Young Lupini’s wild Killarney weekend
If ever there was a weekend that the bard Jim Morrison and The Doors typified when he crooned that classic Riders on the Storm, young Giordano Lupini’s Killarney outing in his SA Oil Accelerate/La Vie de Luc/CIR Construction Golf 1 GTi on Saturday has to be high on the list. Lupini qualified in a dominant pole position in Class C of the Burly Pro GTi Challenge, before being eliminated in a bizarre warm-up lap incident and then bounced back to deliver a stunning come-from-behind second in race 2.
“My word! That was an up-and-down weekend,” the Franschhoek Bridge House School matriculant confirmed. “Qualifying was brilliant — all our work over the past few months — Brian and the MRD team, my dad and everyone’s efforts finally paid off with a brilliant pole position — even better considering my quickest lap was not quite ideal because I had to make two overtakes.”
Sadly Giordano’s pole effort was rendered useless following a crazy warm-up lap incident: “The track was still damp in places so tyre temperature was crucial and I was weaving from side to side as we do to build up heat in the rubber — I was watching my mirrors and I never saw him coming, but a Class B car that was out of position and trying to get back up the field tried to pass me and we collided and both spun…
“I managed to get on to the grid, but the wheel was bent and the right front punctured as we pulled away and that was my race run to continue our wretched run of luck — we had not finished a race in four starts!
“The lads sorted the car for race 2 and it started raining literally as I strapped in, but thanks to my dad and Byron pulling off a lightning fast set-up change, we were ready. “It was my first ever wet race, so I took it easy and felt the car out for the first lap — visibility was also dreadful being at the back, but I still made up places so I started to push…
“I soon moved up to third and a lap later second before chasing down my old karting buddy and rival Dario Busi, but I lost a little time getting around the second placed Class B car — I could have made the move earlier, but I did not want to chance it and waited to pull a safe pass. “Dario had opened a three second gap and I managed to close it down to half a second by the flag — setting the fastest lap by over a second on the way!
“It's cool that the two ex-karting school kids beat all the bullets and I am delighted to have given SA Oil Accelerate Special Gasoline a debut pole position and fastest lap and a cool come from behind second in its first race! “Oh what could have been, but it's onward and upward and thanks to the whole team — Brian, Marlin and Byron at MRD, my dad and all those who support me. "Next race is back at Killarney on 14 July — I just can’t wait — bring it on — rain or shine!”