The Irish Touring Car Championship, which was set up in 2010 by Brian Sexton, Barry Rabbitt and last year’s ITCC Champion Philip Burdock, looks set for another season to remember in 2019!
Since its first year, the ITCC has delivered brilliant race seasons with some very impressive cars and even more impressive driving! Grids may have dwindled slightly in 2018, but as the 2019 season approaches, it’s looking good for this diverse race class, with grid numbers already expected to exceed the 30 mark with a competitive mix of cars, spread across the 3 classes.
This season we will see the return of ITCC favourites Robert Savage in his Type R Integra, Anthony Murtagh his his VW Corrado along with Shane Rabbitt in his show stopping (and 2017 title winning) Mazda RX7. Also joining them on the grid will be one of this years ITCC organisers, Martin Duffy in his immaculate self built BMW M3. The 2019 Championship will also see former Fiesta frontrunner, Ulick Burke in his spectacular supercharged Integra DC2 hit the track along with Adrian Dunne driving his Citroën Saxo VTS. Adrian brings experience from Time Attack and Future Classic Championships- but has been busy in the shed over the winter, so expect some exciting upgrades! There will also be another Integra DC2 driven by Stephen Potter, who only began racing in 2017 with the NI saloons, but has already had some great finishes, so he may be one to keep an eye on!
Keith Campbell, who only managed to get out for a few rounds in 2018 (but won 3 out of the 4 races he participated in!) is back in his unconventional, left hand drive, Honda powered VW Corrado. There will be a great mix of new drivers to the Championship with plenty of racing experience such as, Neil White in his newly built BMW e46 M3 and two K20 powered EK Honda Civics will be driven by Alan Healy (who took pole and got podium at the last year’s Leinster Trophy weekend) and NI Saloon driver Ciaran Denvir, who has already been noticed for his impressive lap times. One of the main talking points has been to the return to the circuits of Barry Travers. The former Punto 1400 star has purchased a Focus with a reputed 400bhp+ and despite some handling problems in recent testing, will be definitely one to watch!
This year, spectators will get to watch a competitive combination of everything from BMW M3s, Honda DC2s a few EKs and a couple of VW Corrados thrown in the mix. It’s safe to say that with grid of dynamic and experienced drivers, in cars that are guaranteed not to disappoint, this year could see the most exciting Irish Touring Car Championship to date.
Since October, there appears to have been an unprecedented amount of registrations for the 2019 Championship and there is no doubt that there will be more familiar cars and faces joining throughout the season! This season kicks off on March 30th at Kirkstown and full information for race dates/locations are available on the class website HERE. Keep up to date with all race and driver information over on the ITCC Facebook page HERE.
until the next time,
Images from Michael Chester