The Keelan Construction Fiesta Zetec Championship provided the biggest grids and some of the best racing at last weekend’s season opening meeting at Mondello Park.
2018 Champion Owen Purcell started where he left off, by grabbing pole position just three tenths ahead of the vastly improved Wayne Laverick, with young charger Kellett just a tenth off in third. Stanislaw Ukleja was best of a host of class newcomers, lining up for the opening race an impressive 11th.
Predictably, Purcell made no mistakes in race one to take the flag in his Gunshot Motorsport machine, some four and a half seconds ahead Andy Kavanagh. Laverick was a close third with Kellett fourth. Aimee Woods drove well to eighth, breaking into the 1:11 bracket for the first time, to much happiness in the family SWR team, while Ukleja once again led the novices home in tenth. Some big names languished down the grid, struggling with new cars- both Barry Barrable and former champion Phil Lawless scratching their heads afterwards.
In race two, with the grid decided by the results of race one, but with the top six reversed, Darren Lawlor started from pole position with Mondello veteran Collie Barrable alongside on the front row.
Purcell was sixth but confident of getting to the front before long. A fantastic battle ensued, and at the flag, Purcell had forged his way to the front for the double, just ahead of Lawlor, with Kellett also on the podium in third.
For race three, it was Groundhog Day for Purcell, as he once again found himself demoted to sixth, courtesy of a reversed top six again. Kellett though, was on a charge in this one. From fourth on the grid he eased his way to the front. Purcell meanwhile, was making good progress and just beat Andy Kavanagh by a fraction in a drag race to the line to take the runner up spot. Kavanagh, however, was subsequently removed from the results due to a technical issue, meaning Laverick was gifted the final podium place. Marshal turned racing driver Shane Egan was first novice home, taking tenth on his first day out- to the delight of the Orange Army of marshals on the banks!
Rounds four and five of the Keelan Construction Fiesta Zetec Championship take place at Bishopscourt Race Circuit on May 11/12.
Owen Purcell “I’m absolutely delighted with the results from the opening rounds of the Keelan Construction Fiesta Zetec Championship at Mondello Park. 2019 will be a tough season with a lot of cars on the grid showing really good pace.”
Leo Nulty, Fiesta Zetec Championship Manager. “This class has always attracted novices due to close racing and inexpensive costs. This year, we have some very quick newcomers and it will be very interesting to watch as they close in on the frontrunners as the season progresses.”
Images from Michael Chester
About Keelan Construction:
Keelan Construction was established by Dan Keelan in 2001 to provide clients with high-quality building expertise and a stress-free experience for residential building projects – from new builds and extensions to renovations and ongoing maintenance. The company has remained focused on quality – using the best materials and building methods to achieve the desired results. This is all down to the team of experienced trade professionals – builders, plumbers, carpenters, plasterers, painters, electricians, roofers, landscapers – and their focus on consistently delivering the highest standard of work. For more information, see www.keelan.ie