It is time to go back racing at Mondello Park again this weekend and although the single seaters are notable by their absence, there should be some great racing for “tin top” fans during the day! As well as a quick preview of the event by class, I decided to do a “Motormouth’s Tip For The Top” in each class- something that will probably come back to bite me!
The Naylor Engineering Sprint and Hillclimb championship are running a sprint on both days on the International Loop, so expect the bar to be more lively than normal on Saturday evening, should they decide to stay over!
Phil Lawless has done most of the winning in the Procraft Tools Fiesta Zetec series, but never by more than about half a carlength- so expect Michael Tumulty, Trevor Farrar and Lawless’ team mate Darran Lawlor to challenge him hard. Peter Campbell is also worth keeping an eye on in the Ti Autos machine and Alan Dawson, who to borrow the words of Harry Moore, has won more races “than he cares to remember” is also on the entry list- he could easily upset the applecart. These cars are available for circa €2,000 and are an excellent entry to Motorsport- and of course they will do battle in the six hour four driver Endurance Race at Mondello Park in October too.
Motormouth’s Tip for The Top- Phil Lawless.
The newer, faster Fiestas in the form of the Patch Tyre Equipment Fiesta STs are also back out on Sunday with saloon veteran Dave Maguire hoping to add to his winning tally, this time with the bootlid closed! Murray Motorsport team mate John Denning will be trying hard too. Ulick Burke is due a win in this series too but they will all have to contend with the Blackchurch Motors tended pairing of Kev Doran and Sean Lillis, as long as they can stay from each other this time! Graham McDonnell and Brendan “Gas Monkey” Fitzgerald won’t be too far away either- expect some great racing.
Motormouth’s Tip For The Top- Kev Doran
Future Classics continues to entertain and the Micksgarage.com backed series enjoys another packed grid this weekend. Timmy Duggan leads the series having seemingly managed to blunt the teeth of his incredibly quick SEAT Ibiza to avoid breaking the all important barrier time. Adrian Dunne’s Saxo will be right in the mix too whilst William Kellett’s Micra is a little underpowered but the Motorsport.ie blogger shows massive commitment in his efforts to keep with the more powerful machines. There are some unknown qualtities on the grid too as Robbie Parks, the musical chairs world champion, switches car once again, this time to a Mitsubishi Colt and former Vee driver Ger Byrne has entered a BMW 323 too. David Hammond is yet another giant killer and the little single cam 1300 Uno will no doubt be hassling far more exclusive machinery once the lights go out.
Motormouth’s Top For The Top- Timmy Duggan
Global GT Lights return from their trip to Anglesey last weekend to make their second appearance of the year at the Kildare venue. Max Drennan is leading the series, unsurprisingly, but he came under pressure from the impressive Conor Farrell who grabbed two of the three wins in Wales last week and will be keen to take his first Mondello victory. former champion Bernie “The Bolt” Braden kept the duo honest last week whilst relative newbie James Thompson (from the TMC Costin Thompson dynasty) was wild, but quick enough to challenge the leaders so watch for him too. Jake Byrne may also join the fray here in the car used by Nicole Drought to qualify on the front row last week- should he decide to race, expect him to run away from the rest again.
Motormouth’s Tip For The Top- Conor Farrell
Just eight Irish Legends show on the entry list but as they have proved before, they don’t need huge numbers to produce some great racing. James Holman, Paul O’Brien and Niki Meredith should be the pacesetters- but in this class it is always hard to call. Former Punto racer Ian Conroy is enjoying this class and has improved greatly recently and few know their way round Mondello better than Jonathan Taylor- so watch for them too!
Motormouth’s Tip For The Top- Niki Meredith
Ginetta Junior Ireland, backed in 2015 by Dennings Cars, has been incredibly competitive in 2016. Samuel Harron leads the title chase ahead of brother William with Darragh Denning in third place. Morgan Quinn has showed race winning pace on a number of occasions but has yet to cross the line first, he will be aiming to amend that on Sunday. Cameron Fenton has tested well this week in his new car, having destroyed his old one in a big shunt at Kirkistown last time out- he is keen to chase a podium place whilst Patrick Dempsey is also worth taking into consideration as the former karter has gone well in the Jordan Dempsey title winning car, despite a late start to his season.
Motormouth’s Tip For The Top- Darragh Denning
The ITCC grids have have been hit lately with both accident and mechanical damage and unfortunately only seven cars show on today’s entry list for Sunday’s double header race meeting. Grzegorz Kalinecki’s Sportchip.ie Golf has pretty much dominated proceedings in the Supertouring class and although Shane Rabbitt’s spectacular Mazda RX-7 might pip him off the line, it is hard to see the Golf being beaten- and Grzegorz claiming his second title in as many years (he is the reigning ITCC Production Champion.) Just four cars contest the Production class, as series leader David Cassidy has been unable to rebuild the blown engine in his Nissan for this round. This gives the on form Jay O’Reilly a chance to close up, but Ian O’Driscoll and Nicole Drought have already beaten him in 2016 and both are entered, so we might see some close racing in that one, despite the small numbers.
Motormouth’s Tip For The Top- Grzegorz Kalinecki
Of course there is no Mondello.TV broadcasting this weekend so get up out of that armchair, as and Christy Moore would say, grab the wife, throw the kids in the Datsun- but instead of Inch and the Strand Hotel, head for Mondello Park for what promises to be some very entertaining racing- and admission is free on Saturday and just €10 on Sunday.
Until the next time,
All Images from Michael Chester.