No doubt we will have a fever pitch atmosphere at 'The Pike' this Sunday (Oct.6th) as we reach the penultimate round of the 2019 championship at Waterford raceway. This -the10th round of the championship- is kindly sponsored by Barry Metal Recycling and also has the added attraction of the Dick Mackey cup race for seniors and the Thomas O Sullivan Memorial cup up for grabs for the juniors.
Most classes are still undecided for end of year honours, so drivers will be hoping for a trouble free raceday. Darragh O Shea ##222 has a slender 3 point lead on Jack Hickey #171 in class 1 with Shane Hickey #416 and Ronan Coughlan #385 also still in contention. Eddie Baldwin #246 is favourite to retain the class2 honours but Michael Coughlan #385 has had a very consistant season and is still in with an outside chance of grabbing the honours. Pat Ryan #75 will be hoping to get back on track in a new build after his 'off' in round 7 to consolidate his 3rd position.
Inconsistant appearances on track from other drivers in class3 has played into the hands of Michael Baldwin in his ever reliable #245 Micra helping him to an uncatchable lead. Alan Darcy #317 will be hoping for another trouble free day in his quest to grab 2nd place from Jason Ryan.Raymond D'Arcy #368 has had a very consistant season in the Fiesta in class 4 and looks to be favourite to take the honours in the class with Peader Wall #8 currently 2nd and Mick Boland #57 looking comfortable for 3rd at the least come November.
Padraig Smiddy's #271 consistant appearance on raceday is paying dividends in class 5 as he leads the way from Andrew O'Brien #3 (2nd) and Andy Foley #21 (3rd) with the possibility of either Kevin McGann#16 or Ronan Waters #10 relegating Andy from 3rd with the 2 racedays remaining. Class 6 is between Martin Fitzgerald #38 and Donie Linehan #101 with Brian Whelan #750 no doubt having a say in the eventual winner.
Willie Heney, currently leader, will be hoping his #500 Micra stays as reliable as ever in his quest to retain the 1B title with both Luke O'Donovan #470 and Stephen Healy #30 still within striking distance should Willie slip up. Alan Houlihan #473 and Liam Fitzgerald #644 are also still in with a shout to grab 2nd and 3rd should the lads currently ahead of them slip up.Orla O'Sullivan #394/#57 has already secured the ladies title for 2019 but the battle continues behind her for the other end of season podium positions between Katie Egan #725 (currently 2nd), Catherine Walsh #62 (currently 3rd) and Jamie Egan (currently 4th).
Brian Weston #967 is leading the way in the stocks but will need to remain at his best with Stevie Slatterey #15 pushing him all the way while Joe Dilworth #152, having consolidated 3rd for the season, is looking to overhaul the 2 lads ahead of him over the final 2 racedays. Martin Power #12 is currently leading in the rookie class but it's far from over with Toby McGuire #973 within striking distance with Liam Kiersey #95 and Conor Fitz #381, currently joint 3rd, still in with a slim chance of taking the title over the next 2 races. Put with that the fact that 8 drivers in total are still contending for the end of season top 3 and you can guess how nervous the followers on the bank will be not to mind the drivers.
Its equally nail biting in the production juniors with a total of 9 drivers still in with a shout of finishing the season in the top 3. Going into round 10 its Ted McGrath #258 (1st), Ben Kenneally #120 (2nd) and Aidan Heney #500 (3rd) who hold the advantage and seem favourites to share the spoils but the chasing pack will be hoping this isn't the case.
Put the 2 cups into the mix also, and it's sure to be another great spectacle of racing at 'The Pike' once again. Fingers crossed for the weather to be dry to make it more enjoyable for drivers and spectators alike