2016 Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year nominee Andy O’Brien has taken victory in the final race of the season to become the 2016 Tool Dynamics Supercar Champion.
Following a long summer break, the Tool Dynamics Supercars returned to Mondello Park for the final two rounds of the 2016 championship.
Qualifying took place in dry conditions on the international circuit of one of the most prestigious meetings of the calendar, the Leinster Trophy weekend. The overall pace for the grid had improved considerably in qualifying from earlier in the season. O’Brien qualified on the front row for each race.
O’Brien carried a two point championship lead into the weekend, in a four way battle to take the championship title. Needing a first and second place finish in both races to claim the seasons goal, the pressure was palpable.
Race one was declared a wet race by the COC, which saw the entire grid return to the pit lane from assembly, to make tyre and setup changes for the worsening conditions. Barrable got off the line with O’Brien in pursuit. Moffet completed a trio to pull away from the field. O’Brien and Moffet traded places in an enthralling battle throughout the fifteen minute race. Barrable won the race with O’Brien in second and Moffet in third in a closely contested battle.
Race two saw O’Brien start in second again with Barrable in first place and Moffet in third in the championship deciding final race. O’Brien had an excellent start off the line, making the jump on Barrable to lead into turn one. “Taking the lead off the line was crucial for my championship aspirations’ admitted O’Brien. “Following the near perfect start in really wet conditions, I set out to build a lead and manage the gap”. Barrable dropped away with a technical issue, however Moffet piled on the pressure which kept O’Brien honest. O’Brien had enough of a gap built up to take the final race win of the season and Championship title.
“We led the championship all season, and winning the final race, which was my most memorable, my Specialist Cars Ireland prepared Supercar was flawless all weekend” grinned the 22 year old from Templeogue.
O’Brien picks up the Tool Dynamics Supercar championship prize of an endurance race in Spa, the home of Belgian F1. O’Brien will drive a Porsche GT3 in a one hour race.
O’Brien, a contender for the Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of The Year, said, “I worked hard all season with the team. The plan for 2017 was always to return to Formula Ford”.
“I need to thank Ken Bolger of Specialist Cars Ireland for a fantastic machine this season together with the rest of the team. I also need to thank my father, Noel O’Brien who has been by my side during my racing career. Without my sponsors listed below, and my media partner, The Sunday World, this season may not have had the same result. Many thanks to you all.”
Specialist Cars Ireland, Tool Dynamics Company, Sunday World, O’Brien Diaries, Robert Kinsella Cylinder Head Resurfacing, D’Arcy McGees, Siltex Safety Solutions and Burke Lubrications.