A1 Team Ireland boss Mark Kershaw declared himself 'very impressed' with F3 racer John O'Hara after the latter completed 100 laps in testing for the team at Snetterton earlier this week.

In a first official try out for the team, O'Hara, a regular race winner in Asian F3 over the past two years, quickly came to terms with the extra power and grip of the 550bhp A1 Grand Prix car, potentially driving himself into contention for a place on the squad for the coming season.

"John was very impressive throughout the day and had no difficulty adapting to the car," Kershaw reported, "He had no problems with the physical demands placed on him and brought his lap times down steadily and consistently throughout the day. He worked well with the team and quickly developed a rapport with his engineer Andy Miller. He's certainly capable of making his mark at this level."

While Ralph Firman Jr and Michael Devaney shared responsibility for driving the Irish entry last season, it remains to be seen whether either will be required in 2006-07, although Devaney has stated that he would like to be considered for the main driver role in his second season.

"At A1 Team Ireland, we have a stated commitment to developing young Irish driving talent and it was great to be able to give John this opportunity," Kershaw continued, "We'd certainly be interested in developing the relationship further."

O'Hara, too, indicated that he hoped the test would not be his final outing in the A1 car.

"It's a lovely car to drive and, while the power and grip is certainly very impressive, it's not that hard to get used to," he said, "I enjoyed every minute of the day and was honoured to have been asked to take part. I hope this is just the start, because it certainly was a thrill driving such an amazing car, and one painted in the national colours, too."

 

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