Having successfully debuted his new VW Golf GTI ITCC car at Mondello Park recently, reigning Irish Touring Car Production Champion Grzegorz Kalinecki and his Sportchip.ie team stepped it up a gear when the Teng Tools supported series visited the ultra fast Bishopscourt circuit in Northern Ireland last weekend.
With the newly reliveried car remapped to suit the high speed circuit, the team were confident of challenging for their first ever Super Touring ITCC overall win. Qualifying served to strengthen their aspirations as the Turbomanman.ie machine claimed the coveted pole position, a second clear of the nearest challenger. This, despite the fact that the team had never run the car in wet conditions before.
In the opening race, with weather conditions still atrocious, Grzegorz fought off an early challenge from the Honda of Dean Reilly before tracking down the quickest of the NI Saloons, which were sharing the grid. In what can best be described as difficult conditions, the former Rallycross driver showed his class as eased past the BMW M3 of Andrew Armstrong and pulled away for a dominant debut Super Touring win. At the line, the gap to the next car was an incredible eighteen seconds.
In race two, with conditions much drier, the Sportchip tuned Golf had to work somewhat harder, battling with a number of the ITCC front runners before once again moving to the front and opening a healthy gap. Towards the end, with a strong lead, Kalinecki was able to ease off to take the chequered flag for an impressive double win. He now leads the ITCC standings as the series heads back to Mondello Park next month.
Grzegorz Kalinecki, Sportchip.ie “Perfect weekend for us. Pole and two wins. The team have worked very hard for this so it is very satisfying. The ITCC win was great, but I was keen to beat the NI Saloons too, and cross the line first!”
Rounds 4 & 5 of the Teng Tools ITCC will be held on June the 8th on the Mondello Park International Circuit.
Main image from Michael Chester, below image from Marcin Blitek