Rabbitt Hops Into Title Contention with Impressive Siltex Zetec Debut!
It was a weekend for the interlopers when the Siltex Safety Zetec series visited the high speed Bishopscourt circuit in Northern Ireland, as Keith Rabbitt arrived with a car he had bought just a week earlier, and former champion William Kellett also arrived with his 2019 title winning car, his sister Chloe delaying her class debut until after her Leaving Cert exams. Having wrapped his car, Keith found it wouldn’t start so it was dropped off to Blackchurch in Greenogue where a faulty ECU was diagnosed and replaced, then it was onto the trailer, headed for Bishopscourt. Unsurprisingly, despite not racing since his victory at the 6 hour Zetec race last November, Kellett was right at the sharp end, and in fact it was he who claimed pole position for the opening race, with Collie Barrable alongside. Ian Fishbourne was third from Keith Dawson, title leader Michael Barrable and the intrepid Rabbitt, who had only fitted the regulation KYB shocks in the paddock just before qualifying! James Byrne was once again fastest of the Rookie Cup competitors, but Eduardo Gonzaga was just a couple of hundreths shy, with Kelsey Kirby in third, from Brian Hutton and Sam Keogh.
Kellett led away, rebuffing a challenge through turn one from Collie Barrable, who immediately became involved in a territorial dispute with Fishbourne, the Fish Graphics car being sent skywards, delaying those behind, and allowing Kellett to make his escape out front. Predictably, the Kells man made no mistakes to control the gap for the duration , crossing the line to take an impressive win, ahead of the start of his 2022 UK campaign. Using all his guile and racecraft, Michael Barrable had stayed out of trouble whilst climbing to second, and took a maximum points haul to boot. It’s far from over yet, but you can’t help thinking that drives like that can win championships, when the points are totted up in September. Keith Dawson was next up, showing the form we have expected from him, with Collie Barrable, Keith Rabbitt and Ian Fishbourne rounding out the top six. Andy Kavanagh was next up from class newbie Pat Masterson, with Alan Dawson’s Sheds Direct car charging up from the back having missed qualifying, just pipping Mick Kehoe’s Easytrip.ie machine to the line for ninth.
A delighted Eduardo Gonzaga took his first Rookie win, the Brazilian driver demoting Byrne to second for the first time this year. An equally delighted Kelsey Kirby took her first trophy with third.
In race two, Rabbitt found himself out front and, bar a lap or two mid race, where he appeared to make a break, was under pressure for the duration. Keith Dawson got alongside a few times but was then displaced by Ian Fishbourne who also couldn’t breach the leader’s defences. A delighted Rabbitt’s Wrapco machine duly took the win, with Fishbourne second and Keith Dawson in third. Right with them, Michael Barrable just beat Kellett to the line by a fraction, with Collie Barrable and Andy Kavanagh right there too. Alan Dawson was next up from Kaleb Shanley, who had been mixing it with the frontrunners all weekend, and Pat Masterson.
James Byrne returned to his winning ways in the Rookie Cup, taking his third win of the year for Dentmagic.ie , with Eduardo in second and Kelsey Kirby third once again.
The Siltex Safety Fiesta Zetec Championship returns to Mondello Park on June 11/12, where they will compete on the full length International Circuit for the first time this year.