With the long break finally over, the Stryker sportscars returned to Mondello Park for the first time since September last year.
In the absence of 2019 Champion Stephen Ross and 2018 Champion Greg Kelly, the title chase is wide open in 2020 and two relative newcomers were quick to take advantage of this when the Zetec powered Strykers took to the track for qualifying. David Reynolds has switched to Kelly’s title winning machine and proved considerably quicker than before, clinching the all important pole position. Vincent O’Rourke joined the class last year and the ex Rallycrosser qualified second to join Reynolds on the front row. Adrian Deasy continued the impressive form he showed in 2019 with third place, a fraction ahead of Dominic Ryan, with Des Meehan just a tenth back in fifth.
Perhaps using his Rallycross experience, O’Rourke matched revs to grip perfectly to rocket off the line and lead a Stryker race for the first time. The G2 Karting machine of Reynolds was soon back in the lead, however. Deasy was on a charge though and having got by O’Rourke , relieved Reynolds of the lead at half distance. With two laps to run though, a grassy moment dropped him back and Reynolds was through for the win. Ryan drove well for second, with Deasy in third and O’Rourke fourth, losing time towards the end as his visor fogged up.
Race two was a carbon copy, with O’Rourke once again grabbing the lead off the line. Reynolds fought passed once again and but when Deasy annexed second into turn one, O’Rourke responded with a late lunge into turn three to recover the position and that’s how they finished.
David Reynolds: “It still hasn’t actually hit me yet. What a weekend. Thanks to the Stryker committee for their hard efforts getting us back racing and a massive thanks to Greg Kelly and Ian for getting me on the grid!”
Championship Standings after Two Rounds:
1. David Reynolds 43
2. Vincent O’Rourke 30
3. Dominic Ryan 29
4. Adrian Deasy 28
5. Pat Bergin 21
6. Des Meehan 20
7. Stephen Kelly 17
8. Colin Marnane 17
9. John Burke 15
Rounds 3 & 4 of the Irish Stryker Championship take place at Mondello Park on August 22/23
Images from Michael Chester