Fitzgerald Claims Maiden Season Fiesta ST Victory While Holstein Edges To Championship Title

Eric Holstein took a major step towards securing the Fiesta St championship title at Mondello Park on Sunday July 14th,as he took a win and a third in the Dennings Cars Fiesta ST series.

Holstein also took his fifth victory of 2019 to move into an almost unbeatable forty point lead in the ST series, ahead of Michael Cullen and Alex Denning as Brendan Fitzgerald claims his first victory of the season.

Holstein’s season long rivalry with Denning continued in qualifying with the championship top two claiming the front row of the grid where Denning lined up on pole, two tenths quicker than the championship leader. The rest of the field struggled to match the pace of the front row with Michael Cullen, Barry-John McHenry and David Maguire all more than six tenths slower than Denning.

Dennings pace was to be of no avail however as a problem on the warm-up lap saw him pull off the grid into the pit lane, just before the start, leaving Holstein with a clear run to turn one. The series leader made the most of his opportunity to pull clear straight from the start and then maintained a healthy gap back to second placed Cullen. In an unusually processional race, the top six remained the same from lap two onwards, as Holstein cruised to his fifth win of the year with Cullen second and Barry-John McHenry an impressive third.

Dennings retirement from race one left him starting last for race two as Holstein lined up sixth on the reversed grid. Pole man Brendan Fitzgerald led away from the lights and was determined not to be beaten as he drove an incredibly defensive race. Behind him a tight five way battle left very little opportunity to overtake as David Maguire held off Ross Barnes and Michael Cullen, with Holstein only picking up a single place to run fifth ahead of McHenry. – Ireland’s Automotive Tool Store

Behind them Alex Denning was stuck behind Gordon Kellett and became increasingly frustrated in his attempts to move by and get on the tail of the lead group. On lap seven the youngster took a dive up the inside at turn one but got his braking all wrong and took out David Kidd, who was running just ahead of Kellett. Both cars were left severely damaged and sitting on the outside of the corner in a dangerous place leading to the race being stopped.

Just before the stoppage, Cullen had made a run down the outside of Barnes into turn one, before running side by side with him for most of the lap. As they battled Holstein saw his opportunity and slipped by both of them to take third and secure his ninth podium from ten races. Fitzgerald held on at the front to take his first win of the season from Maguire. After the race Denning was excluded from the event for his part in the race stopping accident and his no score means he can no longer win the championship which is now down to just Holstein and Cullen with the former a clear favourite due to his forty point lead.

Images: Carl Cleary