2013 Round 11 Race Report – Grogan takes dominant maiden win at season finale!

AvantiSport's Kevin Grogan has been a frontrunner all year and took his first A race win at Kirkistown with style. Image from Con Connolly.

AvantiSport’s Kevin Grogan has been a frontrunner all year and took his first A race win at Kirkistown with style. Image from Con Connolly.

With Adam Macaulay already crowned the Crowne Plaza National Formula Vee Champion, the final round at Kirkistown was to be a race purely for glory and bragging rights. Pre-race testing saw most of the contenders suffering minor issues but at the end of the day, Newsome Racing’s Adam Macaulay and David O’Brien along with AvantiSport’s Kevin Grogan, were the drivers on the pace. Kirkistown specialist O’Brien was fastest in qualifying by just 0.012s from Grogan with LOH Motorsport’s Dan Polley and novice driver, Sean Newsome, sharing the second row. Newly crowned champion, Macauley could only manage fifth on the grid with series returnee Damien Murphy in sixth. The top 5 were only separated by 0.2s so a tight action packed race was expected.

As the lights went out, it was Newsome that got the jump from fourth to lead through Debtors with Grogan making an assertive move around the outside to take the lead into Colonial. Aside from a brief moment on lap 2 when Newsome took the lead, Grogan reeled off a series of fast laps to take a comprehensive win by 8.3s.

For several laps, there was a six way battle for 2nd position with numerous overtaking moves on each lap until Newsome dropped out on lap 4. Macauley fought his way into 2nd spot with five laps to go and pulled a gap to Dan Polley and David O’Brien. It wasn’t until the very last corner of the last lap that O’Brien got by Polley to take the 3rd and final spot on the podium. Behind them, Stephen Morrin got the better of Leastone teammates Colm Blackburn and John Downey.

Speaking after his maiden win, Grogan said “I’m really happy to get my first overall win; it’s a great way to end the season. That race felt like the longest race I’ve ever been in. The chequered flag couldn’t come quick enough as I was dealing with dropping oil pressure for the last few laps. Hopefully we can start next season where we are leaving off this season”.

In the earlier B/C race, polesitter Sean Newsome led off the line for two laps before an incident with 2nd placed Stephen Morrin saw Newsome drop to 5th place and Morrin out on the spot with his Dunlop Championship hopes in ruins. Leastone Racing’s Colm Blackburn took up the lead until Newsome battled back to the front with 3 laps to go which resulted in a frantic battle to the flag with just 0.082s separating them at the end. KERS Motorsport’s Morgan McCourt followed home in 3rd place with 16 year old Jack Byrne in 4th.

With the season now over, Adam Macaulay has been crowned the Crowne Plaza National Champion with Ray Moore runner up and Dan Polley in third. Leastone Racing’s Colm Blackburn is the Dunlop Championship winner followed by Morgan McCourt and Stephen Morrin. In the VW Spares Rookie Championship, LOH Racing’s Justin Costello is the new champion with 16 year old Jack Byrne in second and Brendan O’Brien in third.

Star Drive – Kevin Grogan. After the last round at Mondello Park, it was said that “if he drives like that at the final round in Kirkistown, he’ll be one to watch for his maiden win”. And so he followed up his Mondello form with a comprehensive win at Kirkistown. If he sticks with Vees in 2014, he should be in the mix for championship glory.

Total Oils Fastest Lap Award – Kevin Grogan.

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