Grzegorz Kalinecki and his Sportchip.ie team travelled to Mondello Park at the weekend for the famous Leinster Trophy meeting, aiming to clinch the Touring Class of the Irish Touring Car Championship.
Having led the championship for most of the season, the team were taking no chances and had rebuilt and modified the SEAT Leon FR extensively in the run up to the all important championship deciding weekend. With everything checked and double checked, and some new bodywork and livery from Turboman.ie, the team had done all the maths and knew they could clinch the championship with a strong finish in race one.
Running some new Sportchip.ie software on the DSG gearbox, the SEAT performed superbly in qualifying, stopping the clocks at 1:57.041, some two seconds ahead of the opposition and underneath Grzegorz’s lap record, which he set on the International Circuit earlier this year. When the lights went out for race one, Kalinecki made no mistakes to lead the pack down to the first corner. Without taking any risks, and mindful of the championship, he got the head down and drove a copybook race, pulling away from the pack and taking the chequered flag over eight seconds ahead of his nearest challenger. This was all the team needed to clinch the championship but there was no time for celebrations just yet as they checked the car over and prepped it for race two.
In race two, as ever, the top six were reversed, leaving the Sportchip.ie SEAT on row three with a lot of work to do. With the track now almost flooded due to heavy rain, conditions were extremely difficult and there were a number of incidents during the race. Grzegorz managed to avoid the drama though and crossed the line in second place with no damage to the immaculate SEAT Leon FR. Having built the car from a road car and subsequently developed it to the stage it is now at, the championship win was all the sweeter for Kalinecki and the entire Sportchip team!
Grzegorz Kalinecki, Sportchip.ie SEAT Leon Cupra R:
“I am so happy to finally win the Championship. I have a great team behind me and they all worked so hard all year for this. The car has performed well all year and today was no exception.”
Sportchip.ie was set up in 2009. Based in Blanchardstown in Dublin, they specialise in electronic remapping of all modern turbodiesel and turbocharged petrol engines. They also remap ECUs for the removal of the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and are one of the few companies in Ireland who custom make their maps with the help of an on-site two axle rolling road/dyno.
The SEAT Leon FR which they race in ITCC, was built from a standard road car as a project for the company. The engine and DSG box in the car are 100% standard but the car’s ECU has been completely remapped by the Sportchip team
Images from Chester.ie