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October 14, 2009

Rallycross Championship heads to Mondello for Round 2

The Motorsport Ireland Irish Rallycross Championship has its first home race of the season this weekend at Mondello Park with round 2 of the 2009/10 series. Having kicked off its seven event schedule at Pembrey in September, the championship returns home for the remainder of its dates, starting with this Sunday’s Kildare Motor Club meeting.

The championship will get off to a flying start with an impressive eighty five car entry, one of the biggest for a domestic championship round for many years. The entry list is headed by an eleven driver Supercar grid which features some new names alongside the better known drivers. Christopher Evans heads the entry list as he returns from his European exploits for his first Mondello appearance for a number of seasons with his Opel Astra. Former Irish champion Evans will not have it all his own way however as he will be up against a strong line up of previous Mondello winners.

The strongest opposition to Evans will all be Ford mounted. Welsh visitor Mike Manning lines up with his Puma, with the Fiesta of Tommy Graham and the Focus of Eddie Kinirons as the other top Ford opposition. Also Ford mounted will be Declan Kelly in another Fiesta Supercar while the remainder of the field will be made up of Japanese machinery with four Subaru Impreza’s, including two for series stalwarts the Morris brothers, and the double-driven Mitsubishi Evo of local drivers Tom Kirwan and David Dempsey completing the field.

Fourteen drivers will battle for modified honours with reigning Irish Rallycross champion Michael Coyne the man to beat. Coyne took the overall title last season but will have his work cut out this time around to retain his crown, due to the increased Supercar opposition. Regardless of the overall standings, Michael will still be the target in the two wheel drive ranks where he has dominated proceedings for a number of years. Michael’s main opposition could come from within his own family with brothers Willie and Brendan likely to be his fiercest rivals. All three will need to watch their mirrors closely however, as the always super quick Ian O’Connell could be right on their tail, on his first outing in a new Lotus Exige this weekend.

The Stockhatch championship, which this season has backing from Rathgar Motor Factors and Platinum Batteries, remains strong with thirty entries and as always this budget class will provide some of the closest racing of the day. The Jondol Junior Rallycross championship for fourteen to sixteen year olds is also going from strength to strength with a sixteen car entry, three up on the previous best. An impressive fifteen Rally Cars complete the entry with the versatile Lloyd Hutchinson and his Mini the one to watch as he challenges the Mitsubishi Evo’s and lightweight Corsa’s and Peugeots.

Admission for Sunday’s event is just €15.00 with a further €5.00 discount available through the Mondello Park web site Special Offers page, while children Under 16 are admitted free.

09:15  Practice Commences
10:00  Practice Finishes
10:15  Heats Run 1
11:45  Heats Run 2
13:15  Lunch Break
13:45  Heats Run 3 

15:30  Finals
17:00  Prizegiving