Irish Motorsport TV will cover the annual Fiesta 6 Hour Endurance race which takes place this Sunday at Mondello Park.
Having covered the Leinster Trophy meeting at Mondello Park last month- which will be broadcast on Eir Sport in the coming weeks, they made the decision to televise the Endurance race for the first time in the History of the event.
The entry of ex F1 drivers Tommy Byrne and David Kennedy has boosted the profile of the event in recent weeks and they team up with another single seater star Kevin McGarrity, as well as Fiesta ST/SEAT driver Niall McFadden. They run with Murray Motorsport, whose cars are always at the front of the grid at this event and this team will surely be chasing a win on Sunday. One of their biggest competitors in the 32 car grid though, will come from the same team as Fiesta ST protaganists Michael Cullen, Dave Maguire and John Denning team up with SEAT Supercup Champion Rod McGovern. They have won this race before and are fully intent on doing it again this time round. McGarrity will certainly know his way around the National circuit, having put away future Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti when the Vauxhall Junior series visited way back in 1991…
It was the LOH Motorsport team though, who took the honours last year on their class debut. single seater superstar Kevin O’Hara steps aside this time, leaving Veesters Dan Polley, Ronan McHale teaming up with Patrick O’Dywer- who has not raced in a while- to take over the distnictive red Fiesta. The Barrables are back with brothers Rob and Peter joining former Sexton Trophy winner Michael in what makes a formidable team. They ran well last year before hitting trouble mid race.
MTR are also back with former BT Racing team boss Brendan Travers joining brothers Damian and Lloyd Murphy in Lloyd’s regular race car. They were right at the front last time round with sheer consistency and Lloyd was right in the mix at the Leinster Trophy meeting last month so they should have speed as well as technique this time round- can they topple the big names?
Johnny “Maximus” Whelan is also back with son Robert and former RT2000 nemesis and current Legends frontrunner Jonny Taylor. They showed good pace last year and if they can stay out of trouble, they can’t be discounted. Archer Motorsport are also back and with regular driver Andy Kavanagh having run right at the sharp end at the final championship round, himself, Fergal Collins and former Vee lap record holder Dennis Conheady will be confident of a strong showing.
The Naas Court Hotel team should also be right there this year. They had good one lap pace last year but were beset by a misfire. Phil Wright Motors have traced and cured this though and has fully perpared the car so Erik Holstein, Michael Leonard and Karl Leonard, former champions all, will certainly not be aiming to make up numbers. Nicole Drought teams up with Colin Lewis once again, the pair having recently competed in a C1 Challenge 4 hour race at Snetterton, and are this time joined by Endurance Series organiser Rob King. They ran inside the top ten last year and with Stevie Griffin having found some missing horses in recent weeks, are confident of a good showing for Patch Tyre Equipment.
2017 Stryker Champion Alan Auerbach is alongside former World Hotrod Champion Shane Murphy, 2017 Fiesta Champion Mark O’Donoghue and Mark Meenaghan, in what should be a formidable team. But for a transponder issue, which cost them a few laps, they would have been right in the mix last time out- so keep an eye on them!
RK Racing, if I was a tipster, would definitely be worth a punt. Tin top stars Barry Rabbitt, Richie Kearney and Ian Conroy team up with Future Classic exponent MJ Farrell in Kearney’s self prepared car. The car grenaded early last year, with the resultant oil slick causing absolute havoc (below) and rumours suggest that extensive testing has taken place around the roads of Leighlinbridge to enuire they don’t have a repeat of this on Sunday!
Mondello Management are also back and although they said they were just out for fun last year, they were highly competitive. While unconfirmed reports suggest they have almost worn the surface off the National Circuit testing a number of different cars, the “Mondello Mafia” team of Roddy Greene, Ian Beatty, Phil Lawless and Ken Elliott could spring another surprise come 6pm Sunday. Team Performance Ford includes magazine editor Dan Woodrow, whose lack of Mondello experience should be more than compensated for by a strong lineup of team mates including William Kellett, Mark Johnston, and David Maher.
Mr Gearbox Mr Clutch is not only a competitive lineup,it is the first ever double Uncle/Nephew team as Alan and Keith Dawson join Sean and Mark Woods. There are certainly no slouches on that team and they should be right in there too.
Unless you are deaf or blind, you will already know about the WiM Team. Newbie Emma Dempsey, with just a handful of races under her belt, teams up with former Fiesta racer Nicola Watkins, and current series regulars Aimee Woods and Ruth Nugent. They have received huge coverage on the run up to the event and have a good manager in Dave Hall and spannerman in Colin Clinton- so keep an eye on them!
The Ballymaloe Bandits team was put together in the last ten days and includes British F4 regular Lucca Allen (above), former Formula Opel racer Paul Monaghan and Porsche Champion Bob Cameron, in an ex Blackchurch car recently purchased by Cameron. Another interesting team includes Russell Murphy, who is joined by former FF1600 ace John Coffey, Chris Jones and former works Fiesta driver Fiona Butterfield!
Judging by this week’s social media posts, the pain will barely be dry on the Kevin Gillespie managed GRRR car. He fields a team of Vee chargers comprising of Matthew Bodden, Star of Tomorrow Champion Max Hart, Tadgh Sharkey and Robert Fleming. Similarly, Willie Peacham, Deco Nolan, Darren McAleer and motoring journo Dave Humphreys face a race against time to get the car to the grid, having only sprayed it on Thursday evening!
Mulready Motors features Tomas Mulready, newly crowned Supercar champion Alan Watkins, Dan Keelan and Coly Murray, in Murray’s frontrunning car. Newsome Racing have had huge success and now throw their hat in the Fiesta Endurance with a strong lineup including Vee Champions Lee and Garry Newsome and Mini expert Lloyd Hutchinson- can they spring a surprise? The wonderfully named Scuderia Spinardi includes some well known names from the ranks of the marshals and rescue crews- their distinctive purple ex NI series car will be piloted by Jonathan Hollywood, Rory Cummins and Gar Campion. Rallycross exponent Vincent “VW Vinny” O’Rourke enters the same team that showed great pace last time out- sharing driving duties with 4 time Rallycross Champion Ciaran Murphy and ex UK MINI Cooper racer Simon Quinn. The Hillclimb fraternity are also represented, as Dara Fay swaps his rapid Suzuki Swift for a slightly more sedate Zetec, acoompanied by former Zetec frontrunner Willie Barett, Joe Clifford and Joe Sheedy. GTI Motorsport has plenty of experience as Barry Barrable teams up with Brian Flanagan, David Kidd and Nick O’Reilly, in the latter’s immaculate Ciaran Murphy prepared car. John Downey Racing includes many names well known to us from Formula Vee, with Kevin Cahill teaming up with Ken Browne and PJ Percival.
All the action will be covered by Irish Motorsport TV and subsequently broadcast on Eir Sport, as well as on social media and YouTube in the coming weeks.
Leo Nulty, Irish Motorsport TV “I am delighted that we got this across the line. It is an event that lends itself well to televsision and always wanted to cover it. Thanks to the Naas Court Hotel and Mondello Park, we have been able to put this together and it will doubtless provide some wonderful footage.
The Fiesta 6 Hour Race starts at 12 midday on Sunday and finshes- in the dark- at 6pm!