A few years back, Alan Kessie decided to revive the once hugely popular RT2000 class. Introduced initially by the then leaseholders of Mondello Park, the SHP produced machines were an immediate hit with race fans as they bumped and bored their way around the Kildare race circuit. A subsequent gearbox upgrade, to a Quaife sequential and new, more modern modern bodywork kept the class fresh but stories of massive budgets and internal politics finally meant the class died out. Kessie, through his ASK Racing business began chasing down and buying up the cars before rebuilding them and/or selling them on to prospective customers and the championship, was reborn a few years back.
For 2017, Pirelli came onboard as tyre supplier, with the series being renamed “Irish Supercars Powered by Pirelli”. Other backers included Dublin Crystal, Monsoon Coffee and Keoghs Crisps. 2016 Champion Peter Barrable was back with a new Duratec powered car but suffered a few mechanical issues early on. The Sean Woods Racing Mr Gearbox Mr Clutch car of Alan Dawson was always going to be his closest challenger and it was he who took the initiative. Barrable closed the gap towards the seasons’ end though and needed two wins at the Leinster Trophy meeting to bring the battle to the final rounds. Having won race one, he lined up on pole for the second race, with Dawson alongside. Here is that second race:
Images from Michael Chester