In difficult conditions, the Luke O’Hara Motors team of Dan Polly, Ronan MacHale and Patrick O'Dwyer won the Fiesta 6-Hour Endurance Race at Mondello Park.
They finished ahead of the Swipe Right team of Anthony Fildes and the trio of William Kellett, Max Hart and Jack Byrne, all nominees for the Young Racing Driver of the Year award, with the Murray Motorsport team of John Denning, Chris Jones, Darragh Denning and Nicki Meredith taking the final spot on the podium.
The O’Hara outfit led for three-quarters of the race only to slip back in the final hour before they regained supremacy to take the chequered flag.
Team Barrable (Michael and his sons Robert and Peter) were the first crew to hit trouble. In a strong second place, their Fiesta had to pit within the first 90 minutes to change a seized wheel bearing. Ironically, they had changed all four bearings prior to the race. Although they rejoined the race, they retired at the halfway mark with an engine issue. The Mondello F1 trio of Tommy Byrne, David Kennedy and Se Óg Martin were fourth.
Elsewhere, Cashel’s Pat O’Connell (Mitsubishi EvoX) won the Carrick on Suir Winter Rallysprint at the Waterford Airport Business Park. After the five timed runs, he had amassed a 4.8-second winning margin over the Metro 6R4 of Waterford’s Ray Breen with Cahir’s Andrew Fanning (Proton Satria) a distant third. Laois driver Stephen Delaney (Casmat) won the Buggy category by 11 seconds from Clonakilty’s Paul O’Driscoll (Semog).
Breen posted the best time on the first run but O’Connell was only six-tenths of a second behind with Waterford’s Andrew Purcell (Fiesta R5) best of the rest but 3.9 seconds further behind. O’Connell edged ahead on the second run albeit by a 10th of a second from Breen and with the best times on the remaining three runs ran out a worthy winner to clinch a three in a row. Breen was second with Fanning third after Purcell lost time with a spin at the hairpin on his penultimate run. Delaney led the Buggy class from the beginning.
Meanwhile, in the Formula 4 Cup at the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games at the Vallelunga Circuit near Rome, Cork racer Lucca Allen finished ninth of the 18 competitors.
All the competitors drove the new Formula 4 car (KCMG 01) designed and built exclusively for the FIA by KC Motorgroup Ltd (KCMG).
Allen qualified 11th on the grid and while he made up two places, a move to make further progress failed. The event was won by Italian Andrea Rosso.
Hyundai Motorsport have announced the Irish crew of Craig Breen/Paul Nagle will drive for them at Rally Australia, the final round of the World Rally Championship. Hyundai lead Toyota Gazoo Racing by 18 points in the race for the manufacturers’ title.