Paul O'Connell from Crecora made history on Sunday becoming the first Limerickman to win the prestigious BOSS Ireland Championship
A CRECORA man made history on Sunday, becoming the first driver from County Limerick to win the national BOSS Ireland Championship.
Eight years ago, Paul O’Connell suffered a setback in his racing career after a crash in a race in County Donegal.
O’Connell was on cloud nine prior to the incident picking up three Irish Hillclimb Championship Trophies in a row between 2007 to 2009; the injuries weren’t severe however it did leave an impact.
“After a big crash in 2010 in Donegal which took me nearly twelve months to fix the car afterwards, and with two small kids around I decided this year to try a fresh challenge,” Paul recalled.
O’Connell’s fresh challenge was his transition from hill climbing where racers have to beat the times of other drivers in individual laps, to BOSS (Big Open Single Seated) circuit racing where Paul wouldn’t be the sole driver on the track.
The Crecora native’s maiden voyage season into the BOSS Ireland Championship has gone well, sitting top of the table ahead of one of Irish motor sports’ most anticipated race of the year the Leinster Trophy at Mondello Park.
The Trophy was first won by “Flying” Fay Taylor back in 1934, and since then a prestigious alumni of champions including legends, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen all captured the Leinster Trophy.
A finish in fourth or above will secure the debutant the national championship; in his way, however, was Ballyvaughan man, Sylvie Mullins in the final race.
With his 2002 Formula 3, O’Connell started strong overtaking two drivers at the first corner pitting him in second behind Paul Dagg.
Stephen Daly then overtook O’Connell, and chasing the Limerickman’s tail was Mullins; however, a stroke of luck, took the Clare driver out of the equation.
“Unfortunately for Sylvie, he ran into car trouble and had to retire from the race after the end of the first lap.
“It meant that I had to just stay out of trouble and pump in decent lap times,” Paul added.
Paul finished third in his first race in Mondello Park, securing the first-ever BOSS Irish championship for Limerick.
“I set myself an ambitious goal at the start of the season of finishing in the top three in the championship so to have won it on the first time out was amazing,” he beamed.