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Andrew Rackstraw was in fine form at his Killarney hometown Global Touring Cars race securing a scintillating Pole Position, Race 1 Victory and a new GTC Championship lap record of 1:14:983, before facing challenges in Race 2.
Round 6 of the Global Touring Car Championship (GTC) at Killarney International Raceway turned out to be a weekend filled with highs and challenges for Andrew Rackstraw. In front of his enthusiastic supporters, Rackstraw showcased unmatched determination and skill, leaving a lasting impression on fans and fellow competitors alike.

The weekend launched off perfectly with Rackstraw finishing P3 in Practice 1 and only 2 tenths off first. Unfortunately, Practices 2 and 3 were short-lived as a wiring issue in the wiring loom was causing a short circuit. With only the laps from session 1 under his belt, Rackstraw remained optimistic and despite the setback, the team remained committed to overcoming the obstacles and finding the best possible setup for the races ahead.

Saturday’s qualifying session was a serious eye-opener and marked a turning point in Rackstraw’s weekend. Determined to put the misfire behind him and make the most of the car, Rackstraw delivered an outstanding performance, securing pole position for the race. It was a historic moment for the 21-year-old, marking his first-ever GTC pole position—a well-deserved achievement that showcased his driving prowess and the team’s resolve to bounce back.

“After the challenges we faced on Friday, securing pole position was a dream come true,” Rackstraw shared. “It was an incredible feeling to lead the pack from the front, especially in front of my home crowd. The support and energy from the fans were truly motivating.”

Race days are always exciting and you could sense the anticipation and excitement in the air. Rackstraw, starting from pole position for Race 1, led from the start and controlled the race with confidence and precision. The hometown hero showcased not only his speed but also his racecraft, maintaining his position at the front and fending off challenges from his competitors.

“The race went exactly as planned,” Rackstraw explained. “We had a solid strategy, and the car felt great. Tyre management is a big factor in these GTC cars and I’m happy with the progress we have made to keep the tyres in their operating window. The team did an excellent job addressing the issues from Friday, and I was able to maintain my focus throughout the race. Winning in front of my home crowd for the second time was an unforgettable experience.”

The victory in the first race was a momentous achievement for Rackstraw and his team. It marked a significant milestone in his GTC career and solidified his reputation as a formidable competitor in the championship.

However, the format of the GTC Championship includes a reverse grid race for the second round of the day, known as Race 2. Starting in sixth position for Race 2, Rackstraw faced a different set of challenges. He got off the line well and quickly gained two positions on the opening lap, showcasing his overtaking skills.

Yet, despite his impressive start, Rackstraw’s race took an unfortunate turn as boost issues resurfaced. These technical challenges prevented him from fully chasing down the cars ahead, and he ultimately had to settle for fourth place in Race 2.

“Race 2 was a bit frustrating, as we had high hopes for another strong performance,” Rackstraw reflected. “Unfortunately, boost issues reared their head again, limiting our pace. But we know that technical challenges are part of the sport, and we’ll continue to work on resolving them.”

Overall, Rackstraw’s performance in Round 6 was a marked improvement from previous rounds. With a pole position and a race win, he showcased his determination and potential as a top-tier driver in the GTC Championship.

“We’ve made significant progress, and this weekend was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team,” Rackstraw said. “We’re learning from our experiences, and our goal is to continue improving and to deliver a strong performance at the final in Zwartkops.”

Rackstraw ended the day in fourth place overall, a result that highlighted both his triumphs and the challenges he faced. As he looks ahead to the remainder of the GTC Championship, Rackstraw is determined to build on the successes of Round 6 and to wrap up the last round in style. “We are now 4 points behind Nathi for 3rd in the GTC Championship”, he exclaimed.

“I’m grateful for the unwavering support of my fans, sponsors, and the entire team,” Rackstraw emphasized. “We’re a close-knit unit, and together, we’re ready to take on whatever challenges come our way at the finale. We will give it our best in front of the home of Volkswagen Motorsport.”

With the momentum of a home race win behind him, Andrew Rackstraw is poised for an exciting and competitive Round 7. The journey continues, and Rackstraw’s determination and skill make him a formidable contender in the world of motorsport.

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