Dundalk racing driver Noel Roddy made a return to racing at the Phoenix Park Motor Races in Dublin driving a Delta Formula Ford 2000 for the Delta Motorsports team from the UK.
Unable to do any testing in the car prior to the race meeting, Noel only drove the car in qualifying on Saturday morning for the first time. However an engine problem left him down the grid order for both races, as the one qualifying session counted for Saturdays and Sundays races.
With the engine problem fixed, Noel started Saturday’s race which was his first race in five years from 8th on the grid, with a great start he was leading by lap two, and started to pull out a gap until the safety car came out.
At this stage his brakes were giving serious problems but after the safety car went back in, Noel was able to hold on to win the race, with the fastest lap.
For Sunday’s race (The Dublin Grand Prix) Noel started in 7th position but straight away he had a clutch problem, which made changing gears a problem, and the problem got worse when shifting down and stopping.
Despite this problem he worked his way into 2nd place, and started to close on the leader, but spun and dropped to 5th. The charge started again and he got up to 2nd and got beside the leader coming out of Dublin corner with two laps to go, but he couldn’t get it into gear and had to try and challenge again.
Unfortunately the problem was major at this stage and on the last lap while in 2nd position he lost all drive and had to stop. But he had the race’s fastest lap as a consolation.
So what a great return for the Dundalk man, one win and two fastest race laps, which was not bad after five years away from racing.
Noel’s participation would not have been possible without sponsorship from National Tile Dundalk, Whiteriver Karting Circuit Collon, The Dress Outlet Dublin and Millers Oils Ireland.