No.13 Kevin O’Hara on his way to victory of the MDT
The Martin Donnelly Trophy 2017 race was the final race of an action-packed programme at the Co. Down Kirkistown Racing Circuit on Saturday 07/10/17. The prestigious perpetual trophy was awarded by the 500 Motor Racing Club to the winner of this year’s Formula Ford 1600, which has always been a close battle over the years. This year’s event was to be no exception.
Kevin O’Hara, two-time winner of the Martin Donnelly Trophy took pole position from James Roe Jr starting in 2nd. Noel Robinson started in 3rd alongside Jordan Dempsey in 4th, with the rest of the packed grid behind.
In emphatic style, O’Hara took the lead off the line followed closely by Roe. Dempsey, now stuck to the gearbox of Roe, was determined not to let the leaders away with Robinson a few car lengths behind, now in fourth place.
On the third lap Robinson had closed the gap, heading through the hairpin three abreast with Roe and Dempsey. The racing was so competitive between the front-runners, something had to give way. On the next tour through the chicane Robinson clipped the rear of Roe’s car, damaging the suspension. This effectively ended Roe’s chances of the title as he struggled with a now unsettled rear end.
Over the following fifteen laps, Dempsey traded places with Robinson in a closely contested battle to get to the leader, O’Hara.
The four leaders, incredibly close on the last lap through the chicane,
In a nail-biting finish to a twenty-one lap race, O’Hara took the win, leading from lights out to chequered flag, from Robinson and Dempsey, with Roe finishing in a gallant fourth position in an epic battle which will be remembered for years to come.
From left to right: Noel Robinson 2nd – Kevin O’Hara 1st – Jordan Dempsey 3rd
It was Kevin O’Hara’s day, returning from an injury, taking a well deserved 2017 Martin Donnelly Trophy in the Luke O’Hara Motorsport FF1600. O’Hara is the only driver to win the Trophy three times, making history at the Northern Ireland circuit.