Weekend of highs and lows at Snetterton
Mark Reade grabbed another brace of podiums during last weekend’s Monoposto rounds at the Snetterton 300 but a technical infringement would see him lose the second of those on Sunday, leaving him and the team with mixed feelings leaving the Norfolk circuit.
Dedicated qualifying sessions each morning would set the grid for the corresponding day’s races and Reade put his Leastone 1000 on the second row for Saturday’s event, feeling that there was more to come as he gained knowledge of the extremely technical circuit.
Race 1 would prove a lonely affair as Reade slotted into 3rd place on the opening laps, picking up a battle with the winner of the previous round at Oulton Park for the 2nd place position. Reade would stalk 2nd place until lap 4, when his competitor was forced into retirement with a technical issue.
The early lap battle meant the leader had a sizeable gap to Reade, who in turn had a solid advantage over third place. He continued to gain circuit knowledge; pushing harder with each passing lap but all the while conscious of the valuable championship points that 2nd place would give him. Reade would cross the line 2nd, with his main championship rival in 4th, meaning the Kildare man reduced the championship gap to 5 points.
Sunday qualifying saw a repeat 3rd place grid slot for Reade and the opening laps were similar to that of Saturday’s event, with Reade pushing 2nd place hard. He had slipped by and into 2nd by lap 4 in what was becoming a 3 way battle. Using all of his defensive skills, Reade held firm for the following 4 laps, albeit with exciting position swaps taking place all around the 3 mile circuit.
On the penultimate lap, Reade’s defence was breached and he slipped back to 3rd place. He pushed hard to recover his lost ground but unfortunately could not regain his 2nd place, crossing the line just over half a second behind. At the time, this looked like another solid championship result for the Irishman, with his championship rival coming home in 4th place again. However, during post race technical checks, it was discovered that the reverse gear mechanism would not engage, meaning that Reade was in breach of regulations and excluded from the race.
‘A mixed result this weekend. While yesterday was a pretty quiet race, I really enjoyed today’s battle with Jonathon in his Jedi, even though I just came up short on the side by side run to the line! It’s a pity we were excluded on a technical infringement but onwards and upwards, we will be back fighting in 3 weeks! Huge thanks to Leastone Racing and Total Lubricants for the huge effort of making this trip and a great car!’ – Mark Reade No. 45 Leastone 1000
The Monopoto championship wraps up with a triple header at Donington Park on September 16/17th. Despite his exclusion, Reade is still within striking distance of the championship lead, once drop scores are considered.