Kirkistown - 29th August
The Formula Vee series visited the superfast Kirkistown race circuit last weekend for the penultimate round of the 2015 championship. The Leastone team enjoyed a good weekend, with Des Foley securing the Finol Star of Tomorrow Championship with an emphatic win in the B & C race, backing it up with a top 5 in the main race, while team mate Colm Blackburn tracked him all the way to the flag to continue his solid haul of National championship points. Brendan O’Brien was absent, due to new born baby duties and former Formula 5 runner, Mark Reade, stepped into his car at the last minute and fared well despite limited time in the car.
Qualifying was the usual fraught affair, with all drivers fighting to get the all important slipstream. Des managed a time for the inside of the 4th row, Colm on the 6th row and Mark continuing to bed himself in on the 8th row overall. This put Des on pole for the heat with Mark in 8th.
Des got the perfect getaway and led the way into Colonial and managed to stay at the head of the field for opening 2 laps. The race then descended into a typical slipstream battle with the lead swapping hands a couple of times per lap for the majority of the race. Mark had made some decent progress, elevating himself to 6th, enjoying wheel to wheel combat all along the way.
The lead battle continued right the way up to the penultimate lap, when Des hit the front for the final time into Colonial to take the flag, and the Finol Star of Tomorrow championship with it. Mark continued to battle and held on to his top six result, gaining pace all the time.
Des and Colm made great starts and benefited from some chaos at Colonial to leap to 4th and 7th on the opening lap. Des dropped back to 6th over the next couple of laps but was then promoted to 4th when two competitors came to blows at the hairpin. Des and Colm then began to dispute the position and were joined by fellow Leastone runner Stephen Morrin, which then provided an entertaining 3 way battle for the remainder of the race. All 3 drivers took turns leading the battle but it was Morrin who took bragging rights, with Des and Colm taking 5th and 6th respectively. Both drivers were awarded points for 4th and 5th as one of the podium finishers was not eligible for points.
Mark had a similarly intense battle further back, as he tried to fight his way up the order but a couple of off course excursions hampered his progress but despite this he picked up 12th place and grabbed some valuable experience for the next time he must perform as super sub!
The team now look forward to the final championship round at Mondello in 2 weeks time where they look to round of 2015 with another strong result. Des can also look forward to his championship prize of his outing in the Leastone 1000 at Oulton Park on October 10th. He will get some seat time prior to that in Mondello, to try and acclimatize himself to the 160bhp slicks and wings machine.
Des' onboard from the weekend can be found below: