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May 18, 2011

Mondello Competition Winner Makes Impressive Racing Debut

Mondello Park 'Become A Racing Driver' competition winner Sean Hynes from Foxford Co. Mayo, made a very impressive start to his motor racing career at Mondello Park on Sunday May 15th. Driving in the opening Mondello Park round of the 2011 Formula Sheane Irish Championship, Hynes qualified seventh and then sensationally finished fifth in his first ever motor race, against a field of highly experienced racers.

Hynes arrived at the track for testing on Saturday to have his first taste of the Mondello Park International track at the wheel of the full-spec Formula Sheane single seater used in the Irish championship. Previously the Mayo man had only driven this track in the less powerful Mondello Park Motor Racing School version. Adapting quickly to the car and track, Hynes was soon getting close to the pace of his rivals and showing signs of the ability which had seen him come out on top in the 2010 competition and secure a free season's racing in Formula Sheane.

Following Saturday's practice there was just a single qualifying session on Sunday morning to decide the grid for the afternoon's race. The mechanical engineering student was now in at the deep end, as he had just six laps to get the best from himself and his Sheane car, on the notoriously tricky International track. Improving all the time, Hynes turned in a very respectable effort, qualifying seventh and within touching distance of the three cars immediately in front of him.

Good as his qualifying was, the Mayo man was to go even better in the race, quickly dropping his times to within a second and a half of the front runners. Having tagged on to the leaders at the start, Hynes was driving like a veteran and may have remained with the lead group if it was not for having to avoid a spinning car which almost brought him to a standstill. Getting back into his stride after this interruption he continued his progress to record a very impressive fifth place finish.

Speaking after his début Hynes was delighted with his progress, saying, “I was a bit nervous arriving for testing on Saturday and took a little bit of time to get used to the car. I made a big leap forward in qualifying and then another in the race and was delighted to finish up fifth. It was a fantastic experience and totally different from the racing school, due to how competitive it was. I have to thank Mondello Park and David Sheane of Sheane Cars for this opportunity, as without this prize I would never have been able to go racing. I'm glad I was able to pay them back with a good first performance and hope to go even better next time out.”

Hynes next race will be back at Mondello Park in June with a race on the shorter and more familiar National track where he clinched the competition win which gave him his Motor Racing opportunity