Paul Sammin Racing Formula Ireland opener report

SAMMIN leaps to Formula Ireland podium. Paul Sammin's 2002 motor racing season got off to a flying start by finishing third in the inaugural Formula Ireland Championship at Mondello Park on Sunday 15th May. The Louisburgh racing driver's ...

SAMMIN leaps to Formula Ireland podium.

Paul Sammin's 2002 motor racing season got off to a flying start by finishing third in the inaugural Formula Ireland Championship at Mondello Park on Sunday 15th May.

The Louisburgh racing driver's impressive debut in Ireland's exciting new premier racing series culminated in taking the third step of the podium and along with it, his fair share of the media limelight.

Despite persistent rain in the Alan McGarrity Motorsport prepared car, Paul qualified on row 2 of the grid with his best time of 1.08.15 achieved on lap 12. A spin on the following lap put a premature end to the possibility of a better starting point.

At 3:30p.m. as the countdown began for the new Race Series, warm sunshine greeted the large attendance, who were treated to a Ferrari F1 demonstration prior to the Formula Ireland race.

With more experienced drivers positioned ahead on the grid, Paul got the 170 bhp Van Diemen off to a blistering start and moved up to third place immediately, overtaking eventual race winner Robbie Coleman.

By the third corner, Paul had taken reigning Formula Europa Champion, John O'Hara, but could not maintain that 2nd position due to the hard charging Robbie Coleman, a former British Formula Renault Championship driver and son of the rally legend, Billy Coleman. Form then on Paul raced with maturity, sustaining great pressure from Barry Waugh and gratefully accepted the chequered flag in third place after the 18 laps. Ex-Benelux Formula Ford Champion and US F2000 race winner Peter Walsh (Cork) was second.

After the podium celebrations and media interviews, Paul expressed his delight on his achievement, first time out in the new Series. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be on the podium today. After months of preparation and all the hard work with my team has paid off. I am particularly pleased too that my primary sponsors were here to witness the action in the flesh and join in on the celebrations."

With each of the 10 rounds featured on RTE TV's Grand Prix Show, the Mayo & District Motorsport Club driver is set to feature strongly in each the 45 minute segments before the start of the Formula One race, throughout the season.

Formula Ireland moves to Kirkistown, Northern Ireland next Saturday 25th for Round Two.

Paul Sammin Racing acknowledges the following for their significant contribution in his Formula Ireland campaign-- Burleigh Accountancy Group, Castlebar; Crean Mosaics & Tiles, Charlestown and Castlebar; Kilroy Tiles, Sligo and Naas; Finn Auctioneers, Claremorris; Togher Tyres, Castlebar and Corrib Oil, Claremorris.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers John O'Hara