battle for the class lead. Unfortunately in the closing stages, with the duo running side by side, Kalinecki ran wide at turn three and by the time he recovered, O’Driscoll was away.
One second place is not what the Blanchardstown based team were aiming for but with their main rival’s penalty, the damage was limited and the Sportchip SEAT still leads the championship with four rounds to run.
The Sportchip.ie team will be back in action on July 12th at Mondello Park, this time on the shorter National circuit.