Friday 24 February 2017

O'Hara in tense wait for Chinese green light

Motorsport

Declan Quigley

Local single-seater star Kevin O'Hara is anxiously waiting for confirmation that he will travel for the first round of the inaugural Formula Pilota series in China next weekend.

Formula Vee front-runner O'Hara has just been selected as the Dunlop Driver of the Month for May and hopes to continue an on/off association with Asian racing that produced overall victory in the 2009 Radical Cup of China.

Since then the Kildareman has focused on fundraising and his business studies in Griffith College while keeping his hand in with sporadic appearances in the Formula Vee championship at the wheel of a Sheane and Leastone chassis run by his father Luke.

A coveted lap record in Kirkistown recently at the wheel of his Leastone, points to the potential of the package, though O'Hara has suffered from niggling reliability concerns.

Struggled

Having struggled in qualifying with engine problems last day out, O'Hara won the qualifying race and finished second to multi-champion Ray Moore in the final, setting that new lap record in the process.

The Castrol Ireland/ Donovan's Nisa-supported driver is hoping that he will get a call-up to the team run by his brother John, the former Formula Ireland champion, for the first round of the important new feeder series based on the popular Italian Formula Abarth category.

But should the call-up not be forthcoming, Kevin has already organised to go to Donington Park in Leicestershire for the latest two rounds of the Formula Vee series, being led by Wicklow's Lee Newsome.

In the meantime, O'Hara is celebrating his second nomination in two years for the annual Dunlop Young Driver of the Year award for the Sexton Trophy.

Meanwhile, Indylights contender Peter Dempsey is back on the sidelines following his team's decision to step down from the series citing "ongoing integrity issues beyond our control."

Dempsey, who led at Long Beach before crashing in round two of the series, missed the last round at Milwaukee when his team withdrew on the eve of the event after appearing in practice, but says that he hopes to be back racing soon.

Irish Independent

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