Ireland’s biggest saloon racing series’, the Patch Tyre Equipment Fiesta ST Championship and the Mondello Park Fiesta Zetec Championship are set for an exciting climax at Mondello Park over the weekend of September 16th and 17th. Both championships will finish their year off with a double header on the Mondello Park International Track as part of the Leinster Motor Club’s ‘Leinster Trophy’ Car Races.
The second season of the Patch Tyre Equipment Fiesta ST Championship has been one of exceptional racing, particularly at the front, where a season long battle has raged between reigning champion David Maguire and relative newcomer Shane McFadden. These two drivers have taken seven of the ten race wins so far this season and only once has neither driver appeared on the podium.
Going into the final event of the season Maguire leads McFadden by just four points, and the top two are left as the only drivers who can still win the championship. Almost safe in third place is veteran saloon racer Michael Cullen, who has a twenty six point advantage over John Denning, a former Fiesta Zetec champion. Denning is far from secure in fourth as he has Brendan Fitzgerald just a single point behind.
The Fiesta Zetec Championship had followed a similar pattern to its faster cousins with two drivers dominating the top spot of the podium and just two competitors in the hunt for championship, until the last event, on August 13th. Following round ten of the series a technical infringement was found on the car of championship leader Owen Purcell and the penalties he received have completely changed the face of the championship chase.
Purcell had battled all year with Mark O’Donoghue, with these two drivers winning all but one of the races, and he should have entered the final two rounds with a six point championship lead. Purcell’s transgression however has dropped him to eighth in the standings and left O’Donoghue as champion before a wheel is even turned at the season finale. The changes to the results mean that while O’Donoghue is already champion, the battle for runner-up spot is back on. 2016 champion Philip Lawless has moved to second but faces a tough weekend with Roy Tobin and Alan Watkins within striking distance.
The Mondello Park Fiesta Zetec Championship will be the first to take to the track at the Leinster Trophy event, with qualifying and race one on Saturday. With the points sitting as they are, the battle for second place in the standings will more than likely then go down to the final race of the season, which is scheduled for noon on Sunday.
With both races for the Patch Tyre Equipment Fiesta ST’s scheduled for Sunday, this battle is certain to go to the last day of the season. The second Fiesta ST race of the weekend is set to be the final race on Sunday’s programme, ensuring that the 2017 Irish Car Racing season is compulsive viewing right up until the final race of the year.
Tickets for the Leinster Trophy weekend can be purchased at reduced prices from www.mondellopark.ie Further information including the timetable will be released over the coming days.