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May 12, 2008

Mondello Celebrates Forty Years with Historic Single Seater Race


Mondello Park will reverberate once again to the fantastic rumble of Formula 5000 cars as part of its fortieth anniversary celebrations this weekend (May 17th & 18th). The invitation race for period single seaters will includes some of the cars which raced at the opening day back in 1968 along with Formula 5000 cars similar to those that visited the circuit as part of the European F5000 championship in the early seventies.

Taking to the international track alongside the Historic racers, will be a packed championship event and demonstration runs by some of the iconic cars from Mondello’s history. As part of the anniversary celebrations admission prices will be reduced to just €5.00 for adults and €10.00 for a family with anyone arriving in a nineteen sixties car admitted free of charge. A large number of participants and officials from the first ever event at the Kildare have been invited to attend and will be present for the celebrations.

Pride of place at the event will go to the ex. John Watson Brabham BT16, which set the fastest lap of the day at the first Mondello Park meeting, and is now raced by Nottingham based Irishman Ian Gray. Gray’s other car an ex. Watson Brabham BT30 will also be present for the event in the hands of his son Colin.

Another ex patriot Irishman, Frank Lyons, will bring a trio of F5000 cars for himself, wife Judy and son Michael to drive. Lyons will be hoping to continue his rivalry with the man who beat him on his last Mondello visit, former Grand Prix driver and Mondello director David Kennedy. It’s is hoped that Kennedy will again pilot Martin Birranes F5000 Lola which he drove to victory at the official opening of the re-developed circuit in 2001, when Lyons was his main challenger. In all a field of fifteen cars is expected for the race with the majority travelling from the UK to be part of the celebrations.

On display on Sunday will be a selection of cars from various points in Mondello’s history and as many as possible will be given the opportunity to get on track for a demonstration run. Opening Mondello race winner John Keaney will have two cars on display, his TMC GT car and a Sierra Cosworth from the days when the fire breathing Fords ruled the roost in ‘Group N’ saloons. Also part of the display will be two cars from the most popular single seater series ever to grace Irish Motorsport, Formula Atlantic, and it is hoped that these will be demonstrated on track by Dan Daly and Joey Greenan. A selection of other single seater and GT cars will also take to the track during the event.

The remainder of the programme, exact details of which will be announced over the coming days, will see four single seater classes, Formula Ford, Formula Libre, Formula Sheane and Formula Vee, join the historics on the programme. Saloon racing fans will be catered for by all three Fiat classes and the Mondello Park supported Saloon Car Challenge and Time Attack series. The remaining races will be for Sportscars with Strykers, Historics and a long distance Sportscar race scheduled.