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ICCR On Tour- Irish Race Classes to Visit Anglesey Circuit

The ICCR has been a successful initiative over the past number of years for Irish Circuit racing. For 2023, the organisers decided to try something else so they added an overseas race to the calendar. Anglesey Circuit was the perfect option as it is just ten minutes from Holyhead Ferry port. Also, it has always been a popular circuit with drivers and will be a new challenge for all of the domestic classes. The classes  travelling to the race meeting, which takes place in just over a fortnight are the  Irish Legends, the Bill Griffin Motors Irish Strykers, the Formula Vee Championship, the Precision Tint and Graphics ITCC,  SEAT Supercup Ireland, Coffee 2 Go Fiesta ST Championship and the Siltex Safety Fiesta Zetec Championship. They will be joined by a horde of Scottish race classes, ensuring there will be plenty of entertainment over the two days.

Formula Vee has been incredibly competitive in 2023 and there are a host of potential victors on the Anglesey entry list. Wicklow’s Lee Newsome is at the head of the championship standings after 7 rounds with one win and four second places, and with just four rounds to go after this meeting, it is really beginning to matter.  Next up is Colm Blackburn, who has earned himself a legion of new fans by dint of his onboard footage on social media. Never short of commitment, he had a DNF at the opening round but has won twice since. In third place is the young man who has everyone talking, Ronan Doherty. Son of race team boss, engine builder and former Vee racer himself, Damian Doherty, Ronan has been a thorn in the side of the established front runners this year, despite this being his first season racing. He is an experienced Sim racer though and as such, will no doubt be familiar with the Anglesey Coastal layout- keep an eye on him! Multiple Formula Vee Champion Anthony Cross is next up. A wily campaigner he, to put it mildly, knows how to win races, and championships. After two wins at the opening meetings, luck deserted him a little and he will be eager to get his title defence back on track in Anglesey. As I always say in commentary- NEVER discount Anthony Cross!  In fifth in the standings is another experienced and successful Vee driver, Dan Polley. When the planets align, Polley is extremely hard to beat and the former Leinster Trophy winner was on top form at the last Mondello ICCR meeting, taking a strong win.

Blackburn leads Cross in a typical Formula Vee scrap!

Gavin Buckley is sixth ahead of Sean McCallion who also leads the B Championship, from Robert Fleming,  Andy Keogh, Ger Byrne and Colin Lewis. In the LOH Motorsport C Championship, Doherty, unsurprisingly is the runaway leader, from  Niall O’Mara, Stephen Roche, Simon Rudd and Jonathan Hyde.

Michael Cullen heads the Stryker standings having won the last six races after he missed the opening meeting. His LOH Team mate Kevin O’Hara sits second in the title chase, but is unlikely to appear again as he was substituting for Victor Cullen, who was sitting exams. Victor was third on his return to the class at the last ICCR meeting, but a DNF in race two means he still sits at the bottom of the standings, something he will be extremely keen to remedy in Anglesey. Kevin McGrath has shown great pace this year and managed to split the LOH pair en route to two runner up spots last time out. Keep an eye out too for  Andy D’Alton, Greg Kelly and Niall McFadden, who should all have front running pace.

Rob Savage’s Campbell Motorsport built Honda Accord (above)  leads the ITCC standings but faces a new challenge from Cian Walsh, who has come on strongly in recent times and was a double winner last time out at Mondello in his Civic. Early season leader Owain Drought lies third and is still right there on dropped scores but is unlikely to show in Wales, having had a catastrophic engine failure in his Mk5 Golf GTI. Stephen Martin has a huge lead in the Honda Cup Championship, but second place man David Flynn showed incredible pace last time out, harassing the overall leaders despite running on threaded tyres! Colin Morris is third.

Sam Mansfield has shown strong pace this season- will he shine in Anglesey?

Former Fiesta ST Champion Graham McDonnell heads the SEAT Supercup Championship as they prepare to cross the water, from perennial winner Shane Murphy and Brian Berry, who has been going very well lately.  A former treble ST Champion, Dave Maguire  has been getting to grips with the slick shod machines this year and he lies fourth, just ahead of Harry McGovern. Luck has not been on Harry’s side this season, yet he has still taken two wins and  will surely take a few more before the season in out.

Yet another ST title winner is Eddie Peterson. Eddie is also a five time Hewison Autotest Champion and, having broken his SEAT Supercup duck at the last Mondello, will be keen to revisit the top step on a regular basis. Sam Mansfield’s seventh place in the standings is certainly not a reflection of his pace. Sam, run by Dave O’Brien’s DOB Sportscars team has immense pace but like McGovern, has been short on luck- a win for him definitely wouldn’t surprise anyone. Former Supercar driver Paul Parr is ninth, ahead of Gary Corcoran, Adrian McNally and Tom Gaughran.

Peter Barrable, above, has been very much the man on form in the Irish Legends class thus far in 2023, having been first past the chequered flag an impressive eight times! Seamus Ryan is his closest challenger with Scott Jackson in third. Lee Malone, Owen Lawlor and Richard Spence round out the top six. Willie Lawrence is seventh and top of the Rookie section, the former oval racer having taking a great overall win at the last Mondello. Watch out too for the lurid Pink Panther machine of Derek Hogan. Derek has shown great pace of late but a few issues have caused him to drop down in the standings.

As ever, Paul O’Brien’s POB Motorsport team have the cars superbly presented and their paddock setup is the envy of many.

The Siltex Safety Fiesta Zetec Championship, below, have provided the biggest grids in the paddock once again in 2023 and they also make their first trip to Anglesey for this meeting. You can read a full preview HERE.

Similarly, the more powerful Coffee2Go Fiesta STs will travel. With a queue of drivers lining up to stop Michael Cullen’ six race winning streak, the action is bound to be fraught. Full preview HERE.

So plenty of action expected as the ICCR goes on tour for the first time. If you fancy spectating, you can foot passenger on the Dublin-Holyhead ferries and either taxi or hitch a lift to the circuit- good spots to view from are the outside of The Banking (Turn two), or the top of the hill at Peel Corner or the Corkscrew,  from where you can see the long back straight and heavy braking area into Rocket.

Images from Paddy McGrath/ICCR

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