Rod McGovern has assumed an early lead in the SEAT Supercup Ireland after making the perfect start to the 2017 season at Mondello Park on April 9th. Having finished as Vice Champion for the past two years, the MM Motorsport driver opened Season #3 proceedings by registering the first championship point as as he claimed the Yokohama Pole Award ahead of Jonathan Fildes and reigning champion Erik Holstein.
Converting his No.1 starting position into victory, his fourth of the SEAT Leon Supercopa based racing series, the Dublin driver maximised his points tally by also claiming the fastest lap of the race, which like pole position, also carries a bonus point. Behind, Barry English would finish second, a result which was a precursor to what was to come from the Winthrop Engineering backed driver in Race 2.
Holstein would open his title defence by completing the podium just in front of attacking Fildes with Sam Mansfield the top rookie in fifth. With the Top 4 finishers of Race 1 drawing their starting position for Round 2, it looked like McGovern was on target for a clean sweep as the Medical Banks backed driver picked out pole position.
English however, who also drew the same 2nd place starting position he had for the first race, would deny McGovern the double, winning a thrilling 15-lap race to claim his first SEAT victory by 6/10ths of a second. Behind them a delighted Mansfield would cap off his first race day in the 301Bhp SEATs by taking his Finnstown Castle Hotel backed example to a podium finish as Fildes was excluded for a grid infringement.
Unfortunately for Holstein, he would be forced to retire from the second race due to an incident with a back marker. Coming away from the first of the six double headers that make up the calendar of SEAT Ireland supported championship with 21 points, McGovern leads English by 3 points with Mansfield third. Claiming a 4th in Race 2, that is the position Brian Berry finds himself in the early standings while behind 5th is shared by Holstein and World Hotrod Champion Shane Murphy.
The second of the championship’s two new rookies, Murphy enjoyed his first event but the Tervas Gas Racing driver admitted the transition from ovals to circuit racing presented many new challenges. After a very successful opening race, the battles of Race 2 generating a great reaction from spectators, drivers will travel to Bishopscourt in Co. Down on May 6-7 for Rounds 3 & 4 with the track bringing out the best of the cars’ aero package.