Abrakebabra Formula Ford Festival Blog- with Cregor Elliott
June 21, 2014 by Cregor Elliott
What a brilliant weekends racing as the Formula Ford Festival was revived in Mondello with a trophy named after one of the all-time greats of Irish motorsport; Vivian Daly. I grew up watching Vivian racing Ffords and Opels and can still remember his 2FM, Abrakebabra, and XtraVision sponsored cars racing for wins at Mondello and Phoenix Park. I sat on the wall in Kirkistown during a test day many years ago when earning to use a stop watch accurately and practicing on Vivian. He lapped within a tenth of a second every single lap for the entire session; Impressive stuff.
A late start saw me arriving at the track just before lunch as there was no racing during the morning. I’d collected some free range eggs on the way so did a swap of some eggs for a sambo that was devoured in the tower while chatting with Leo and Jenny. Cutting foam expert Fran brought in some IrishFFFestival hashtags while we were eating. They looked the biz and appeared in plenty of photos over the weekend. Racing started at two with the Patch Fiestas so I headed to Dunlop to catch the action staying for the opening Formula Ford race Brendan Fitzgerald and Stephen Daly take the wins. My newly acquired selfiestick saw some action between races, but instead of
using the phone I stuck the GoPro on it and fired the camera using the app from the phone, managing to get some decent photos. The photos from above the cars look great with the single seaters. I wander down to the first corner for the rest of the afternoon. Daly wins again in the Fords while Sean Lillis takes the Fiesta race. There’s time back in the paddock for an ice cream to cool down before I head for home.
Rain was threatening on Sunday morning so I hit the road early to try and arrive dry, but of course the weather around Mondello was doing its own thing, it rained from the turn off the motorway which wasn’t too bad. After brekkie I sorted a few things around the paddock for next months Formula Vee Festival.
Abrakebabra the sponsors for the weekend and were setting up a stall in the paddock. I was hoping for free kebabs but they were unable to do that apparently because of objections so sunnies and wristbands were the freebies for the day. Almost everyone in the paddock was sporting the shades by lunchtime. Heavy showers started to fall as racing began but I was nice and dry in the tower helping out Leo and doing a stint on Mondello.TV where all the races were going out live.
Racing for Sunday was on the International track so I ventured down to the Tarzans for the first races of the afternoon. The Formula Ford festival heat was a cracker won by Kevin O’Hara before Dave O‘Brien took the opening ITCC race. The Daly name was again back to winning ways in the BOSS series as young Darragh took the win in Martins car. Gaps clearing the track between races were eating into the time though and the afternoon was flying along. I changed my location and headed down to Ford corner for the rest of the afternoon.
Sean Lillis won the Fiesta final after a great battle with Shane McFadden that
saw the pair finish 20 seconds ahead of 3rd place Barry Hallion. The main event of the weekend was the Formula Ford final. Rob Barrable it was who lifted the Vivian Daly Memorial trophy after he managed to pass O’Hara the long time leader although any of the front runners were in with a chance od taking the flag. Rob Butler won ITCC race 2 although he didn’t have it easy. The BMW of O’Brien was an early challenger before its demise with mechanical problems after which Fitzy in the Leon SuperCopa closed in and harried the Honda over the closing laps. Butler drove superbly though and took his first win of the season. Adam Macaulay added to his points haul for the season with another win in Formula Vee from Kevin Grogan and Dave O’Brien who had started
well down the grid after problems in qualifying. There were plenty of photographers at turn one, and we had a good laugh between races, some elected to take a nap in the sun during the delays I for once didn’t need one.
Dave Griffin won the Stryker race, which was the last of the day as back in the paddock the awards were handed out and things were wrapped up for the day with. Racing finished fairly late and with the Canadian Grand Prix starting at 7 there was a mass exodus once the track was opened to crossover. Another great weekends racing at Mondello Park.