Cullen Dominates Bill Griffin Motors Stryker Championship
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.
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.