Posted on 24 May 2013 by Susan
With the first 2 race meetings now completed, the 2013 ITCC season is well up and running. Having missed Bishopscourt last year, I was looking forward to what I knew was a great circuit. It didn’t disappoint, with proper fast corners which are rare on race circuits in Ireland. It was great to see more cars out as well, with a decent grid of ITCC cars lining up. The weekend saw everything from sunshine to hailstones, and qualifying got just about the worst of it. With Murray’s perfecting the wet set up, the M3 has fantastic traction in these conditions, so we secured pole position with a narrow gap over the recently built E46 M3 of Dave O’Brien, and the rest of the pack. I was a little too cautious into the sweeping turn 1, and was overtaken by Dave as he swept into the lead. I managed to scramble around the outside of turn 3 and regain the lead, which enabled me to take advantage of a clear track with no spray. He was definitely the faster and closed up the gap, but luckily for me he had a few minor offs and it enabled me to get to the line first. Race 2 saw a repetition of the start of race 1, but it was lap 2 before I managed to get by again. The car felt great and we built up a sizable cushion, but for some reason the performance started to go away, and I couldn’t keep up the pace. Having already been shown the black and white flag for hopping the kerbs, I was trying my best to hold onto my lead and not incur the wrath of the judges. A stupid off road excursion on the second last lap dropped me into the clutches of Dave and when he made a move down the outside of me into the last chicane, I made a complete hash of out braking him, and rallycrossed the whole chicane.I limped across the line in the lead with the car just about intact, but the subsequent wrap on the knuckles resulted in demotion to P2 for the Murray Motorsport BMW. Below is Dave’s onboard coverage showing the closing stages of race two and the frantic dash to the flag! With more cars destined for the June 8th round in Mondello, the ITCC class is certainly picking up momentum. Linda Sexton has organized an ITCC stand at the Heatwave event in Fairy house on May 1st where competing ITCC cars will be on display.
An action packed weekend at Bishopscourt- with Erik Holstein
Posted on 23 May 2013 by Susan
Indianapolis, Ind. (May 22, 2013) – After a mixed start to the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights season that included a podium, sixth place finish, and DNF, Peter Dempsey is set for the challenge of the Firestone Freedom 100 this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The famous 2.5-mile oval will be the first of several consecutive races that take place on elliptical tracks, marking the start of the “oval season” for the Firestone Indy Lights Series. “I’m really looking forward to entering the Freedom 100,” said Dempsey. “After the last couple of races, I’m really aiming to try to bounce back and get a solid finish. We had a great test a few weeks ago, and I’m feeling confident that we have a very competitive package heading into the weekend. Everybody at Belardi Auto Racing has been working extremely hard on the No. 5 car, and I’m so excited to be running in the Freedom 100 with them. Belardi Auto Racing has run very well at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the last few years, so I’m hoping to keep that momentum going. It’s going to be a long race, and a lot of things can happen. It will be important to be patient, stay out of trouble, and try to be in the right position heading into the last three or four laps of the race.” This will be the Irishman’s third career race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; he brought home a solid sixth place finish at his debut in 2011 and suffered contact early on in the event in 2012. Dempsey currently lays fifth overall in the championship with 90 points. Weekend activity kicks off tomorrow, May 23, with an official practice session at 9:00 am EST followed by single car qualifying at 1:15 pm EST. The Firestone Freedom 100 will be aired live at 12:30 pm EST as part of NBC Sports Network’s 11 am – 4 pm EST coverage of Coors Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 24. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com. About Peter Dempsey: Peter Dempsey is a racecar driver from Ashbourne, Ireland best known for winning the most races (9) in the history of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and for being one of only two drivers to win the Walter Hayes Trophy three times. Peter is currently the only Irish-born driver to be competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series ladder. After a successful motorsports debut in Europe with his father’s racing team Cliff Dempsey Racing, Peter moved his career to the U.S.A. in 2008 where he has been climbing the Mazda Road to Indy ladder ever since. Peter is currently racing in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, the third step in the Mazda Road to Indy development program, and is just one step below his ultimate goal, the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indy 500.
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Peter Dempsey Set for Firestone Freedom 100 Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Posted on 21 May 2013 by admin
Grzegorz Kalinecki and his Irish based Sportchip.ie team made the trip to Knockhill in Scotland for the second round of the UK Retro Rallycross championship. Extreme weather conditions made it a difficult weekend for all competitors but the trusty Integrale performed admirably all day, evening surviving a clash with a Porsche in the third heat. Conditions were worse than ever for the final but the team were confident of challenging for the win. Unfortuantely, the windscreen fogged up on the Lancia, preventing Grzegorz from challenging for the lead and instead forcing him to defend his second position. This he did perfectly, crossing the line to take runner up spot and with it a healthy dose of championship points. All this would not be possible without their sponsors and Grzegorz Kalinecki and his Sportchip Team would like to thank them for their support: – Polish food shops in Ireland “MROZ” (www.mrozdublin.ie) – www.Turbo-Tech.ie – www.TKCCC.ie – www.Mactronic.ie – www.MBCProject.co.uk
Runner up spot for Kalinecki on first visit to Knockhill!
Posted on 21 May 2013 by admin
Finally starting to make progress on my new Suzuki after many weekends struggling to even break that magic minute! After many a sleepless nite and head melting weeks of doing laps of Mondello Park in my head trying to find out where I was going so wrong. I’d be the first person to put up my hand and say I was riding crap but I knew I wasn’t going that bad as I was literally near killing myself to do even a minute flat. I had kind of nearly accepted the fact that maybe I had lost my mojo as the past few months have been tough on my wallet but even more so my mind!! It’s very frustrating after spending heaps of dosh to have actually thundered backwards, I was expecting to be a bit slower at the start but not as bad as this! But happily after a quick map from Jog Tuning on the Saturday test day, I knocked 2 seconds off my lap straight away in my first session out!! Now I know I still got it!! Wahoooo!! Confidence in myself restored! But it wasn’t all rosy on Sunday, as in race 1 I only managed 3 laps as I got tangled up with Mr Madden on the exit of Dunlop corner which spelled the end of my weekend as the bike took some small damage and we couldn’t have it ready for Race 2.. Nevertheless we drove away a bit battered and bruised and with my pride and joy of a race bike in the back in pieces but yet still smiling and saying how good of a weekend it was!! Just chuffed we’re back on the pipe and back enjoying racing at top level! Can’t wait till the next Adelaide Mondello Masters in June. Thanks to all my followers and supporters- especially during my tough times!! Over and out from a chuffed flash!! #flashisback Till next month. Jamie#22
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Return of the Mojo- with Jamie Masterson
Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin
Rounds 2 and 3 of the MicksGarage.com Formula Sheane championship took place at the recently rejuvenated Bishopscourt Race Track near Downpatrick in Co Down. With car racing only returning to the circuit in 2012 I was yet to sample the delights of this fast flowing track which was held in such high regard by all those who sampled it last year. After round 1 at Kirkistown I took the GoldenPages.ie car to Fahys Garage in Oranmore, Galway for a comprehensive alignment check up. Many things were put right and we headed towards Bishopscourt with a sense of optimism, however I was keenly aware that the combination of a wet weather forecast, my lack of track knowledge and only two ten minute test sessions were going to make it a difficult weekend. By the time qualifying came around on Saturday evening I had yet to complete a dry lap of the circuit. The timetable for the event was very tight so our class was mixed with the Formula Vees for testing which impeded both classes terribly. Conditions for qualifying were damp but drying and I made sure to be on circuit at the end when the track was at its best. My second last lap was good enough for P3 but the data on the car showed that on my last lap I was on for a lap some 6 tenths quicker but I lost time overtaking a car. In the end I would line up P3 for race 1 and pole position for race 2 as my second fastest lap was the quickest of all drivers. Carnage on the way to turn one! Race one was a thoroughly wet affair, my first ever wet single seater race! I made a reasonable start but on the run to turn one I was tagged by the rear wheel of another car which spun me at 90 degrees to the oncoming traffic. A few swirls of the wheel and luckily I could point the car back towards turn one but I was down to almost last position. I put my head down and worked my way back through the field to P3. At turn two on lap 8 as I slowed for a yellow flag zone I was unceremoniously punted out of the race and into retirement on the grass. Race two was a much drier affair and I lined the FCR Media Racing car on pole position. I got a reasonable start but Kevin Sheane made a better one from the row behind and took the lead on the run to turn one. The balance in my car was very good and I had the confidence to push hard on the cold tyres and retook the position around the outside of the 4th gear left hander. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be for long as on turn 3 I made a driving error and ran wide, demoting myself to 7th position and in the process thumping the steering wheel in frustration! Again I had to work myself back up the order and once again got as far as 3rd place. By now the rain had returned and the safety car was deployed to collect a stranded car. Now right on the gearbox of the leading two cars I was ready for a win or bin final lap or two but twice the safety car turned its lights off only to turn them back on and in the end we never got a dash to the flag, much to my frustration. All told it was not a positive weekend, we had the pace but not the luck. I’m looking forward to returning to Mondello Park for the 45 year anniversary meeting in June where hopefully we can get our championship aspirations back on track!
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Bishopscourt Blog- with Barry Rabbitt