Kia Racers Hit The Track

The Finale of the Kia Race Series, a concept developed by race organisers Pop Up Races, took place yesterday at Mondello International race track.

The Inaugural Kia Race Series brought together seven well-established regional races around Ireland under one umbrella.

Participation in the individual events has increased 29% on last year’s average entries.

There were eight course records broken, and €4,000 worth of a bonus fund paid to athletes. Hiko Tonosa from Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club claimed five records while Kerry O’Flaherty from Newcastle and District broke three.

The winner of the mixed team prize of €1000, sponsored by Kia was A Micks Bag comprising Mick Clohisey, Hiko Tonosa, Laura O’ Shaughnessy and Kerry O’Flaherty.

A ‘Rose of Tralee’ relay team competed on the day as the Rose of Tralee 2018; Kirsten Mate Maher teamed up with the Dublin Rose and two Rose of Tralee escorts.

O’Flaherty was the female winner of the series and a new Kia Ceed: “I was delighted to win the Kia Race Series and to win five out of the five that I raced in and to make the top of the podium in the finale.”

“I took a week after the European Championships in Berlin and I kept myself ticking over for this last race in the series. I had to grind out the win, conditions were tough, and Laura is so strong on hills, so I had to work hard to pull away from her on the last lap.”

“It was a great idea by Pop Up Races to organise the series and to have Kia on-board is fantastic.”

Tonosa was the overall male winner but unfortunately did not meet the criteria of winning the Kia Ceed as he does not hold a full valid Irish driving license. Instead, he received a cash prize and has been welcomed as an ambassador for the Kia Race Series 2019.

Second-placed Eric Keogh from Donore Harriers who performed consistently throughout the series was next in line and claimed the new Kia Ceed in his place.

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Image Credit: Sam Barnes, Sportsfile

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