Bucci Dominates Mondello Park for Round 2 of IMC
The second round of the IMC snowflake series took place in Ireland at Mondello Park. Using the back section of the International track, this venue really showed the pedigree of the Bucci BR10GP bikes as a purpose built race bike. With fast flowing corners, wide tracks, long straights and chicanes it was a perfect combo.
It was a busy day for WM Racing as this was the first round where both riders could run in the junior gearbox 125cc class and the MiniGP Class mixed with senior and youth. With heavy rain overnight, the morning got off to a damp and foggy start for free practice and qualifying. Both riders took full advantage of the dual (125cc & MiniGP) free practice sessions in the morning to get settled in, learn the track and make any gearing adjustments before qualifying began. The track was still damp going into a 5 lap qualifying session but both riders where quickly on the pace. Peter Willis (Rider #151) in Lap 4 set his best lap and Pole Position of 1:15:931 and Lewis Mullen (Rider #111) following on the same lap with 1:17.589 putting him 3rd on the grid.
Junior Gearbox Class
Race one got underway after lunch and by now the track had dried and temperature began to rise lifting the fog. Peter Willis got off to a great start and took an early lead in the 125cc class using the faster 140cc riders to pull him along. Lewis Mullen didn’t get the start he needed dropping back in the field but quickly put the head down to make up time. With some very fast laps Lewis Mullen put himself right back in contention. The race finished after 5 laps with Peter Willis taking the win by 4.8 seconds and a lap time of 1:12.074 and Lewis Mullen coming in 3rd with a lap time of 1:13.985
Race 2 almost became a mirror of race one with Peter Willis taking an early lead and using the 140cc riders as pace setters. The track had fully dried by this stage so the pace increased with Peter Willis putting in consistent lap times. The race finished with Peter Willis taking the win with a lap time of 1:11.838 and Lewis Mullen in 3rd with a lap time of 1: 13. 803
Race 3 got underway late in the afternoon. The light was dropping so the official’s reduced the race to a 4 lap sprint race. Although the track was dry, the riders still opted to run the PMT R Slicks for the cooler track temperature. As soon as the red light went out, both riders got off to a flying start with Peter Willis and Lewis Mullen on the Bucci BR10GP bikes taking to the front. With very little splitting them on lap time it became a very close battle of the Bucci machines for the win. Lewis Mullen was pushing hard and set a very impressive fastest lap of the race of 1:10.725. Peter Willis rode very defensive on the last lap and coming into the last 2 corners it was anyones race, Peter Willis managed to hold Lewis Mullen off and crossed the line taking the win by only 0.320 of a second splitting them.
This was very much a dominating class for Peter Willis this weekend on the Bucci BR10GP with a clean sweep taking pole position and 3 out of 3 wins. Lewis Mullen had an impressive run in the last race and showed his true form.
This round seen the new class change take effect reducing the age limit of the MiniGP class. This allowed both youth and senior riders to compete in the same race but split into 2 groups. This was a great opportunity for our riders to not only get additional track time but to use the faster senior riders to push the pace. With 3 youth riders taking part Ruben Sherman-Boyd on a 2-stroke and Peter Willis and Lewis Mullen on the Bucci BR10. It turned out a surprise for the youth riders as all 3 set a fast pace in qualifying against the senior riders and Ruben took the pole position, Peter Willis 2nd and Lewis Mullen 3rd with very little separating them.
Race 1. With Peter Willis and Lewis Mullen on the Bucci BR10GP machines lined up on the front row this was set to be a fast pace race. As the red light went out Peter Willis got off to a good start taking the lead into the first corner with the other riders lined up behind. From the outset the pace was fast, making it very hard for overtaking but after 2 laps Ruben passed Peter Willis to take the lead. The riders maintained a fast pace throughout the rest of the race with Ruben pulling out a good lead taking the win by 7.410 seconds with an impressive lap time of 1:10.183, Peter Willis finished 2nd with a lap time of 1:11.053 and Lewis Mullen 3rd 1:12.882
Race 2 became another closed battle for the 3 youth riders as the track began to dry and the grip level increased. Both WM Racing Bucci riders got off to a great start mixing it with the senior riders. Ruben got to the front and maintained the lead for the youth class. Although the pace was quick it wasn’t just as fast as Race 1 and Ruben crossed the line in first by 2.752 with a lap time of 1:10.199. Peter Willis finished 2nd with a lap time of 1:11.158 and Lewis Mullen 3rd 1:11.956
Race 3 for WM Racing became the race of the day. With this race getting underway just after 16:30, with the fading light the official’s reduced the race to a 4 lap sprint race, and that it was. Lewis Mullen got an impressive start leaping into the lead by the first corner followed closely behind by Ruben, Peter Willis and Jack Ferris (Senior Rider). Lewis Mullen set the pace early in the race with all 4 riders quickly dropping into very impressive 1:10 second laps. Lewis Mullen and Ruben pulled out a gap for the battle for 1st place with Peter Willis and Jack Ferris battling it out on the track for 3rd. With these impressive lap times, the riders had to choose the moment to make their move. As the race progressed into the last lap Lewis Mullen was holding Ruben off, defending his lines as they approached the last corner, Ruben ran deep up the inside of Lewis Mullen to cross the line by 0.057 seconds ahead. An amazing battle for all riders and even more so the lap times with Peter Willis setting the fast lap of 1:10.475, followed by Ruben Sherman-Boyd 1:10.547 and Lewis Mullen 1:10.698
Paige Mullen had another great day on the little BAMBAM, making great progress throughout the day reducing her lap time from 2:08 in race one to 1:53 by race three. This is amazing progress for her. To top it off, she was awarded the RST BAMBAM Rider of the day.
Overall round 2 at Mondello Park Ireland was a great success for WM Racing, with Peter Willis and Lewis Mullen really getting to grips now with the BR10GP bikes in only their second race meeting. We look forward now to going into the 3rd and final round of the winter series at Nutts Corner in County Antrim on Sunday 17th November.
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Full race results available on IMC Website