Cian O’Mahony, (16), a student at Clonakilty Community College, is driven by his passion for fast cars. Coming from a family of rallyers, Cian was on the sidelines at only four weeks old, participated in his first race, age 12, and also brought home his first trophy on that day.
In 2012, Cian claimed the coveted title ‘Overall Junior Driver of the Year’, and was also placed second in ‘Driver of the Year’ in the West Waterford Autograss Racing Club.
But it was 2013 that was a truly exceptional year for Cian, who took first place in the Junior 1a in the All-Ireland Autograss Series, going on to also win his class in the overall Junior and first place in the All Ireland series in class 1a. Cian’s dad Mike also raced in this event in the Micra 1a and was awarded first place in the men’s class 1a and also first in the All Ireland series in class 1a.
The past year has seen Cian racing at over 18 races in Cork, Waterford, Carlow, Down and the UK.
After receiving the cup for the ‘Fastest Junior on Grass’ on the day and overall Junior 1 cup for winning Class 1 in Cork Autograss at the end of the season, Cian travelled to compete in his first race in the UK last September, where he was placed 17 out of 94 in the Junior Nationals, an excellent achievement for the young rallyer.
It proved to be a race fraught with mishaps, with a brake pipe failing on their car the gearbox giving trouble, but the father and son team worked hard to get back on the road and Cian secured a place in the semi-final. Unfortunately, after a good battle Cian went out in the fourth heat; a problem arising due to steering damage with his car put him fourth position. So, although not making the final, his overall placing of 17 in his first UK race sent Cian home a very happy young man.
A comment in the Autograss review by Jeffery Parish from England leaves no room for doubt in Cian’s racing ability — “After incident packed racing in JUNIOR CLASS 1, Cian O’Mahony took his ‘Nationals’ Micra to the weekend’s top honour Cian and Michael O’Mahony had a frantic weekend keeping two cars running with two drivers each, but Cian was rewarded with a unique double win as he took JUNIOR CLASS 1A, also wrapping up the All Ireland title”.
So with 2013 marking the end of an exceptional run for Cian in the Juniors, the 2014 season starts again in March and a new chapter for Cian where no doubt we can be sure of more exciting results from this talented young rallyer.
Cian is delighted with what he has achieved in 2013 and moving up to the Men’s class this year, he hopes to start the season well at his first race in Carlow in March. “My ambition this year is to make the Nationals in England at the start of August. Only two cars in every class in Ireland qualify for this event.” Cian hopes to train as a mechanic after finishing his second level education.
The Cork Autograss Club at Castletown-Kenneigh in Enniskeance has secured the third round of the All Ireland Series on July 19 and 20.
Any Junior interested in getting involved in motorsport can log on to the Cork Autograss Facebook page or contact Sharon on 087/1335699 for more details.
Dates for next year are: Sunday, March 23, Sunday, April 13, Sunday, May 11, Sunday, June 22, Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20. A.I.A.S and Junior Weekend — Sunday, September 14.