Success for Mondello but poor weekend for local competitors

The Mondello Park promoted, Adelaide Masters Series made its first visit to Bishopscourt Co. Down last Saturday and the trip proved very successful for the Kildare organisation, as the championship had its first exposure to an Ulster audience. The event was a massive undertaking for the Kildare Track which had to move much of the organisational side of the event to Co. Down for the single day race meeting, but the effort was worth it as the event was a hailed as a huge success by the riders, spectators and media, writes Fergus Brennan.

The Mondello Park promoted, Adelaide Masters Series made its first visit to Bishopscourt Co. Down last Saturday and the trip proved very successful for the Kildare organisation, as the championship had its first exposure to an Ulster audience. The event was a massive undertaking for the Kildare Track which had to move much of the organisational side of the event to Co. Down for the single day race meeting, but the effort was worth it as the event was a hailed as a huge success by the riders, spectators and media, writes Fergus Brennan.

The success of the venture was made possible by the fine organisation by Bishopscourt race circuit, whose event ran like clockwork and featured some of the best short circuit racing ever seen on an Irish track.

The championship is only in its second year and the quality of the racing continues to grow, with the Adelaide Insurance backed series now the number one Motorcycle Racing Championship in Ireland. The upcoming TV coverage of the event, on UTV, is not to be missed as each race was hotly contested, none more so than the Final which featured the closest ever finish to an Adelaide Masters race.

Throughout that final race the leading group was made up of five of the most on form Irish Motorcycle Racers from both North and South of the border.

Following twelve laps of frenetic dicing for position, the win went to Ulster’s Marshal Neil on a Kawasaki by two hundredths of a second from fellow Ulsterman Lee Johnston’s Ducati.

Waterford’s Brian McCormack, Athlone based Cody Nally and David Haire from Lisburn, all finished within six tenths of a second of the winner.

The growing competitiveness demonstrated by this result should mean the next round of the series, at Mondello Park on Sunday September 2nd, is one to be sure and catch.

The Masters trip north may have been a success for Mondello Park but for the Kildare venues local competitors it was a tough one.

None of the local riders currently in the running for championship glory could match the Ulster based competitors, mainly due to their better circuit knowledge, which was helped by the lack of any pre-event testing for the visitors.

In the end the only Southern racers to make it on to the podium, across the five feature races, were Nally and McCormack, with the Waterford man managing to retain his championship lead in both the Superbike and Supersport classes despite a challenging event.

The other big Motorsport occasion of the weekend was the annual Phoenix Park Motor Races which took place over two days. The event, which has been running for over a century has more than its fair share of obstacles to overcome every year and this season’s event was even tougher to organise than previous years. With a new roundabout inserted at the circuits Mountjoy corner and growing logistical problems in closing a public park for such an event, the days of this historic free show may now be numbered.

If this year’s event turns out out be the final fling for racing in Dublin’s biggest park, then Carlow’s Richard Kearney will be glad he came out of retirement to take part.

The former Fiat Punto champion took one win from the two Fiat races over the weekend, looking like he had never been away, but retired from the other race on the final lap.

Carbury’s Eric Holstein started the weekend as favourite to win the Irish Touring Car Championship race, but retired without completing a lap.