After a great year of racing it was time for the 10th and final round of the MicksGarage.com Future Classics Championship. With the weather playing ball, the scene was set for a great days racing. This weekend seen a few regulars missing from the grid but we still had eighteen cars ready to go which was great for the final round of the Championship. Qualifying kicked off at 10:20 and the top 3 places went to Timmy Duggan,Robbie Parks and Gillbert Clancy respectively.
As Timmy Duggan had the Championship already won it was time to decide 2nd and 3rd place. The three main contenders for the runner up spots were Adrian Dunne, Aidan Byrne and David Hammond, had all broken the barrier time in qualifying and would start from the back of the grid. They were joined by last year's champion Ian Thornton and Tommy Byrne, AKA T-bone:)
When the lights went out all cars got away well and the leaders put their heads down early and drove away at great pace. The chasing pack were keeping up well and the barrier time breakers were on a charge through the grid. After a great start Adrian Dunne in the Saxo had got to 6th from 16th in two laps and was being kept under pressure by Garry Miller in the quick little Ex-Eoghan O'Brien orange Punto.
Up front the battle between Parks and Duggan was tight and closing in on them was Richard Kearney, Ken Byrne and Ger Byrne. Ger was showing great pace at the end of the season with a great win on a wet Sunday at the Leinster Trophy.
The pack was starting to stretch out but Aidan Byrne and David Hammond were still on a mission to get to the front as championship places were still up for grabs.In the closing laps Kearney had been experiencing some problems in the beautiful Alfa 155 which seen him drop back a few spots,this is never nice to see but that's the racing for ya. Tommy Byrne was also on a mission coming through the pack like a train,but unfortunately having a little visit to the sand on turn 1 eventually halted his progress.
When all cars passed the chequered flag there was quite a few barrier time breakers which left Robbie Parks taking the win. Ken Byrne in 2nd place and Adrian Dunne finishing in 3rd. As for the championship standings it looked like this:
1st Timmy Duggan,Seat Ibiza
2nd Adrian Dunne,Citroen Saxo
3rd David Hammond,Fiat Uno
Overall it was a great Championship and as the year went on things got very tight at the top with only a few points separating the top five. Congratulations to our new Champion Timmy Duggan,we look forward to see him defend the championship next year along side his son Gary who looks like he will be back for the 2017 season!
Also well done to Ian Thornton on his No.1 for 2016, he didn't get out for all of races this year but when he did he was really pushing above and beyond some of the bigger power cars,which gos to show that he was a very worthy champion for 2016!
We had been asked by our sponsors MicksGarage.com to give some passenger laps at lunch break,so as ever we obliged! Adrian Dunne in the Saxo and Richard Kearney driving Aidan Byrne's Chevette took to the track giving as many passengers as they could a few nice race pace laps of the National track layout. We really enjoyed this and hope all our passengers did too,it was a great initiative from MicksGarage and we would love to see this again as it really does get the spectators and marshals involved and it's always good to give back!
Our day didn't end there as we had been offered a second non-championship race for the Barrine Cup which we gladly accepted!
This race started at 14:30 and for this race the top three were Adrian Dunne on pole, Aidan Byrne in 2nd and Timmy Duggan in 3rd place. Dunne got off to a good start and led the pack into turn one. Duggan got the jump on Byrne and slipped into 2nd place. Duggan claimed the lead through the esses as Dunne made a mistake going in too fast on a defensive line. This race was incredibly tight with all cars fighting inches from each other and with little or no contact!
Ken Byrne was putting huge Pressure on Dunne as he in turn was trying to reclaim the lead from Duggan at every chance! There was a few laps with the safety car which bunched the pack up tight,but the Mondello crew were quick to remove the broken down car and we were away again.
For most of this race there was only seconds between the top six,but as ever David Hammond seemed to be a man possessed in the little Uno blasting past some much bigger cars.
Further down the grid there was also some great racing with Gillbert Clancy in the FTO and Mike Dermody showing great pace. It was a pity not to see Kearney further up the field in the 155 as he seemed to be still suffering some technical problems. When the cars crossed the line it was Timmy Duggan taking the win and Adrian Dunne in 2nd place from Ken Byrne in 3rd.
It's now time for the winter break and we can all look forward to the drivers meeting and awards night - dates for both of these have yet to be confirmed. It should be an interesting few months leading up to next season as some new builds and improvements are underway to join us next year.
Some of the cars are very unique even for future classics and all will be revealed soon let's just hope they make it to grid by March!
Finally massive thanks to our sponsors at MicksGarage.com as they have done such great work for the class this year,and we hope this partnership grows into the Future!
Photo credit to Brian Walsh who has done brilliant work all year.
By Adrian Dunne