NEXT weekend at the 60th Anniversary Kirkistown race meeting one of the main attractions will be a double header for the Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship and one nineteen year old driver will be aiming for a podium spot.
Sean Doyle was recently selected as the first Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Month for the new season for his achievements in Formula Ford 1600 at the first race meeting of the year at Kirkistown.
Doyle finished fourth and seventh on his debut outings in this highly competitive class, lapping within eight tenths of a second of the established class ace and lap record holder.
In addition to racing next weekend at the County Down venue he plans to challenge for the Irish Formula Ford 1600 Championship this year in his Van Diemen, along with the two hotly contested end-of-season races in Britain, the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy race at Silverstone.
He began his motorsport career in Junior Rallycross in 2009, progressing to circuit racing the following year.
He finished as runner up in the 2011 Ginetta Junior Ireland Championship and went on to take second place in the Global Lights series in 2012, winning three races during the year as well as achieving many podium positions.
The teenager works as an instructor at Mondello Park Racing School and is also a Brand Ambassador for Nissan.
Having been selected as the first Dunlop Driver of the Month for the 2013 season, he is now a contender for the prestigious Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Award and the historic Sexton Trophy.
This award is presented annually and is supported by Dunlop, the Irish Sports Council and Motorsport Ireland.
Meanwhile Elfyn Evans will make a surprise competitive debut in a World Rally Car at Rally Sardegna following a last-minute driver switch at the Qatar World Rally Team.
The 24-year-old will drive a Ford Fiesta RS WRC after team regular Nasser Al Attiyah withdrew his entry due to commitments in Qatar.
Evans, the 2012 FIA WRC Academy Cup winner, is contesting this year’s WRC 2 championship and was expecting his next event to be Rally Finland, where he will drive an R5 specification Fiesta.
Instead, he will step up to the most powerful category next week, after M-Sport’s initial plan to convert Al Attiyah’s Fiesta RS WRC to RRC specification for Evans to drive in the WRC 2 class in Sardinia were rejected today by the FIA.
Evans is already familiar with the Fiesta RS WRC, having received a test drive in it as part of his prize for winning the Academy Cup last year.
Retained as a test driver by M-Sport, Evans also tests the team’s cars in the UK before they are transported to WRC events.
“It’s come as fantastic news - when [Qatar Rally Team boss] Malcolm Wilson came and told me I really couldn’t believe it,” said Evans.
“I’m very grateful to him and to Nasser for the opportunity.
“Although it’s a very short time before the start I want to make the most of the opportunity to do the rally and learn a new event.
“I am looking forward to the challenge.”