The August meeting at Mondello Park maybe have been small in terms of numbers, with a few classes not appearing, and bar Fiestas, grids not exactly bulging, but we were treated to some fantastic racing. It was great to see FF1600 back at Mondello Park. It’s hard to believe that they had yet to visit the Kildare venue in 2015. I am old enough to remember when there were three races – an A, B and C race for the Fords. While quantity was an issue, with just 9 cars turning out, quality certainly wasn’t, with three of the quickest guys about topping the timesheets after qualifying. Jonny McMullan, in the Motorsport Ireland/Irish Sports Council Van Diemen claimed pole by a few hundredths from Jake Byrne with 2014 Vivion Daly trophy winner Rob Barrable right there in third. McMullan has been winning across the water in 2015 and Byrne has been dominant in Kirkistown, with 7 wins to his name this year- so the prospect of seeing them go head to head was mouth watering for FF1600 fans. Barrable is probably the most adaptable driver around at the moment, hugely competitive in whatever he turns his hand to- race or rally, so he was not to be discounted either. McMullan made no mistakes to lead away in race one, and when Byrne’s attempt to go round the outside failed at turn one, Barrable didn’t wait for a written invitation to move to second. To make matters worse for Byrne, a grassy moment at turn three let the leaders away and Jonny Mulholland past into third place. Barrable was on it straight away, and began to attack McMullan immediately. In their wake, Byrne quickly despatched Mulholland and got the head down to try and close the gap. Up front McMullan had eked out a small gap to Barrable and despite Byrne’s pace, he was too far back to worry either. Unfortunately for McMullan, he went off at turn three handing the win to Barrable with Byrne also getting by for runner up spot. Race two, for the Trophy, was pretty much a carbon copy as Barrable again snatched second into turn one by glueing himself to McMullan’s gearbox. Byrne again fell back, but crucially not by as much this time. McMullan got the head down and pulled away from Barrable. Byrne was on a charge though and closed down Barrable, taking the place into turn one and heading off after the leader. As he closed, McMullan was visibly pushing hard but a succession of fastest laps brought Byrne onto his gearbox with just a couple of laps to run. McMullan went defensive and it was superb display of wheel to wheel racing to the end, with Barrable closing back on the battling duo. Byrne got a great run out of the final corner and was almost alongside as they crossed the line but McMullan had done enough to take a fantastic win and become the second winner of the Vivion Daly Trophy.
Jordan Dempsey was untouchable in Ginetta Junior Ireland- dominating qualifying and both races to retake the championship lead. An off form James Roe had a bad day, ending in big contact with Darragh Denning in race two. It is great to see numbers coming back up in this class. The cars are not expensive and it must be a good training ground if it gave us the likes of Andrew Watson, Niall Murray, Jake Byrne etc. Jack Byrne continued his unbeaten run in Junior Fiestas despite the best efforts of Adam Geraghty. For some reason, there were again only two of these cars out- with the regs the same as the senior class, I’m amazed we don’t have a few more.
Barry Hallion made a return to the track in Future Classics, testing Gary Griffin’s newly built Punto. Unfortunately for him, he smashed the barrier time in qualifying and this started from the back. Timmy Duggan led away but David Hammond’s diminutive Uno kept him honest with Robbie Parks’ Castrol liveried Celica in there too. Eoghan O’Brien, Aidan Byrne and the charging Hallion, all Punto mounted, gradually despatched Parks as the Celica melted its front tyres but as ever, he didn’t hand it over without a fight. Duggan held on for the win, with Hammond right with him at the flag. O’Brien and Byrne were next up, with Hallion having broken the barrier again, before retiring with mechanical issues.
Philip Jones took his first ever pole in ASK Supercars. Series leader Sean Doyle was alongside, having had a early off in qualifying- but his title challenger Peter Barrable was right at the back, having failed to complete a lap in qualifying after his fuel pump failed. Graeme Colfer was third just ahead of class returnee Dave O’Brien. The first three came together at turn two with Doyle and Colfer failing to complete the lap and Jones minus most of his rear bodywork. O’Brien quickly assumed the lead but Barrable had avoided the carnage and soon closed in. When the pair encountered backmarkers at turn one on the final lap, Barrable swooped and a brave move around the outside gave him the win- and the title lead. In race two, Colfer go to the front and held on for the win, despite the close attentions of Barrable with O’Brien in third and a disgruntled Doyle fourth.
Keith Dawson avoided the carnage, just, to take the first Blackchurch Fiesta Qualifier, his uncle Alan having retired with massive damage early on. Collie Barrable and Daniel McDonnell completed the podium with Steven Kirwan charging to sixth from the back. (Kirwan had qualified fastest of all but was demoted to the back of the grid after his car was adjudged to be underweight.) Brendan Fitzgerald got ahead of poleman Ulick Burke in the first of the finals. Series leader Barry Rabbitt also usurped Burke but could do nothing about Fitzgerald despite shadowing him for the duration. Burke completed the podium from reigning champion John Denning. Trevor Farrar started the second qualifier from pole position and drove an inch perfect race to take his first win. Kirwan, once again started at the back and scythed through the pack to finish second with Michael Fitzgerald and Phil Lawless next up. In the second final, Fitzgerald again emerged victorious, Rabbitt having to divert his attentions to holding off the charging Kirwan in the closing stages. Kirwan managed to snatch the place by the smallest of margins, having outdragged Rabbitt on the run to the line.
All Images from Michael Chester.
CARLOW CAR CLUB RACE MEETING AT MONDELLO PARK:
VIVION DALY TROPHY FORMULA FORD 1600 RACE (16 laps):
1 Jonny McMullan (Van Diemen LA10) 15m 48.43s, 70.15 mph,
2 Jake Byrne (Ray GR13) 15m 48.50s,
3 Robert Barrable (Ray GR07) 15m 49.30s,
4 Johnnie Mulholland (Van Diemen RF91) 15m 59.95s,
5 Stephen O’Connor (Van Diemen RF90) 16m 07.72s,
6 Denis Sheehan (Crossle 45F) 16m 25.22s.
Fastest lap: Byrne 58.506s, 70.73 mph.
FORMULA FORD 1600 RACE 1 (16 laps):
1 Robert Barrable (Ray GR07) 15m 43.86s, 70.15 mph,
2 Jake Byrne (Ray GR13) 15m 46.18s,
3 Jonny McMullan (Van Diemen LA10) 15m 52.03s,
4 Johnnie Mulholland (Van Diemen RF91) 15m 55.11s,
5 Stephen O’Connor (Van Diemen RF90) 16m 06.56s,
6 Jennifer Mullan (Reynard FF84) 16m 22.90s.
Fastest lap: McMullan 58.306s, 70.98 mph.
BLACKCHURCH MOTORS FIESTA QUALIFYING RACE 1 (12 laps):
1 Keith Dawson 16m 06.79s, 51.34 mph,
2 Colm Barrable 16m 11.21s,
3 Daniel McDonnell 16m 14.30s,
4 Martin Moore 16m 14.39s,
5 James Ronan 16m 19.49s,
6 Stephen Kirwan 16m 20.37s.
Fastest lap: Kirwan 1m 11.456s, 57.91 mph.
BLACKCHURCH MOTORS FIESTA FINAL 1 (13 laps):
1 Brendan Fitzgerald 15m 40.91s, 57.18 mph,
2 Barry Rabbitt 15m 41.35s,
3 Ulick Burke 15m 41.57s,
4 John Denning 15m 42.20s,
5 Stephen Kirwan 15m 43.64s,
6 Keith Dawson 15m 46.24s.
Fastest lap: Fitzgerald 1m 11.721s, 57.70 mph.
BLACKCHURCH MOTORS FIESTA QUALIFYING RACE 2 (12 laps):
1 Trevor Farrar 16m 06.27s, 51.39 mph,
2 Stephen Kirwan 16m 12.91s,
3 Michael Fitzgerald 16m 13.02s,
4 Keith Dawson 16m 13.34s,
5 Philip Lawless 16m 14.26s,
6 Mark O’Donoghue 16m 14.42s.
Fastest lap: Kirwan 1m 11.493s, 57.88 mph.
BLACKCHURCH MOTORS FIESTA FINAL 2 (12 laps):
1 Brendan Fitzgerald 15m 05.88s, 54.82 mph,
2 Stephen Kirwan 15m 08.27s,
3 Barry Rabbitt 15m 08.28s,
4 Ulick Burke 15m 08.51s,
5 John Denning 15m 09.78s,
6 Keith Dawson 15m 11.23s.
Fastest lap: Kirwan 1m 11.451s, 57.92 mph.
ASK SUPERCAR RACE 1 (15 laps):
1 Peter Barrable 15m 36.26s, 66.30 mph,
2 David O’Brien 15m 37.50s,
3 Philip Jones 15m 39.69s,
4 Pat O’Sullivan 16m 26.99s,
5 Vincent O’Reilly 14 laps,
6 Bob Cameron 14 laps.
Fastest lap: Barrable 1m 01.464s, 67.33 mph.
ASK SUPERCAR RACE 2 (15 laps):
1 Graeme Colfer 15m 42.84s, 65.84 mph,
2 Peter Barrable 15m 43.18s,
3 David O’Brien 15m 48.23s,
4 Sean Doyle 15m 49.19s,
5 Philip Jones 15m 54.39s,
6 Pat O’Sullivan 16m 28.10s.
Fastest lap: Colfer 1m 02.002s, 66.75 mph.
GINETTA JUNIOR IRELAND RACE 1 (14 laps): (Provisional):
1 Jordan Dempsey 15m 36.34s, 61.88 mph,
2 James Roe 15m 47.79s,
3 Samuel Harron 15m 49.03s,
4 Loris Nikolov 15m 57.45s,
5 William Harron 15m 57.95s,
6 Darragh Denning 15m 58.58s.
Fastest lap: Dempsey 1m 06.255s, 62.46 mph.
FIESTA ZETEC JUNIOR RACE 1 (13 laps):
1 Jack Byrne 16m 18.35s, 54.99 mph,
2 Adam Geraghty 16m 50.01s.
Fastest lap: Byrne 1m 14.273s, 55.72 mph.
GINETTA JUNIOR IRELAND RACE 2 (14 laps): (Provisional):
1 Jordan Dempsey 15m 40.90s, 61.58 mph,
2 Samuel Harron 15m 51.08s,
3 Darragh Denning 15m 57.47s,
4 William Harron 15m 57.68s,
5 Loris Nikolov 16m 00.92s,
6 Morgan Quinn 16m 05.54s.
Fastest lap: Dempsey 1m 06.520s, 62.21 mph.
FIESTA ZETEC JUNIOR RACE 1 (13 laps):
1 Jack Byrne 16m 30.86s, 54.29 mph.
Fastest lap: Byrne 1m 14.115s, 55.84 mph.
FUTURE CLASSICS RACE (13 laps):
1 Timothy Duggan (Seat Ibiza Cooper) 15m 20.79s, 58.43 mph,
2 David Hammond (Fiat Uno) 15m 21.14s,
3 Eoghan O’Brien (Fiat Punto) 15m 21.90s,
4 Aidan Byrne (Fiat Punto) 15m 22.92s,
5 Robbie Parks (Toyota Celica) 15m 24.03s,
6 William Tighe (Peugeot 205) 15m 35.06s.
Fastest lap: Barry Hallion (Fiat Punto) 1m 08.670s, 60.26 mph.