On the eve of presenting it’s biggest grid yet of SEAT Supercopas, the SEAT Supercup Ireland has received a further boost for Round 5 & 6 in Mondello Park with the exciting news of a late entry for 2014 Irish Touring Car Champion Dave O’Brien. Having confirmed Jonathan Fildes earlier this week as the latest high profile driver to join the SEAT Ireland backed championship, O’Brien’s participation sets the stage for revival of an number of old Irish motor racing rivalries. Most recently, in touring cars, O’Brien’s arch rival was now SEAT Supercup title contenders Erik Holstein along with multiple ITCC race winner Rob Butler. Prior to that in Irish Supercars, O’Brien would have found himself in battles with current SEAT points leader Rod McGovern and fellow SEAT rookie Fildes. The late deal, which will see him drive the race winning Sean Woods Racing Leon of John Farrelly, means O’Brien’s first experience of the 301Bhp SEAT Sport built car will come tomorrowafternoon when the 10 cars line-up for qualifying. Despite his old rival having no time in the car, Holstein had no hesitation in saying O’Brien ‘will be in the mix’ in Sunday’s races.
Commenting on his late entry, which forced an impromptu trip into the offices of the sport’s governing body Motorsport Ireland to arrange the issuing of a 2016 season race licence, O’Brien said, ‘It’s all after coming about very fast but I’m really looking forward to it’. Having last raced competitively in 2014, he continued, ‘I’m completely in at the deep end so its going to be a big challenge this weekend. I have never driven one of these cars before, not even sat in one around the paddock, so qualifying will be my first lap in the car’. He added one positive was, ’at least I know the track’.
Holstein, a driver whose first SEAT Supercup experience came in similar circumstances last season, feels the championship’s newest competitor will be quick to settle into the car. Looking to close down his 2-point championship deficit to McGovern this weekend, the Enniscorthy SEAT backed driver said, ‘Dave is another great addition to the grid and he’s a quick driver so he going to be there. There are no dopes in this class. Anyone on the grid can win especially when you add in the reverse grid for Race 2’.
Qualifying for Round 5 of the SEAT Supercup takes at 15:35 on Saturday with racing taking place on Sunday, both of which will be broadcast live on Mondello TV.