Strykers Set for 2013
February 24, 2013 by Brian Kingston
Now entering it’s 15th season, the Irish Stryker Championship is continuing it’s resurgence as the clubman racing class of choice in Ireland. Committee members Paul Yeomans and ex-Octane.ie members Keith Drofla and Brian Kingston have been ploughing time into the class in the off season and are very excited about the forthcoming year. They recently had the following to say - ”It’s been a tough few years for motorsport and many classes have seen their grid numbers disappear, but we’re delighted that we’ve weathered the storm and still have a great bunch of guys that turn out for every race on the calendar. We had six new drivers join the class last year and 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best years for the class in a long time. I think the thing that attracts people to the Strykers is the ‘bang for buck’ ideology, the cars are plenty quick with over 260bhp per tonne and they must be one of the cheapest cars to run in the paddock – I did 13 races last year and all I spent was less than a grand on maintenance / servicing and a set of tyres!”
But the real difference to some other classes is the comradery amongst competitors in the paddock, if it’s changing engines at 1am in the Phoenix Park or fettling a set-up in Mondello, you can be guaranteed there will be a few other Stryker drivers to lend a friendly helping hand. On track, the racing is tightly contested but with a level of racecraft that normally means the action is clean as well as exciting. All things taken into consideration, this Championship really is the best clubman racing in Ireland and is ideally suited to the cost conscious times we’re in.
All new for 2013 is a revamped website for the class www.irishstrykers.ie , the freshly designed site features useful information about the class, how you can get involved, news articles, photo galleries, handy links, as well as live feeds to Twitter – follow @irishstrykers and Facebook.com/IrishStrykers. The website also features some great circuit overviews and details of other Strykers for sale or to rent.
Free Race Entry to Anglesey-
Newcomers to the class for 2013 and previous or occasional competitors are being offered a chance to win a free race entry to the Anglesey Rounds in Wales this August. The winner will be decided in the opening race of the 2013 season in Mondello Park on April 14th. Eligible drivers will compete on track against each other and the best placed driver will win the unique chance to race in the most spectacular circuit on the race calendar.
Competitor of the Year Award-
Also new for this year is the Irish Strykers ‘Competitor of the Year’ award. This trophy is awarded on an annual basis to the competitor who is recognised for their stand out efforts during the preceding season and is voted on by the other competitors. At the recent Strykers launch party, the trophy was awarded to Des Bruton for the 2012 season. At 63 Des has held a race licence for an astonishing 46 consecutive years and never had a more ‘character building’ season as he did in 2012, the year started with a hard accident on the main straight in Mondello which nearly ended his illustrious racing career but his true competitive spirit shone through when he was back on the grid later in the year. Everyone in the class loves racing with Des and nobody deserves this recognition more than he does. Des will be back on the grid in 2013 and looking to regain some of his lap records no doubt!
2013 Season Launch Party-
Scruffy Murphy’s pub in Dublin played host to the 2013 Season Launch Party in late January, where a strong number of registrations for the forthcoming season were taken on the night. People were excited about the exceptionally varied Race Calendar lined up for the year ahead. The big news is that Anglesey is back on the calendar, as the BRSCC have warmly invited the class to their August 3rd & 4th race meeting. Bishopscourt, Kirkistown and both Mondello circuit configurations are also lined up for what promises to be a cracking seasons racing.
Competitors 2012 champion, Alan Watkins is no less motivated for the year ahead, despite now winning the championship for a record 4th time. Is this the year that he is toppled of the top spot? 2012 runner-up Paul Yeomans is back for more again this year and will no doubt be pushing Alan hard from when the lights go out. The first father-son pairing Bill Griffin and Dave Griffin look to be a force to contend with again, Bill took 3rd place in the championship last year and Dave showed glimpses of serious speed that should translate into results this year. There is even talk of another Griffin sibling signing up for next year so expect a tussle for the two driving seats in Griffin camp! Roger Welaratne, now dubbed the ‘flying frenchman’ is looking to build on last years turn of speed and is no doubt one to watch for in the patriotic red white and blue Stryker. Brian Kingston enters his 3rd season this year and is hoping to maintain the perfect reliability from 2012 and add some more speed to get a few more podiums to add to his 2012 tally. Steve Ross will be back for more close racing this season as he tries to capture his first race win. Des Bruton will be ready for action and hoping for some better luck than 2013. Peter Auerbach has been busy in the off season building a new Stryker, it’ll be a close call to have it ready for the new season but we’re likely to see more of him and his son Alan who turned out a great performance at the last Leinster Trophy weekend, taking home a 2nd place trophy on his return to the class. Newcomers Mark Baker in the ex Paddy Flynn car and Des Meehan in the ex-Joe Maher car will be ones to watch to see what speed they bring to the class and challenge some of the more established competitors.Andy Dalton and Pat Bergin will no doubt be wheeling out the camper vans and looking forward to the trips up north and to Anglesey.
Cars For Sale-
2 race winning cars are currently on the market at very competitive prices and arrive & drive packages are available for anybody interested in joining the grid. There has never been better value for racing than at present and no better people to go racing with than the Irish Strykers.
More details in the classified section of www.irishstrykers.ie and www.motorsport.ie