Following its successful introduction this year with the running of a 10-round pilot Series, the SEAT Supercup Ireland is pleased to announce it has been awarded National Championship status for 2016 from the sport’s governing body, Motorsport Ireland. Created around SEAT Sport’s ultra successful factory built Leon Supercopa, the 2015 series generated a lot of interest and as a result, the 2016 Championship will be expanded to 12 races- run over 6-events.
The biggest appeal of the SEAT Ireland backed series has been the performance & look of the 301Bhp World Touring Car Championship styled racecars and a number of ex-racers are set to return to competition at the opening round – scheduled for April 17th at Mondello Park. Producing 5-different race winners over the inaugural SEAT Supercup season, with Motorsport Ireland’s prestigious Young Racing Driver of the Year Award winner Niall Murray going on to be crowned champion, the series set foundations for a strong 2016 grid with 10 cars already in the country.
To conclude the first season, an evaluation test day was hosted at Mondello Park , together with team champions Murray Motorsport, where 11 potential drivers got the opportunity to drive the Supercopa. Among the drivers to attend the test were former Young Racing Driver of the Year Paddy Hogan, former British SEAT Cupra Championship contender Jonathan Fildes, ITCC race winner Rob Butler and ITCC racer Nicole Drought, all of whom are actively working on plans to join the championship in 2016. They will compete against former A1GP driver Niall Quinn, multiple saloon car champion Michael Cullen, former Irish Supercar Champion Rod McGovern and former ITCC Champion Erik Holstein.
Kicking off in April on the National circuit at Mondello Park, the SEAT Supercup Ireland will travel in May to Northern Ireland to the high speed Bishopscourt circuit where Niall Quinn took the honour this year of being the first ever SEAT Supercup Ireland race winner. The high level of interest in the championship for 2016 could see Quinn’s team, Quinn Racing, expand to a two car outfit. Returning to Mondello in June, Rounds 5 & 6 will be the first of two meetings on the International circuit, the second of which will be concluding rounds held over the LeinsterTrophy weekend in September. Also racing in Mondello in July on the National circuit, a second trip is scheduled to Northern Ireland and the Kirkistown circuit. Having hosted the final two rounds of the 2015 series, where Niall Murray was crowned champion thanks to a double win,the fast circuit hosts the SEATs for Rounds 9 & 10 on August 27.
2016 Championship Calendar
R1 & 2 Mondello National April 17
R3 & 4 Bishopscourt May 7-8
R5 & 6 Mondello International June 12
R7 & 8 Mondello National July 10
R9 & 10 Kirkistown Aug 27
R11 & 12 Mondello International Sept 17-18