Mixed Fortunes for Irish at LeMans
There were mixed fortunes for Irish teams and drivers on this weekend’s 83rd running of the 2015 24 Hours of LeMans. The world’s most famous endurance race drew 55 starters including the Dublin based Murphy Prototypes team and current Motorsport Ireland International Driver of the Year, Matt Griffin, who drove for renowned Ferrari team, AF Corse.
Griffin started strongly, completing his first double stint in 2nd place in the GTE AM class. Griffin handed over the Ferrari to Duncan Cameron but Cameron puctured, dropping the team to 9th in class. Griffin climbed aboard the Ferrari 458 GTE for his second stint and was lapping faster than all his competitors before fuel pressure problems led to his retirement after 241 laps.
Having had to retire with suspension problems last year, the Murphy Prototypes team laid those ghosts to rest with a solid performance in the LMP2 class in their Oreca Nissan. The team, which ran in a podium position for large portions of the race, eventually finiahed 5th in class and 13th overall. Team principal and Dublin based based business man Greg Murphy, praised his drivers Nathanael Berthon, Karun Chandhok and Mark Patterson after the race saying; “We came here to win, but we have also just finished the greatest motor race in the world. I am extremely proud of the ‘Murphy’s men”. They have dealt with everything that’s been thrown at them, not just during the past 24-hours, but over the past week too. This just goes to prove our reputation of being one of the best teams on the grid.”
There was more Irish success in the LMP2 class with Kildare man John O’Hara working a deputy managing director of the Asian based KC Motorgroup team who won the category and finished 9th overall.
At home Padraig Egan made his journey from Clare to East Cork worthwhile by taking a narrow win in Munster CC’s Loose Surface Autocross at Midleton, the second round of the Five Star Catering National Championship. Egan was the early leader, but slipped behind Mac Walsh on the second run by less than a tenth of a second. However, at the final attempt, Egan retook top place, eventually beating Walsh by just over half a second.