Mondello Park, Kildare, Ireland – Monday 15th August 2016: Coming from securing a double podium at Kirkistown last time out, Daragh Denning was hoping he could use his home advantage to mount a bid for his first outright race victory as the Ginetta Junior Ireland Championship returned to Mondello Park last weekend.
The former Irish Karting Championship front-runner has always shown good pace in the championship, now in his second season. Having had a mixed run in pre-event testing, Denning was looking at Qualifying as a new day and a new session to put things right and place himself in a good position to challenge from the off.
Light rain descended on the Kildare circuit just as the grid of over 11 Ginetta G20’s left the pitlane for their 15-minute qualifying session. A now greasy track made conditions tricky to say the least, with Daragh posting the third fastest time of the session to put himself on the inside of row two for the first of the days two races.
With slightly warmer and dry conditions for race one in the early afternoon, Denning made a superb start off the line to challenge the race leading Harron brothers into turn one. Knowing an early challenge would be key to mounting a bid for race victory, Daragh continued his charge for most of the opening lap. Slotting into third position, Denning now started to consolidate his position in preparation for any hesitation up in front.
As one of only three drivers lapping under 1.06.5, it was all quite consistent at the front. Despite closing the gap up ahead for second to just over four tenths of a second during the final laps, Daragh brought his Dennings Crash Repairs Ginetta G20 across the line in third to secure his first podium of the weekend, and third in a row this season.
Starting race two again from row two, Denning was once again filling the mirrors of those in front into the first corner. However this time Daragh was forced to do some defending of his own with Morgan Quinn paying close attention to his rear bumper exiting the first corner. Like race one, at the end of the opening lap, a small gap between the leading pack started to emerge despite the top five drivers circulating within four tenths of a second of each others pace.
Making sure he remained within striking distance for a further promotion up the order, Denning managed to also keep Quinn at bay to secure his second podium finish of the weekend and fourth in a row this season at the chequered flag.
Daragh Denning – #5 Team MCP Ginetta G20:
“Qualifying was a tricky start to the day with the wet conditions in the morning, but then in the two races I got two good starts. I tried to go up the inside for second in both races but it just didn’t happen. Overall I think it was a good weekend with two thirds in the end, I think I drove well this weekend, the car was on rails so thanks to Morgan Dempsey and his team. Obviously a big thanks to my sponsors Dennings Crash Repairs and Ken Lawford Motors for their support, without them I wouldn’t even be here this weekend. Looking ahead to the next round on the International, I like the big track, it’s something a bit different. It’s hard to string a lap together because it’s so long but I’ll be looking forward to that weekend.”