Cregor Elliott: The Canada Day Race Meeting!
July 6, 2012 by Cregor Elliott
The Canada Day meeting in Mondello wasn’t big on entries of either classes or drivers. The Vees were the highlight of the day and not due to qualify until after ten so I arrived around that time figuring I’d be in plenty of time which turned out to be true. The track team menu seemed to generate a lot of interest last day so the detective in me discovered that this weeks offer was for chicken & bacon, steak burger or the veggie pasta bake (not too many wanted this again so hopefully it’s fresh and not the same one as last day).
I was warned off standing on the island at the hole in the hedge after the previous weeks crash even though that had been bikes. BJ Toal and his machine had hurdled the barrier from the Esses taking out an RPM camera but thankfully not the crew. BJ broke his arms landing in what we photographers call the dip while the bike almost made it to BOAC (his carbs did). Get well soon BJ.
After breakfast with the mayor of foursquare I headed to Dunlop for the first Libre race of the day. Heavey was being called by name to assembly for his race. Following his heroics at the April meeting I cynically considered did they need him to get full points for the championship? This turns out to be untrue when eleven Libre’s appear to race. Buckley lamping Matterson is the best action I see. Faherty boxes clever and takes the win making his cornermen on the pitwall happy.
I hang around to catch a bit of Time Attack before going to fit a couple of cameras into Vees, which brings me up to lunch. I have my sambos down with the Leastone crew. JD is being slagged mercilessly about Spa, his Scooby Doo type van, and his beard. Time flies as suddenly we hear cars on track. We heard no announcement but the Ginettas are suddenly out racing. I head for Ford corner pronto.
The Vee race turns into an endurance event all be it an entertaining one. An early safety car is followed by a red flag after Casey is rolled from behind. Rain falls for the restart and Polley goes sideways in front of me causing several cars to pile in behind, red flag again. This would normally see the race relegated to last of the day but were nearly there anyway so it’s let run. I get some good footage and after an hour Moore gets the win from Newsone. O’Hara has a sensational last lap passing several cars to get onto the podium and sets a new lap record of 59.960. Awesome stuff Kev.
I head to the tower to shelter from the rain and watch the Ginettas and Strykers from the commentary box. Byrne and Watkins take their 2nd win of the day each.
Noone risks full wets for the Libre race. Heavey makes up places while it’s wet and a good fight is on the cards but as the track dries the more powerful cars pick up the pace. Matherson and Daly lead midrace but Faherty gets the driver of the day trophy for another win. I skip the Time Attack final to attend the Libre podium presentation at the end of the day.
Driving home my thoughts turn to football. Irish Pride was disabled early in the Euro 2012 tournament but I ponder will the Spain v Italy match the excitement of the Vee race? Hardly…..