23 May 2017

A high-speed, hurdling launch for Irish in World University Games

Thomas Barr met Irish Sportswoman of the Year Nicole Drought for some high speed action at Mondello Park recently, to launch Team Ireland's involvement in the 2017 World University Games.

Whilst at Mondello Park, Barr enjoyed some high speed laps alongside Nicole in her 300bhp Ginetta G50. The Olympian then took the wheel himself, in one of the Trackdays.ie race prepared Honda Civics and impressed his instructor with his immediate pace.

In August of this year, 60 Irish students will travel to Tapei as the Student Sport Ireland team for the World University Games.

The Games act as a significant learning and training opportunity for both athletes and officials in a high performance and global multi-sport environment, which places both athletes and officials at an advantage for the Olympic Games.

Student Sport Ireland is the sole sanctioning body responsible for identifying, selecting and coordinating the Irish delegation to the 2017 Games.

Nicole Drought, 22, is a native of Roscrea in Tipperary. A former All Ireland winning Camogie Captain, she made her motor racing debut in 2015, driving a 250bhp Honda Integra in the Irish Touring Car Championship.

In 2016, she became the first Irish Ambassador for the Sean Edwards Foundation and accepted their invitation to travel to Le Castellet in France to test a GT3 Porsche 911. Also in 2016, she became a member of the Murphy Prototypes Young Driver programme and attended an ELMS race in France with the Irish based European sportscar team.

In December 2016, Nicole was voted sportswomen.ie Irish Sportswoman of The Year, taking a massive 20pc of the public vote- the first for a racing driver against far higher profile sports.

Thomas Barr is 400M Hurdler from Dunmore East in County Waterford. A six time Irish Champion, Thomas won Gold at the 2015 World University Games and finished fourth in the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio.

In 2011 he made University of Limerick his high performance home. Since then he has climbed the ranks and broken the national U23 and senior records in the process, and represented Ireland numerous times on the European and world stages.

All the way through, completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and after four years was awarded a first class honours degree.  In 2016 he graduated from UL with a Masters in Sports Performance.