4-way battle to decide inaugural SEAT Supercup title
The exciting new SEAT Supercup Ireland concludes this weekend as the series makes it first trip to the high speed Kirkistown circuit in County Down where four drivers will vie to become the inaugural champion. The fifth & final double header event of what has been a successful pilot season for the Leon Supercopa based series, the previous eight races producing five different winners, the title will be fought out between most recent winner Niall Murray, Rod McGovern, John Farrelly and Michael Cullen.
A driver who came late to the SEAT Supercup, missing the opening two rounds at Bishopscourt, Murray thrust himself into title contention with a dominant performance two weeks ago at Mondello Park where he completed a clean points sweep. Winning both races, the 20-year also collected the three bonus points on offer for pole position and setting the fastest lap of each race. Currently on 50 points compared to McGovern’s 51, when dropped scores are taken into account the 2013 Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year holds a one point advantage over the former Irish Supercar Champion.
One of the original instigators in bringing about an Irish series for SEAT Sport’s world renowned high-performance and economical Supercopa, McGovern has one win to his credit but has managed to score points in every race. Claiming his first, and so far only win at Round 5 in Mondello Park, the MM Motorsport driver will be hoping to claim his second as the entire field of SEAT drivers get their first experience of the 301Bhp SEAT Sport built Leons around the 2.46km circuit during the Martin Donnelly Trophy meeting.
Claiming victory at Round 6 after seeing off an intense challenge from Murray, John Farrelly sits third in the standings. Six points adrift of McGovern, with a maximum of 23-points up for grabs for the perfect weekend, it is still all to play for for the Sean Woods Racing driver. While having one eye on his title chances, Farrelly will also be focused on protecting his Top 3 overall position in the final standings from Michael Cullen. Driving his Supervalu backed Leon, Cullen is just 1-point off Farrelly after dropped scores and only 9-points off his Murray Motorsport team-mate Murray. Already a double race winner, the veteran of Irish saloon car racing should be right in the mix to increase that tally spurred on by the chance of adding another title to his long list of championship successes.
Having been the title favourite since winning the opening round of the SEAT Supercup at Bishopscourt back in May, unfortunately after a disastrous Round 7 & 8 at which he failed to score any points, Niall Quinn has opted to sit out the final event. While having an outside shot at the title, the former A1 Grand Prix driver will instead focus on his 2016 assault with talk of the family operated Quinn Racing outfit expanding to two cars when the SEAT Supercup Ireland is expected to run with full Motorsport Ireland Championship status.
Running on Yokohama tyres, qualifying for the penultimate round of the SEAT Supercup Ireland is scheduled for 09:50 on Saturday morning followed by Race 1 at 12:30. With a reverse grid for Race 2, the final round of the series is due to get the green light at 15:15.