Kirkistown - 1st October
The Leastone team rounded out the 2016 Irish season at Kirkistown last weekend. Kevin Cahill sought a solid end to his impressive rookie season and he was once again joined by youngster Jordan Daly, who would experience the super fast Northern Irish circuit for the first time.
Despite his inexperience, Daly showed great pace in qualifying out qualifying 2 of the Finol Star of Tomorrow runners. Unfortunately this effort was in vain, as he suffered a heavy shunt at Fishermans late in the qualifying session, damaging the car too much to repair at the track. Kevin had a decent session, albeit struggling to hook up an all important slipstream, and lined up 4th of the Finol Star of Tomorrow contenders.
Cahill avoided trouble in the opening laps of the heat and once through the first corner, the pack settled down into a typical Kirkistown slipstream battle. Kevin jumped a position in the early stages and set about reeling in the pack ahead. By the time everything had shaken out, Cahill had lost the slipstream and slowly lost touch with the car ahead. He would have a lonely run to the flag but had to pay attention to his rear view mirrors, as he maintained a 3 second gap to the car behind. This would close out his Finol Star of Tomorrow championship for the year, with a 4th place finish.
For the days main race, again Kevin made a solid start and avoided trouble in the opening laps. The same can’t be said for other runners, one of which launched Leastone runner Stephen Morrin to roll violently at turn 1 on lap 3.
The race was stopped to allow clean up and on the restart, the field settled into a similar rhythm to that of the earlier race, except this time, Cahill managed to hold onto the coat tails of the pack ahead and was able to slipstream himself into the thick of the battle. The group splintered somewhat as the race wore on and Cahill found himself in a 3 way battle for what would eventually be 10th overall.
Kevin continued to harry the lead car but could not find a way through and crossed the line in 11th place overall. This brought to an end a successful first season for Kevin, in which he secured 5 Finol Star of Tomorrow podiums, including 1 win early in the season. A handful of DNF’s in the mid part of the season saw him drop out of contention for championship honours but still finished 5th. He will hopefully be back on the grid in 2017, this time challenging for Crowne Plaza Championship honours.
That closes out the Irish motorsport season for the Leastone crew and they will turn their attention to the Monoposto round at Brands Hatch on October 30th. Newly crowned Finol Star of Tomorrow, Joe Power (pictured above), will take the wheel of one of the teams Leastone 1000’s as his championship prize. He will also be joined by Leastone runner Mark Reade in the sister 1000 for the event.