Motorsport

Kevin O'Hara, Martin Donnelly Trophy winner
Kevin O'Hara, Martin Donnelly Trophy winner

Kevin O’Hara may not have raced many times in 2015, but he more than made up for that by dominating the Martin Donnelly Trophy race for Formula Ford 1600 at Kirkistown and has become a member of an exclusive club of two time winners joining Noel Robinson and Ivor McCullough.

After a lengthy lay off from this class of racing he was immediately back on the pace topping the charts in qualifying and in the first heat he held off the newly crowned Avon Formula Ford Champion Jonny McMullan and at the flag O’Hara was five seconds clear of McMullan.

Tom O’Connor brought his Van Diemen into third place; all three were driving Van Diemens.

Heat two was a more frantic affair which saw the Northern Ireland Formula Ford Champion Jake Byrne take the honours in his Van Diemen from last years victor Alan Davidson in a Mondiale and Johnnie Mulholland completed the top three in his Van Diemen.

The final featured twenty three cars form up on the grid with O’Hara on pole and right away the battle commenced between himself and McMullan and within a few laps the pair had broken clear of the pack and try as he did McMullan could not get the measure of O’Hara and he crossed the finish line just short of five seconds ahead of the chasing McMullan to add to his 2013 win in this event.

Byrne recovered to finish third with Davidson fourth, he went wide at Colonial One early in the race and joined midfield and staged his comeback.

Noel Robinson a previous two time winner of the event went off in his heat and as result had a lowly grid place for the final and he fought his way through to finish eventually fifth, having got up to third place at one point and O’Connor rounded off the top six.

Other highlights of the meeting saw James Turkington at the wheel of a SEAT clinched the Kirkistown based Saloon series and established a new class record in the process while Richard Livingston had sealed the Fiesta Championship even before the meeting got under way.

Other race wins went the way of Jim Larkham who had two wins in Roadsports, Paul Monahan a double winner in the Saloon/GT encounters and there were Formula Vee victories for Paul Moore and Dan Polley.

Volkswagen came out on top yet again in the French round of the FIA World Rally Championship, however not the World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier at the wheel but his teammate Jari-Matti Latvala.

The Finn beat Elfyn Evans’ Ford Fiesta RS by 43.1sec after three days of action on twisty and narrow mountain roads while Andreas Mikkelsen finished third in another Volkswagen Polo R, a further 3.2sec behind.

Kris Meeke put in a steady performance to finish fourth overall and his Citroen teammate Mads Ostberg finished sixth.

World champion Ogier won the final live TV Power Stage in a Polo R to claim three bonus points and Robert Kubica took two points in second in a Fiesta RS and Latvala took the final point.