Further to the news that Crashed and Byrned star Tommy Byrne will line up at Mondello Park next weekend for the annual 6 Hour Fiesta Endurance Race, fellow former Formula 1 driver David Kennedy will now also compete- as Byrne’s team mate!
Kennedy cut his teeth in Formula Ford 1600 at Mondello Park, before winning both the RAC and Townsend Thoresen Formula Ford 1600 Championships in the UK in 1976, also coming a close second in the European FF1600 series in the same year. He then moved to the British Formula 1 Championship, sensationally winning on his debut at the wheel of a Wolf WR3. In 1979 he finished third in this series before stepping up to the F1 World Championship with the Shadow Team. The car was uncompetitive though and the team changed hands half way through the year. He also returned to Ireland in 1979 to win the high profile Formula Atlantic race at the Phoenix Park, against a star studded entry list.
In the 80s, the Irishman moved to the factory Mazdaspeed team with whom he raced extensively at Le Mans, Japan and the world sportscar championship in a series of iconic class winning rotary-powered machines. He began to move into driver management before his career behind the wheel ended and put together the driver team of Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler and Bertrand Gachot that took Mazda’s breakthrough victory at Le Mans in 1991. He himself finished fifth overall with former F1 and F3 team-mate Stefan Johansson, and Maurizio Sandro Sala in the same event.
Kennedy also famously demonstrated a current Jordan F1 car at the 1999 Leinster Trophy (below) and won in Martin Birrane’s F5000 Lola T330 at the circuit’s 40th anniversary in 2008.
Kennedy joins Tommy Byrne in one of the Murray Motorsport entries for next weekend’s Endurance Race. Murrays have won the race on numerous occasions and as we saw at the Mondello Historic Festival, Byrne is still as quick and competitive as ever- so they won’t be there just to make up the numbers!
The Fiesta 6 Hour race starts at 12 Midday on Sunday November the 4th- and ends, in darkness, at 6pm!