In a pair of thrilling races at the Formula Vee Festival, Cian Carey and former saloon star Barry Rabbitt shared the spoils as they battled mightily in front of a capacity crowd.
Carey claimed yet another pole position in qualifying in his bid to close the gap to championship leader Noel Robinson. An on form Barry Rabbitt lined up alongside Carey, but half a second slower whilst Robinson was third a further four tenths adrift. Former champion Fergus Faherty was next up, just a tenth off Robinson’s time, making it a Formula Renault lock out of the front two rows. Next up was welcome returnee Eamonn Matheson in his self built Matheson, completely rebuilt and changed since it last appeared at the Kildare venue, from Colm Hynes, Donal Griffin, John Daly and another class returnee, Martin Daly.
The front row got away as one with Carey, off the back of two strong wins, repelling Rabbitt’s advances into Mobil corner. Typically, Rabbitt, perhaps in the knowledge that Carey was significantly quicker in qualifying, tried everything in the opening laps but Carey gradually eased away. They both had a wake up call early on though as Matheson displayed eye watering straightline speed, almost taking the lead from the duo on the main straight on lap three. Luckily for the Renault mounted pairing though, the home built machine is not quite as impressive through the twiddly bits and soon fell back. Rabbitt kept pushing and closed the gap mid race but at the flag the gap was 2.8 seconds with Carey making it three in a row in the 2016 BOSS Ireland Series. significantly though, Rabbitt’s fastest lap was this time only a tenth shy of the newer machine. Robinson completed the podium albeit almost 14 seconds back, from Matheson, Martin Daly and John Daly.
In race two, Rabbitt made his trademark rocket like start from the outside of the front row and even though Carey matched him, he somehow got ahead around the outside on the approach to Mobil. This set us up for an intriguing race at the front- and it didn’t disappoint! Carey was on the attack almost immediately, but Rabbitt is a Mondello expert and his defences were staunch. Despite some lurid sideways moments, Rabbitt stayed ahead to the flag- but only just, as a perfectly timed run from the final corner brought Carey alongside with the official verdict being 0.042 as they crossed the line. In their wake, Martin Daly had charged through to third from the back and all but matched the leaders in terms of laptimes on his welcome return to the class. Robinson was fourth with John Daly taking the BOSS 1 honours in fifth.
BOSS IRELAND FORMULA LIBRE RACE 1 (11 laps):
1 Cian Carey (Tatuus F Renault) 10m 10.77s, 74.53 mph,
2 Barry Rabbitt (Tatuus F Renault) 10m 13.56s,
3 Noel Robinson (Tatuus F Renault) 10m 27.40s,
4 Eamonn Matheson (Matheson Turbo) 10m 42.32s,
5 Martin Daly (Tatuus F Renault) 10m 43.17s,
6 John Daly (Lola F3000) 10 laps.
Fastest lap: Carey 54.685s, 75.68 mph.
BOSS IRELAND FORMULA LIBRE RACE 2 (13 laps):
1 Barry Rabbitt (Tatuus F Renault) 12m 10.24s, 73.67 mph,
2 Cian Carey (Tatuus F Renault) 12m 10.28s,
3 Martin Daly (Tatuus F Renault) 12m 19.87s,
4 Noel Robinson (Tatuus F Renault) 12m 20.13s,
5 John Daly (Lola F3000) 12m 31.87s,
6 Colm Hynes (Reynard 88D) 12m 31.87s.
Fastest lap: Carey 54.665s, 75.70 mph.
BOSS Ireland Overall Championship:
1. Noel Robinson 117
2. Cian Carey 114
3. Barry Rabbitt 91
4. Martin Daly 51
5. Fergus Faherty 40
6. Tim Buckley. 26
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Image from Michael Chester.