O’Keeffe pays tribute to Scheckter during debut Monaco weekend

O’Keeffe pays tribute to Scheckter during debut Monaco weekend

30.05.2019: Callan O’Keeffe made his first racing visit to the streets of Monte Carlo last weekend (May 23-26) and came away with two top-ten finishes, securing valuable Formula Renault Eurocup points for his FA Racing by Drivex team.

Callan O’Keeffe made his first racing visit to the streets of Monte Carlo last weekend (May 23-26) and came away with two top-ten finishes, securing valuable Formula Renault Eurocup points for his FA Racing by Drivex team.

The 22-year old also marked the occasion with a special Jody Scheckter tribute helmet, 40 years after the fellow South African won at the circuit from pole position, en route to the 1979 Formula 1 World Championship title with Ferrari.

With just one brief practice session to acclimatise to the track, Callan quickly found his lines and was looking to set a quick lap in his qualifying group. Running on slick tyres as the circuit dried, a Virtual Safety Car spoiled his quickest lap leaving him fifth fastest in his group, meaning starting positions of tenth and ninth respectively.

Despite the difficulty in overtaking around the tight, twisty streets of Monaco, Callan made up two places to finish eighth in race one and followed up with ninth in race two, held before the Grand Prix itself. He now sits 11th in the championship standings with 14 points.

There is a quick turnaround for the Formula Renault Eurocup grid however, as the next two races of the season take place this weekend (May 31-June 2) at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France. Limited pre-season running means Callan and his team will be up against it but will be aiming to continue their run of top-ten finishes.

Callan O'Keeffe:


“Qualifying was a bit of a gamble with what tyres you were going to run; we went with the slicks but got caught out with a Full Course Yellow. Finishing P5 in the group wasn’t bad but starting in tenth means you know what kind of race you are in for as it is so tough to pass. At the end of the day points were important so to come away with two top-ten finishes was a good result for me and the team.

“When someone brought forward the idea to run a tribute helmet to Jody Scheckter I got in touch with the lovely people at Bell and they managed to fast-track me one. It was special to give Jody the tribute he deserved and help bring his amazing achievement back into the public eye. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet him before long as it would be great to see what I can learn from him. We’ll definitely do more things like this in the future; paying tribute to motorsport icons from South Africa and beyond.

“It was a fantastic experience to travel to Monaco for the first time, as well as being the first street circuit I’ve ever competed on. Nothing can prepare you for what it is like when you actually get out on track, threading the car between the walls at 250kph.

“I’ve raced alongside Formula 1 before, but I stood at Tabac with my family watching drivers touch the wall at the apex and the exit every lap during the race. I have a massive admiration for those drivers already because you know how hard they’ve worked to get there, but it emphasises the level they are at and it pushes me to work in greater depth and detail to get to the highest levels of motorsport.”



- Jamie Howlett - photos DPPI

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30.05.2019 / MaP

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