Mondello Park in Naas is revving up for it’s 50th birthday celebrations!
It’s the roar of the engines, the speed on the corners, the thrill of the chase! It’s all that sums up motorsport in Mondello and if you’ve never been, get your backside and car in gear.
Here are some things you may not have known about the circuit, including the question we all want to know …where did it get its name?
1. It’s reported to have been named after a beach in Palermo in Italy – we kid you not!
2. It is Ireland’s only international motorsport venue and was opened in 1968 – this year marks it’s 50th anniversary!
3. Prior to Mondello, all racing in Ireland took place on closed roads but this was stopped due to health and safety. The last venue closed was in Dunboyne, Co. Meath which hosted 41 individual motorcycle and 27 car races between 1958 and 1967.
4. Mondello Park started with a track of just 1.28km before extending to 1.6km and finally to 3.5km in 1998.
5. The track has produced some of Ireland’s best talent such as Derek Daly, David Kennedy and Bernard Devaney going on to make a name for themselves internationally – all three now have corners named after them on the circuit.
6. The venue was rescued from closure in 1986 by Irish businessman and motorsport enthusiast Martin Birrane, who took over full ownership in 1987.
7. Mondello was the first overseas venue to ever feature on the British Superbike Championship calendar.
8. The circuit has a fleet of Porshes in its supercar experience, in which participants are encouraged to drive the car at full speed around the track.
9. It also caters for a full programme of car and motorcycle races, shows and even track days where people can use their own vehicles.
10. Mondello houses a museum of motorsport and runs an early drive educational school for experience for transition year students.