2000 Europa Cup Ireland - Round 10 Kirkistown, Co Down, Saturday 26 August 2000 Keith Dempsey increased his lead in the 2000 Europa Cup Ireland with his first victory on Irish soil. Morgan Dempsey followed his win at Phoenix Park earlier in...
2000 Europa Cup Ireland - Round 10
Kirkistown, Co Down, Saturday 26 August 2000
Keith Dempsey increased his lead in the 2000 Europa Cup Ireland with his first victory on Irish soil. Morgan Dempsey followed his win at Phoenix Park earlier in the week with an excellent drive to second, ahead of Keith's CDR team-mate Paul Dagg. Current Champion Vivion Daly failed to finish after a clash with Dagg at Fishermans in the latter stages of the race.
After a day of dry testing in glorious weather, the stars of the Europa Cup were faced with a wet qualifying session at six o'clock on Friday evening. This unusual time was due to the next day's meeting at Northern Ireland's only motor racing circuit being one of the busiest of the year.
Morgan Dempsey (Seam Renson Racing) set the early pace and looked certain to have clinched his first championship pole position of the year. However, in the dying minutes of the session, his cousin Keith (Cliff Dempsey Racing) bettered Morgan's time by a fraction of a second to take the coveted front slot on the grid. Morgan kept second while Paul Dagg (Cliff Dempsey Racing) ended up third from Vivion Daly (Vivion Daly Racing).
After Friday's wet qualifying session, the conditions changed again so that by Saturday's race the track was completely dry. The teams reverted to the set-ups they had developed during Thursday's dry testing, and hoped for the best.
Keith Dempsey lined up at the front of the staggered grid and made the most of his pole position. However, behind him Paul Dagg made an excellent getaway to grab second place from Morgan Dempsey with Vivion Daly retaining his fourth place. Henry O'Friel (Leslie Wright Racing) was next up ahead of Noel Roddy (Leslie Wright Racing), Peter Le Bas (Top Marx), Leslie Wright (Leslie Wright racing), Dermot Healy (Top Marx) and Tim Buckley (Status Motorsport with EPC).
On the second lap, Tim Buckley managed to get past Dermot Healy, and then on the third lap Paul Dagg tried to overtake Keith Dempsey going through the chicane. Keith shut the door on him and Paul took to the grass. Vivion Daly slipped past, and Morgan Dempsey followed him through with Paul recovering to retain fourth.
Meantime, behind this action at the front, Henry O'Friel, Noel Roddy, Peter Le Bas and Leslie Wright had been having their own battle. O'Friel had the advantage from the start but Le Bas overtook Roddy on lap two to chase after Henry. However, Noel Roddy passed Le Bas again the following lap while Leslie Wright was hard on their heels.
All the action happened on lap six. First Paul Dagg squeezed past Morgan Dempsey to grab third place. Then Noel Roddy and Peter Le Bas crossed the line side-by-side and hard on the heels of Henry O'Friel. By the end of the next lap Noel was ahead of Henry, with Le Bas following him past. Leslie Wright also overtook his team-mate as O'Friel dropped back with car problems, while Tim Buckley's race ended on lap 7.
The first four cars circulated in a train for some time, before Paul Dagg finally made his move on lap 15. He attacked Vivion Daly at Fishermans in a move that didn't quite come off. The result was Daly off the circuit and into retirement, Dagg with a deranged nose-cone, and Morgan Dempsey saying "Thank you very much!" and up into second place.
Positions were then held to the chequered flag. Keith Dempsey took his first Formula Europa win on Irish soil in untroubled fashion, Morgan Dempsey had his third second-place finish of the year, and Paul Dagg was fortunate to be able to continue to third but would gain an extra point for having set fastest lap. As a result, Keith extended his lead in the championship while Morgan reduced the gap to Paul Dagg in second to only one point.
The final two rounds of the championship, with the top three drivers separated by only 13 points, will be held at Mondello Park on 16/17 September 2000.
Result - Round 10 Kirkistown, 26 August 2000 20 Laps
No. Nat. Time Behind ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 9 Keith Dempsey IRL Cliff Dempsey Racing 19:36.06 2 27 Morgan Dempsey IRL Seam Renson Racing 19:42.37 6.31 3 8 Paul Dagg IRL Cliff Dempsey Racing 19:48.19 12.13 4 17 Noel Roddy IRL Leslie Wright Racing 19:52.09 16.03 5 75 Peter Le Bas IRL Top Marx 19:52.12 16.06 6 12 Leslie Wright GBR Leslie Wright Racing 19:54.20 18.14 7 10 Henry O'Friel IRL Leslie Wright Racing 20:22.66 46.60 8 34 Dermot Healy GBR Top Marx 19 laps 1 lap 9 1 Vivion Daly IRL Vivion Daly Racing 15 laps not running 10 99 Tim Buckley IRL Status Motorsport with EPC 7 laps not running
FASTEST LAP 8 Paul Dagg IRL 57.96 on lap 8 154.113 kph 93.907 mph