The Palletstorage.ie Fiesta Zetec Championship returned to Mondello Park earlier this month for the famous Leinster Trophy weekend and it was experienced tin top exponent Alastair Kellett who claimed pole position in a typically hard fought session.
“I haven’t been around the international track in 8 years and knew once it popped up on the lap timer that I wasn’t going to do a quicker lap, so I came in.” Looking forward to the race, he added, “I’ll go flat out and see what happens. Hopefully the race goes as good as qualifying”
“I felt I had more”, was Michael Barrable’s reaction to securing second on the grid. Commenting before qualifying that the international track was ‘work in progress’ the last time he was a championship contender, he added, “I went better than in testing and I know where I can find more in the track so second is not too bad.”
Row two was occupied by two new young guns, with Harry McGovern just pipping James Fleming, the duo demoting class champion William Kellett to an unaccustomed fifth.
In the opening race, the poleman made no mistakes to lead the grid away and immediately pushed hard to open a gap to the squabbling pack. By the time Rallycross graduate James Fleming came though to second, Kellett had already done enough to maintain his lead. Coming through from 5th after getting by championship leader Michael Barrable and Harry McGovern, reigning champion William Kellett completed the Round 3 podium ahead of Alan Dawson. Mark Johnston charged to fifth, from ninth on the grid, while Barrable crossed the line sixth, and one wondered were tactics involved here, as this gave him the all important pole for race two!
Summing up the 7-lap race, his winning margin 1.5 seconds, Kellett, said, “I got a great start while they all battled behind me. The first two laps I was looking in my mirrors at the lads having the crack. It will be harder in the next race but starting sixth will make it interesting and I’m hoping to have a bit of fun.”
A very happy Michael Barrable held off a double Kellett attack to take victory the second race of the afternoon. With the 2020 season marking the multiple racing and rally champion’s return to competitive racing following an absence of more than two decades, the Dublin motor dealer was full of phrase for his two rivals in the budget class championship. Taking the win from reigning champion William, who was literally pushed around the track by his father Alastair in their efforts to give William the first win of his title defence, Barrable said afterwards, “It was really nice to race with good guys, I really enjoyed the race with them”
Securing the second win of his return campaign, Barrable was quick to thank his sons for his success today, “I have to thank Robert and Peter for getting everything ready for this weekend and helping me to figure out the International track. I had never raced on it before today and that was playing a bit on my mind but the lads gave me some great input’. Only 5th in race one, having qualified second, he explained, ‘I made a stupid mistake and got boxed out. In a split second, 5 lads got past me which showed how close the championship is. Race two was very enjoyable. I got a good start but the pressure was on as the lads race like I’d expect a father and son to do. It’s a pity there were no spectators to enjoy the racing.” He concluded “It’s 23 years since I last raced competitively so I very happy to be up at the front!”
Despite missing out on the win, William Kellett summed up Race 2 as ‘great craic’. The 20-year-old continued, ‘I got a great start but Mick gave me a squeeze so I had to back out. Then out the back I turned in a fraction too early and hit a tyre stack with put the steering out. We tried to our best to try and get by Mick but with the damaged steering and the heat, the tyres had nothing left, still it was a great day of racing and with some great battling’.
Reacting to the race with a smile on his face, Alastair said, ’That was a good laugh’. Starting from 6th as a result of the reversing of the Race 1 Top 6 result, he explained, ‘I was up to third on the first lap but then William hit the tyres and was a bit slow on the straight as the wheels were pointing outwords. I started working with him to try help him pass Barrable. I nearly got him pushed by him on the the straight but it wasn’t enough. If it was 10ft longer I would have got him in front. It was great fun’.
The Palletstorage.ie Fiesta Championship returns to Mondello Park this Sunday for rounds five and six.
Palletstorage.ie Fiesta Zetec Championship after 4 Rounds:
- Alastair Kellett 68
- Michael Barrable 64
- William Kellett 62
- James Fleming 48
- Mark Johnston 44
- Ulick Burke 40
Images from Michael Chester