Jonathan Fildes has completely rebuilt his Ralt RT4 over the winter, with the help of Stephen Kelly, who was Jonathan’s father Ken’s spanner man back in the Formula Atlantic days. As is the way with race car rebuilds, they didn’t quite make it for day one of the opening meeting at Mondello Park in April. Despite missing qualifying, Jonathan was allowed three laps on Sunday morning before starting the races from the pitlane.
Cian Carey, in his beautifully reliveried Mooretown Engineering Formula Renault, had annexed pole position with an impressive time of 53.2 ahead of a horde of challengers. Noel Robinson, fresh from an impressive FF1600 win at Kirkistown, was next up, trailing the newer machine by some eight tenths of a second. Peter Dywer and former champion Fergus Faherty made up row two, with Colm Hynes and Barry Rabbitt rounding out the top six. Rabbitt, claiming later he had brought his toybox.ie Formula Renault to a drag race event at Bishopscourt in the off season, somehow nailed an incredible start which had him challenging for the lead into Mobil Corner. After a wheel to wheel run to turn two with poleman Carey, he incredibly led after two corners, in front of the Mondello.tv cameras.
Predictably enough, Fildes was shortly on the scene and with new rubber on the Ralt, was pretty much unstoppable. Rabbitt held him back for a few corners but Jonathan was not to be denied and grabbed the lead with a ballsy move into the first part of turn three! After that, as the commentary team had suggested, it was the Ralt vs the clock, as the former multiple champion pushed hard to find out what his newly rebuilt car would be capable of.
51.771 was the answer, but even more impressive was the gap he had pulled out to the rest of the field. Robinson was second but almost 40 seconds behind the elderly Ralt. Carey claimed the final podium place with early hero Rabbitt having to settle for fourth by the flag.
In race two, Carey and Rabbitt, probably wary of the fact that the Ralt had just been released from the pitlane, clashed at turn three with both retiring on the spot. Predictably, Fildes charged to the front but did not manage to eclipse his time from race one. Robinson was second again, substantially closer than before, whilst Eamonn Matheson was third. It was great to see the NI visitor back in on the BOSS Ireland grids and with his massively reworked Ninja claiming a podium so soon, he will definitely be worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses! Faherty, Hynes and an off form (beset by gearbox woes) Martin Daly completed the top six to cap a great opening weekend for BOSS Ireland.
IRISH MOTOR RACING CLUB RACE MEETING AT MONDELLO PARK:
BOSS IRELAND RACE 1 (17 laps):
1 Jonathan Fildes (Ralt RT4 Mounttune) 15m 10.23s, 77.29 mph,
2 Noel Robinson (Tatuus F Renault) 15m 49.86s,
3 Cian Carey (Tatuus F Renault) 15m 51.82s,
4 Barry Rabbitt (Tatuus F Renault) 16m 00.43s,
5 Eamonn Matheson (Mission T5) 16 laps,
6 Fergus Faherty (Tatuus F Renault) 16 laps.
Fastest lap: Fildes 51.711s, 80.03 mph.
BOSS IRELAND RACE 2 (14 laps):
1 Jonathan Fildes (Ralt RT4 Mounttune) 12m 40.81s, 76.15 mph,
2 Noel Robinson (Tatuus F Renault) 13m 06.39s,
3 Eamonn Matheson (Mission T5) 13m 23.52s,
4 Fergus Faherty (Tatuus F Renault) 13m 24.87s,
5 Colm Hynes (Reynard 88D) 13m 27.69s,
6 Martin Daly (Tatuus F Renault) 13 laps.
Fastest lap: Fildes 52.226s, 79.24 mph.