After an extended mid-season break, it was back to business on Sunday – July 28th – at ‘The Pike’ with the running of the 6th round of this year’s championship for Waterford raceway. The raceday, which was kindly sponsored by Boland Race Prep., also had the Tom Murray perpetual shield up for grabs along with the introduction of the McNamara Micra Challenge,(MMC)- a mini championship to be run on 3 dates during the second half of the year, with a junior driver and senior 1B driver combining their points over the 3 days to win the honours.
On a day which was ideal for racing over 70 drivers signed on and readied themselves for some competitive battles. After the usual 3 rounds of racing, Stevie Slattery took the honours in the stock class ahead of Brian Weston (2nd) and Joe Dilworth (3rd). Numbers were back a bit in the 2 junior classes so there was no split as was done on other days. In the production juniors Ted Mc Grath secured the top step on the podium, with Ben Kenneally 2nd and Ross Ryan 3rd. The rookie juniors were equally as competitive with 3 different winners in the 3 races. Martin Power was proved the most consistent to take the raceday win ahead of Liam Kiersy and Toby McGuire. The adult 1B class had a few extra drivers, as they competed in the ‘MMC mini championship’. They pushed the standard Micras hard all day and in the end it was Jason Ryan who came out on top with Alan Houlihan 2nd and Willie Heney 3rd.
The ladies had a good number on the starting grid for their races. Catherine Walsh took the honours with some great driving ahead of the ever competitive Orla O Sullivan with Anita Pollard claiming the 3rd step on the podium. Class 1 honours went to Ronan Coughlan, with another day of good consistency, ahead of Darragh O’Shea 2nd and Jack Hickey 3rd. Class 2 has developed into ‘the elders class’ with the experienced Pat Ryan 1st , Eddie Baldwin 2nd and Michael Coughlan 3rd once again doing battle. In class 3 Michael Baldwin – Eddie’s son – got the better of Jason Ryan –Pat’s son- to claim the bragging rights on the day with Paul Fitzgerald 3rd. Raymond D’Arcy once again put in a commanding performance in class 4 to take the win ahead of Mick Boland 2nd and Peader Wall 3rd.
The usual battle in class 5 between Padraig Smiddy and Andy O Brien was as entertaining as ever with Padraig winning out after both drivers unfortunately suffered mechanical problems in the 3rd race. The high powered cars in class6 gave a display of very fast racing with Martin Fitz once again showing great driving technique and an eye for a gap to take the honours ahead of Donie Linehan 2nd and Brendan Dee 3rd.
And so to the big race of the afternoon- the 20 lap Tom Murray Perpetual Shield race. The afore mentioned names in class 1-6 as well as the ladies qualified for the all-in race. Due to mechanical issues or double driving of a car a number of drivers didn’t take to the line. With the higher powered cars starting a lap down they had a lot of work to do to get their hands on the shield. Jack Hickey took an early lead in his class 1 car with Raymond D’Arcy (class 4) and Martin Fitz (class 6) doing best at making up the ground on the leader. Martin progressed into 2nd and was closing on Jack in the last lap, but Jack pushed his Micra to the limit and saw the chequred flag just in time to take a well deserved win with Martin just behind in 2nd and Raymond 3rd.
The club wish to thank everyone who helped make the day a success and we look forward to August when we have a weekend of racing consisting of round 7 & 8 of the championship as well as the Tony Dunphy and Maura Walsh cups.