Scholarship winner David Travers took two impressive wins at the opening rounds of the 2022 Patch Tyre Equipment Junior MINI Championship. Impressive karter Codey Keogh claimed pole position with Travers, just .005 slower, starting alongside him on the front row. UK Ginetta Junior driver Fergus Chalmers was thrown in at the deep end, with his car being all but built in the paddock on the Friday. Despite not knowing the track and never having raced with a manual gearbox, the visitor was right on the pace and was on provisional pole early on the qualifying session before the clutch, which had been slipping, cried enough. O’Brien Motorsport, aided by Chalmers’ UK Preptech team’s Oliver Barnard, dived onto the car, however, and managed to replace the clutch and get the car running just as the class was called to the assembly area for the opening race. This meant Chalmers was able to take up his position on row two, alongside Luke Marmion.
When the lights changed Travers got the jump on Keogh and nether of them spotted Chalmers who got a cracker of a start. As the gap between the front row occupants closed, he changed tack and managed to squeeze down the inside of Keogh as they went by the grandstand. A late lunge almost saw him try for the lead into turn one, but Travers had it all under control as they headed through turn two bumper to bumper. When they arrived at Southside Corner, Keogh fired it down the inside to snatch second from Chalmers, but driving like a Mondello veteran, the young Scotsman completed the switchback to exit the corner alongside, and on the inside- the pair almost touched mirrors as they ran door to door down the main straight with Chalmers taking the place back on the brakes into Maxxus Corner. The duo repeated both moves the following lap and Travers must have been grinning into his mirrors as he kept easing away. Unfortunately for Chalmers though, his gearbox let go and he had no choice but to retire, leaving Keogh with a clear track to chase down Travers. This he did, setting fastest lap and closing the gap, before he too, had to retire with a pulley failure, a legacy of the extremely high temperatures. Travers got back into a rhythm though, crossing the line to take an impressive win. He made it two in a row later in the afternoon, with Luke Marmion the only other finisher.
Jack tested our dual control car at Mondello Park recently and despite minimal previous experience, went really well. He definitely has the Fildes touch…. Others rumoured to be building cars for their offsprings are former Fiat racers Bob Copeland and Liam Kavanagh, whilst karter Holly Dunnion is also set to join the grids, having sucessfully completed her Motorsport Ireland licence course at Mondello Park recently.
Ann held every position in Leinster Motor Club over the years including President, Treasurer and Secretary and organised all of Leinster’s Motorcycle Trials for over 30 years. She was an integral part of the club’s promotion of car racing, with events like the Leinster Trophy which saw world Champions Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen win the race in Mondello Park in the 1980’s. She was Secretary of the meeting for the World Trials Championships held in Wicklow in the 1990’s and would be the driving force and Clerk of the Course for the last Phoenix Park motor races. She held many roles on Motorsport Ireland committees and was the driving force behind the Gineta Junior Class up until her passing in October last year. In recent years she would be seen run Paddock assembly in Mondello Park so she could stay in touch with the drivers and walk her beloved dogs in between races.
When approached about the idea of the naming the new trophy the “Ann Stevens Trophy” it took a bit of persuasion to convince Ann to allow the club to name a trophy in her honour. The trophy itself pictured aboveis a 14¾ inch Silverplated Celtic design trophy made in the UK by Swatkins, the top trophy manufacturer in Europe. Her legacy and contribution to Irish Motorsport will live long into the future.
MINI Challenge Cars Available this weekend!
Junior MINI Challenge Cars (x2) available for rental this weekend for three races at the ICCR Meeting at Mondello Park. Both fully prepared by O’Brien Motorsport to full championship spec.
Mickey O’Brien 087-8111522
If you would like further information on the Junior MINI Challenge, you can find it HERE, including tech regs etc. If you are 14-17 years old and interested in competing, or would like to test a MINI at Mondello Park, email email@example.com
Images from Cregor Elliot