Graham Mc Donnell assured himself of the 2021 Coffee 2 Go Fiesta title in the best possible way at the weekend- with victory in the opening race.
Already a three time winner, the Coffee 2 Go owner had led the series since winning the opening round at Mondello Park in June. Two more victories in a hugely competitive field meant he could have wrapped up the title at the September round, but a broken hub mean he didn’t finish race two. He arrived at Mondello Park last weekend just needing a small points haul to ensure himself of the title. Despite this he was still fastest in qualifying, taking the all important pole position for race one.
When the lights went out, in front of the live ICCR TV cameras, McDonnell made no mistake to lead the capacity grid down towards turn one. Class newbie Darragh Denning shadowed the leader in he early laps, headlights ablaze, but McDonnell refused to be rattled, posting fastest lap as he began to ease away. A race stoppage meant he had to do it all again but it was no problem for the Dubliner, rebuffing a challenge from Denning into the first corner and subsequently easing away from Eddie Peterson to take a well earned victory- and assure himself of the 2021 crown.
With the top six reversed for race two, our new champion found himself sixth, and to compound matters, the heavens opened as the cars lined up in assembly. A great initial launch saw Graham charge down the outside of the pack into turn one, briefly grabbing third before having to take to the grass to avoid a sideways car ahead. This dropped him to 9th place but he got the head down to cross the line in fifth, taking his second fastest lap of the day in the process.
Graham McDonnell, 2021 Coffee 2 Go Fiesta ST Champion::’‘Job done, it’s been a long couple of weeks’, was how McDonnell summed up the relief of finally capping off what has been a very impressive season for the Dublin driver who was up against some of country’s most experienced names. ‘I knew I just needed a good result and a podium would do it but the icing on the cake was to win it with a win and to take the fastest lap too. I have to thank Mick Merrigan, Radek, Jack and Ross for being a great team. The car has been amazing all year because they put so much work into it. We’ll have a good time celebrating this one’.”
Leo Nulty, Coffee 2 Go Fiesta ST Championship Manager: “Graham has been a class act this season. From his win at the opening round, to his knack of getting a top result and staying out of trouble in race two. He hasn’t put a foot wrong all year and this championshop win is well deserved, by both Graham and all of his team.”
Images from ICCR/Michael Chester