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Cullen Dominates Bill Griffin Motors Stryker Championship

Having missed a few rounds of the 2020 Irish Stryker Championship, and narrowly missed out on the title as a result, Michael Cullen not only competed in every round of the 2021 Bill Griffin Motors Stryker Championship- he won them all!

Such domination is unusual in Irish circuit racing, but when Cullen’s Beacon Hospital liveried car qualified on pole position for the opening round of the series back in June, almost a second ahead of 2020 Champion David Reynolds, it was obvious the hugely experienced driver meant business. Two crushing victories followed and Cullen and the Murray Motorsport team left Mondello Park with a title lead that they would never lose. It was only in Kirkistown at mid season that Cullen failed to start from pole position, and only then because he had missed the qualifying session- held the previous day- due to business commitments. Despite starting right at the back, the Murray Motorsport tended machine was first across the line and one began to wonder if the combination could complete an unprecedented clean sweep of all championship round en route to the title.

Having set the pole time at the opening round, Michael Cullen calmly sat in the pitlane as the others continued trying to beat it.

It was at the September race meeting at Mondello Park that Michael faced his toughest challenge as former Stryker driver Jonathan Taylor returned to the series at the wheel of the ex Niall McFadden car. Taylor qualified alongside Cullen on the front row. In the opening race, the pair had what many thought to be the race of the day, with the lead being swapped on numerous occasions. Cullen was ahead when it mattered, but only just and it seemed his clean sweep of all races was no longer as straightforward as before! Taylor was Cullen’s closes challenger for the remaining three races of the season, but didn’t quite manage to take a win. At the end of the season then, it was an incredible twelve wins from twelve starts for Cullen, and of course the title- his first since winning the European Ferrari Challenge in 2007.

Michael Cullen celebrates his title win with his Murray Motorsport team.
Michael Cullen, Bill Griffin Motors Strykers Champion 2021:
“I’m delighted to win the Bill Griffin Motors Stryker series in 2021. To win any championship needs both a lot of luck and a well prepared car. I was certainly lucky at times during the year and I have Murray Motorsport to thank for a great car and 100% reliability. The competition certainly made me work harder and harder throughout the season, I only won the two Kirkistown races by 0.1 and 0.3 seconds from Roger (Welaratne) and only won two of the last few Mondello races by the slimmest of margins. It’s been great fun with a super bunch of fellow racers, all there to help each other if anyone has a car problem. This is not the norm in many other classes!
I look forward to defending the championship next season and I am fairly sure it will be just as much fun and likely to be be more competitive again!”
Images from ICCR/Celtic Photography
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