MONDELLO PARK: MPSC BY LEO NULTY MARCH 13
Mondello Park kick-started the 2016 racing season and Ciaran Timmons did the double in the Irish Touring Cars, taking a lights-to-flag win in race one despite the early attentions of Dean Reilly.
When Reilly retired mid-race Grzegorz Kalinecki’s new Golf GTI took second, with Eddie Kinirons third in his newly acquired BMW M3.
Jay O’reilly took Production honours from the recovering Nicole Drought, who had challenged for the lead before being rotated by Anthony Murtagh at Mobil corner.
In race two, Shane Rabbitt launched his Mazda RX-7 off the line to somehow snatch the lead from the fourth row of the grid. Almost immediately the red flags flew as Murtagh and Gareth Jennings tangled at the final corner.
Undeterred, Rabbitt duplicated his technique and again led into turn one at the restart. He hung on despite pressure from Kevin Doran, until fuel starvation slowed him at the Esses. Doran grabbed the lead but, in turn, came under pressure from the flying Timmons, who finally made it stick at Southside Corner. When Doran slowed with overheating problems, Kalinecki moved to second and closed the gap slightly in the closing stages, but nothing was going to deny class returnee Timmons from making it two out of two.
Drought drove superbly to take the Production win despite starting at the back with grids reversed, David Cassidy being her closest challenger.
Phil Lawless won the first Fiesta Zetec race from pole, with Darragh Mcmullen holding off Michael Tumulty in a hectic race for second – but Mcmullen was later disqualified for a technical infringement.
In race two, Trevor Farrar nailed the start to lead Lawless away and held on for a few laps before Lawless reclaimed it with a cracking move round the outside at Mobil.
As Lawless eased away for the double, Farrar came under attack from Tumulty and Mcmullen, with the trio circulating as one for the duration. At the flag it was Lawless, with Farrar just holding on for second and Mcmullen in third.
James Holman fought off Niki Meredith for the first Irish Legends race, the pair crossing the line well clear of Paul O’brien in third. In race two, O’brien took the honours, with Meredith charging up to second and Jonny Taylor pipping the impressive Bobby King for third, with Holman stranded in the gravel at turn three after an early spin. In race three, Meredith worked his way to the front but Holman climbed to second and gradually closed him down. With a couple of laps to run, Holman snatched the lead at Southside corner, but Meredith fought back and the duo crossed the line side-by-side, Holman getting the nod by a fraction. Ian Conroy was a distant third.
Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of the Year Jake Byrne jumped into one of the family ABR team Global GT Lights and decimated the regulars, crossing the line well clear in race one despite a late-race safety car intervention. Peter Drennan was second, with Mark Twomey completing the podium. In race two, Byrne dropped to the back of the grid on the rolling lap and yet was well clear by the end, with Drennan second and Mark Braden third.
Timothy Duggan took a fine win in Future Classics, fighting off the impressive Fiesta graduate Marty Moore. Class rookie Adrian Dunne completed the podium in his Citroen Saxo, but he was later docked four places for improper driving. That handed the spot to Formula Sheane regular Richie Kearney (Punto 1400).
1 Ciaran Timmons (Honda Integra) 15m27.883s (66.90mph); 2 Grzegorz Kalinecki (VW Golf) +5.606s; 3 Eddie Kinirons (BMW M3); 4 Jay O’reilly (Honda Civic); 5 Nicole Drought (Honda Integra); 6 Anthony Murtagh (VW Corrado). Class winner O’reilly. Fastest lap Timmons 1m00.235s (68.70mph). Pole Timmons. Starters 13.
1 Timmons 8m19.784s (66.24mph); 2 Kalinecki +3.274s; 3 Kinirons; 4 Shane Rabbitt (Mazda RX-7); 5 Drought; 6 David Cassidy (Nissan 200SX). CW Drought. FL Timmons 1m00.655s (68.23mph). P Kevin Doran (Honda Civic). S 11.
1 Philip Lawless 15m38.584s (57.32mph); 2 Michael Tumulty +1.756s; 3 Trevor Farrar; 4 Mark Johnston; 5 Adam Johnston; 6 Gary Wheeler. FL Tumulty 1m11.428s (57.94mph). P Lawless. S 23. 1 Lawless 20m27.01s (53.96mph); 2 Farrar +1.066s; 3 Darragh Mcmullen; 4 Tumulty; 5 Shane Kenny; 6 A Johnston. FL Mcmullen 1m11.437s (57.93mph). P Lawless. S 21. 5 Ian Conroy; 6 Jonathan Taylor. FL Holman 1m03.720s (64.95mph). P Holman. S 9. 1 O’brien 8m42.920s (63.31mph); 2 Meredith +5.841s; 3 Taylor; 4 King; 5 Des Foley; 6 Ken Elliott. FL Meredith 1m04.541s (64.12mph). P Conroy. S 8.
1 Holman 10m51.296s (63.54mph); 2 Meredith +0.018s; 3 Conroy; 4 King; 5 O’brien; 6 Foley. FL Holman 1m03.906s (64.76mph). P Holman. S 8.
1 Jake Byrne 15m30.367s (62.27mph); 2 Peter Drennan +3.771s; 3 Mark Twomey; 4 Alan Macken; 5 Conor Farrell; 6 Ivor Miller. FL Byrne 59.617s (69.42mph). P Byrne. S 9.
1 Byrne 15m12.362s (68.04mph); 2 Drennan +1.572s; 3 Mark Braden; 4 Farrell; 5 Miller; 6 Michael Conway. FL Byrne 59.617s (69.42mph). P Byrne. S 10.