May 09, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
Thursday 14th May 2009 will represent an historical date for the GPVWC as the Superleague arrives at Mondello Park for the Irish Grand Prix. With the Emerald Isle having given such a solid number of competitors to simracing, and to the GPVWC in particular, the staging of a race in the country surely represent an important acknowledgement of the passion and commitment of the Irish towards the sport. But the race that will see green lights next Thursday is important for more than a reason.

Let's face it: Ireland had never had it so good.

Not only their A1GP team became World Champion, not only Adam Carroll has a real chance of landing a Formula One seat next season, not only their rugby team clinched a first 6 Nations Grand Slam in 61 years. The recent GPVWC French Grand Prix saw a resurgent Kieran Ryan, at his only second race in the Superleague, claim a podium in a relatively underpowered car; and Philip Cullen score an excellent 4th place on Northern Ireland-based Synergetic. With their first ever home Grand Prix coming up, excitement in the Irish camp is at an all-time high - and fans are already making their way to Mondello Park to show support for the local heroes.

True, Kieran Ryan had his moments in the sun in the past, closing as runner-up to Mikko Jakonen in 2002 and winning races in the following season. But the confidence the Dublin driver seems to have on a car he drove for barely a month creates the electrifying prospect of him challenging, once a bit more online racing experience is acquired, the top drivers for wins and honours. Critics agree we're yet to see the best Kieran Ryan can offer.

Philip Cullen is another driver that seems to be coming of age driving in the GPVWC. A great prospect in the final years of GP4 racing, the Kildare man never really expressed his potential for causes often out of his control. After a disappointing start of the season, though, his luck seems to be turning and the points he scored in France are probably only the first of many to come in 2009.

And there is Synergetic. The Northern Ireland team, coming from an excellent year that saw Mal McKee clinch two wins, is quickly becoming one of the fixtures of the league - one of those elements you just can't do without. Team owner McKee is one of the most appreciated and respected members of the community - and a manager no one would begrudge a win. He has the credit of turning one of the most underpowered and underfinanced outfits on the grid into a race winner - and if the luck o' the Irish is anything to go by, 2009 will offer the Belfast team some satisfactory results too.

The Irish Grand Prix that will take place next Thursday at Mondello Park will be more than a race. It will be the day in which the hopes of a nation will be played on home soil, resting on the shoulders of Ryan, Cullen and McKee.

However their races will go, they will be the heroes of an historical day.