Erik Holstein will chase a second SEAT Supercup Ireland title as the third season of the SEAT Supercopa based championship kicks off at Mondello Park this Sunday (9 April). Winning the 2016 title with Murray Motorsport, the former showjumper returns with the double championship winning team- but it is from within the Dublin based equipe that one of his greatest challenges will come- in the form of Jonathan Fildes. Having made two appearances last season, taking pole position on his first outing in the SEAT Sport built Leon, Fildes has signed to contest all 12 races this season making him one of three standout title contenders.
The third of those drivers expected to push for title honours in the SEAT Ireland backed championship is Rod McGovern. Having finished runner-up in the inaugural season to Niall Murray, and then again crowned Vice Champion behind Holstein last year, having gone into the season finale in contention for the title both times, the Mick Merrigan Motorsport driver is more determined than ever to add a SEAT Supercup title to his motor racing achievements. For the opening weekend McGovern will also have the benefit of a team-mate for the first time as Brian Berry joins the MM Motorsport team in the car in which Dave O’Brien pushed Holstein hard for the Round 6 win last season at Mondello Park.
While Holstein, Fildes and McGovern are known entities, there are two new arrivals on the grid who could mix things up. The switch of World Hotrod Champion Shane Murphy to SEATs for the 2017 season has generated huge interest in the championship and the Cork driver is keen to represent the oval racing world well in his debut season of circuit racing. Running with the same Tervas Gas Racing crew that brought him his hotrod success, while Murphy’s No.970 car will bring a new colour scheme to the grid, underneath it is in fact Holstein’s 2016 title winning car.
The other newcomer to the Yokohama supported championship is Sam Mansfield. While he may be the least experienced driver on the grid, he has already shown good speed in testing in his Finnstown Castle Hotel backed car. Part of the four car Murray Motorsport line-up, Barry English back for a third season, Mansfield has impressed team principal Eoin Murray in testing with the former SEAT Eurocup title contender expecting good things for his newest driver.