LIMERICK Paul O'Connell regained the 2019 Formula Boss championship with a round to spare last month.
Last weekend the Crecora motorsport enthusiast brought a successful Finnstown Castle Hotel Formula Boss Ireland Championship season to a successful end with two outings in Mondello Park.
The Finnstown Castle Formula Boss Ireland season finished the weekend at Mondello Park with the last round being held on the international track. The Leinster trophy hopefuls increased the grid as they looked to dial in their cars to the track for Sundays big race.
The F3 pair of Stephen Daly and Paul Dagg occupied the front row but it was Paul O’Connell in the Dallara World Series car that had the best getaway as he launched down the outside and into the lead when the lights went out.
O’Connell was fast on the straights but the F3 cars carried the speed through the tight corners The top three were nose to tail by the end of the opening lap.
The lead changed at the end the second lap. Daly had put pressure all around the lap on O’Connell and it paid off when a slide from O’Connell on the way to paddock saw Daly up the inside and into the lead. Dagg wasted no time in getting past seconds later and the 2 F3 cars were away at the front.
Daly and Dagg opened up their lead with O’Connell unable to match the blistering pace causing him to fall back towards Barry Rabbitt.
Daly was managing the gap to Dagg and in control of the race. O'Connell was unable to match the pace of the leaders but was holding the gap to Rabbitt, Reade and Mullins came together at Southside on the last lap leaving the Leatone in the gravel but the winners had criossed the line at the point so the result was unaffected bar the non finish for Reade. Daly taking the win from Dagg and O'Connell.
Paul O'Connell with third on the road took the Boss 1 win from Mansfield and Connolly. Barry Rabbitt took the Boss 2 honours from Faherty and Mullins. The result saw Fergus Faherty crowned BOSS 2 champion for the season.
Twenty-four hours later, inclement weather was the order of the day for the Leinster Trophy race causing everyone to opt for the wet tyres to start the race. Stephen Daly was the pole sitter with Paul O’Connell alongside.
Paul Dagg and Sam Mansfield occupied the 2nd row with Barry Rabbitt and Michael Connolly the row behind.
Daly stalled the Dallara on the line when the lights went out and caused panic behind as the drivers tried to avoid the stationary car, thankfully everyone did. O'Connell took the lead with Mansfield in behind him. Rabbitt squeezed between Daly and the barrier to go down the inside in third place before passing Mansfield into turn two.
He then tracked O'Connell around the country before taking the lead around the outside of Bridgestone. The grandstand roared approval at a sensational opening half lap for the Meath driver.
Dagg lost a place avoiding Daly but had the pace to pull away from Connolly in the Radical. Max Hart took a wide line to the first corner and made a few places. Daly was four from the back having finally restarted the car, he was up to 6th place by the end of the lap. Dagg had a decent opening lap and passed both Mansfield and O'Connell who didn't have the usual amount of grip from the wet track.
Rabbitt got the head down once at the front and pulled a few seconds gap to Dagg as the Renault them matched the speed of the F3. Daly took two attempts to pass Mansfield The Radical fighting back on the straight having been passed but losing out on the brakes in turn one.
He carried on his blistering pace and passed O'Connell later in the lap.
Rabbitt held his gap at the front. Daly was lining up Dagg for a pass when a mistake saw Paul take a trip through the gravel doing Daly the favour of an easy place. He was now hunting Rabbitt and closing in quickly, he was on the leaders gearbox within a few laps.
The weather meant as the race progressed there were several offs around the circuit and as the yellow flags mounted the safety car was deployed with a few minutes left on the clock.
The incidents weren't cleared in time. The time ran out and Barry Rabbitt took a popular win from Daly and Dagg. This was the second time for Barry to win the trophy, only the 6th person to win it twice and the 2nd person to win it in two different classes.