Ashling Thompson zooms off in a new direction

Ashling Thompson zooms off in a new direction
Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

ALL-IRELAND and All-Star winning Cork camogie player Ashling Thompson will hurtle rather than hurl this weekend.

The Milford star makes her motor racing debut at Mondello Park driving a Ford Fiesta in three rounds of the Keelan Construction Fiesta Zetec Championship at the County Kildare track.

However, Ireland’s premier racing circuit isn’t going to be a totally new experience for the 29-year-old as she has driven there previously albeit once at a charity time trial event, which she won, and at the Formula Female One Lap Challenge.

Motorsport is very much a male-dominated sport and her appearance is in association with Motorsport Ireland and part of the Formula Female, an initiative set up by hockey star Nicci Daly to encourage more women into motorsport.

Her competitive streak should stand her in good stead. 

"I have always had a taste for motorsport, even from a very young age. GAA has always been at the forefront of my career though. 

"But now that I finally have the opportunity to race this weekend, I'm so excited for the challenge and looking forward to a new experience."

The Fiesta Zetec Championship has one of the biggest grids in Irish motor racing, run and promoted by Leo Nulty Promotions, it is a popular budget entry level to saloon racing.

Last year Macroom’s Emma Knott made her rallying debut at the Cork '20' International Rally while Togher’s Muireann Hayes won the National Navigation Championship when she navigated Monaghan’s Derek Mackarel to the title. 

Indeed, Cork has the highest number of females rally co-drivers with others like Rosscarbery’s Aileen Kelly and Dromtarriffe’s Grace O’Brien very prominent in the sport.

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