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April 09, 2013

Novice Racer wins Motorsport Opportunity of a Lifetime

Stephen O'Keeffe Novice racer Stephen O'Keefe was presented with the opportunity to fulfil his Motor Racing Dreams at Mondello Park last weekend, as he was announced as the winner of the 2013 Mondello Park and Sheane Cars sponsored, 'Become A Racing Driver' Competition. The Corkman can now look forward to racing in the Irish Formula Sheane Championship this year with all costs covered.

31 year old O'Keefe became the third winner of the competition following in the footsteps of Mayo's Sean Hynes and Bray's Timmy Swail, both of whom went on to impress in their first seasons' racing. The fantastic prize is valued at over €15,000 and will provide him with everything he needs to go motor racing. Included in the prize package is coaching, all testing and entry fees, use of a Formula Sheane race car supplied and maintained by the Sheane Factory in Wicklow, all running costs and a full set of racewear to keep, courtesy of Murray Motorsport.

The new Become A Racing driver champion won his opportunity by coming out top in a qualifying heat and then beating all-comers in the final, which consisted of a day of assessment, both on and off the track, at Mondello Park. On his way to winning the prize O'Keefe underwent assessment in a Racing Saloon with an instructor alongside and in a Formula Sheane single seater, as well as having to undergo a Media skills interview.

Speaking shortly after the announcement of the result, O'Keefe said, “I cant believe that against so many other competitive drivers, I'm the one that has been chosen. It’s a fantastic opportunity for someone so passionate about motor racing, to get a chance to take up this great sport is just amazing. I'm very grateful to Mondello Park, Sheane Cars and Murray Motorsport for the time and financial investment they are putting in to allow me fulfil my dreams. I hope to put in a competitive season and try to match the success of the two previous winners.”

Mondello Park chief Instructor Ken Elliott summed up O'Keefe performance, saying, “Stephen drove really well on the day. He really impressed all the judges and I'd like to wish him all the best in his first season of Formula Sheane. He will have a tough job following in the footsteps of our previous winners but we are all sure his is up to the job.”

The new addition to the Formula Sheane grid will had very little time to get used to the idea of going racing as he back in Mondello Park just a few days later to undergo another assessment, to qualify for his Motorsport Ireland race licence. The next Stage for Stephen will be a test day at Mondello Park before tackling his first race weekend at Bishopscourt Co. Down in May.

With the 2013 competition completed the search for the next 'Become A Racing Driver' champion is already under way. For 2014's competition all drivers who complete a Mondello Park Motor Racing Experience will have a chance of being put forward for the award, with at least one driver being nominated each day that the experience is run. To get involved all you have to do is buy a Motor Racing Experience Level 1 or Level 2 and show our instructors that you could have what it takes to be our next future star.

For further information on the 'Become A Racing Driver' competition see