May 15, 2016
The SEAT Supercup Ireland travelled to the high speed Bishopscourt Racing Circuit in Co. Down on Sunday (May 8th) for it second event of the 2016 calendar. In qualifying, title favourite Erik Holstein would suffer a huge off resulting in his Naas Court Hotel backed Leon Supercopa making heavy contact with the tyre wall with it looking like he would take no further part in the event. However defending SEAT Supercup champions Murray Motorsport were determined to have their driver on the grid for the race and somehow they managed to do just that. Below is Erik’s own excellently written account of a day he will not forget for some time –
‘After a mixed bag at the opening rounds, I was looking forward to a nice steady weekend in Bishopscourt and putting some solid points in the bag. But alas, the demons followed me up north and chose Sunday to strike!
Having to miss the wet practice with a technical issue, we made a decision to run slick tyres for qualifying presuming the track would dry by the time we got to the end of the session. Bad move.
They say your life flashes before your eyes when you see a big crash coming, which I can confirm is rubbish, as all I saw was pound signs!! I skidded off and made a good attempt of turning my SEAT Leon into a SEAT Ibiza! It looked wrecked and thought for sure it was game over.
Once the walk of shame back to the pits was done, the eager beavers of Murray Motorsport actually thought they’d fix it, and set about pulling it apart like a bunch of starved piranhas. I did my impersonation of a magpie robbing nuts and bolts off everyone in the paddock, and left the Overhaulin’ style rebuild to the professionals.
A pretty unbelievable effort by all at Murrays went down to the wire. 2 min before the race she looked a bit Frankenstein, but I was belted in and ready to go.
So I got pushed wide onto the grass on the first lap which meant we were last, but the car actually felt ok and we reeled them all in. The noises coming from the car at high speed were slightly alarming, it sounded like there was a sea lion in the boot every time I turned through a left corner, but the lads knew what they were doing and she held together! After getting by my pop star team mate Rob Butler into third, I was closing on Rod McGovern in second when a suspension part snapped and we speared off the track AGAIN! More pound signs flashing, but we missed the wall and all I could do was limp around with hardly any steering to finish 6th. A real pity as I was sure I was going to be able to get as high as 2nd at least.
She was fixed and tracked for race 2, which I led until near the end. The back of the car was feeling very unpredictable, and seemed to get worse as the race went on. I had to push 110% as Eoin Murray was right there and ready to pounce. Then I got the mother of all tank slappers through the fast Turn 1. There’s not much steering lock on the these cars, and if you’re not VERY early throwing in the opposite lock with the throttle through the bulkhead, you’re toast. Off we went again. At this stage I was going to invoice Bishopscourt for mowing the grass as I’d been off so much. We got going again but it was 2nd place at the end.
All things considered, I’m happy with my weekend. It was great to witness the amazing team work needed to repair such damage in the time we had, and the fact that the car was on the pace after it, is a credit to all at Murrays. Thank you Dave O’Brien for the help too, as the extra pair of hands made all the difference.
The car is now back at Murray Motorsport HQ for major surgery, but she’ll be fighting fit for our next rounds of the SEAT Supercup in Mondello in June. Can’t wait.’
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