Monoposto Rounds 4/5/6 - Snetterton 300
The Leastone duo of Mark Reade and Morgan McCourt followed up their strong opening weekend of the Monoposto championship with another solid run of results at the Snetterton 300 circuit last weekend (12/13th May). The event saw a number of celebrations to mark Monoposto’s 60th Anniversary season, with many past champions and their machines in attendance. The pair entered qualifying for the triple header event off the back of a productive days testing on Friday, and putting that knowledge to use, Reade placed himself 5th in class with Morgan slotting into 10th place on the grid for Saturdays race. Mark actually expected to further down the grid, as an apparent misfire was holding back the overall pace of his Leastone 1000 throughout the qualifying session.
Saturday’s race was a short lived affair, as rain began to fall just as the field took the green flag. While the rain was light to begin with, a deluge followed and that was enough for officials to fly the red flag and declare a result with almost 9 minutes of the designated 15 run. Despite the short nature of the race, both Reade and McCourt managed to make forward progress, taking full advantage of the tricky conditions. Mark snatched his 3rd podium of the year with a 2nd place and Morgan jumped to 8th place at the flag. There was still concern for Reade though, as there was an inkling that the misfire that hampered him in qualifying was still not fully resolved and had been masked by the wet conditions.
Reade’s concerns were indeed confirmed during Sunday's race 2 but despite being down on power, he put in a measured drive, taking advantage where he could and managed to record yet another podium, despite the issues. He dropped back to 5th from his 2nd row grid slot in the opening phase of the race but managed consistent laps for the remainder of the race, picking his way to 3rd place by the time the chequered flag flew. Morgan enjoyed similar progress to that of his Saturday race, maintaining 10th place in the early laps of the race before picking off 9th and 8th place cars during the latter stages. The 8th place would further add to his already solid 2018 championship point haul thus far.
Despite feverish efforts by the team during race 2 and 3 break, Mark knew he was in trouble on the green flag lap for Sunday’s final event. What was a frustrating reduction in power previously, had now morphed into a full on misfire come the race start. Reade plummeted down the order, lucky that his competitors avoided him during a chaotic first lap. His teammate was one of those who had to swing around the stricken Reade, as he vaulted up inside the top 6 on the opening lap.
Mark kept his head up, and began to try make the best of a bad situation, getting himself into a rhythm, and picking up places through retirements or taking advantage of his competitor’s mistakes. Despite the issues, he manage to secure a 9th place finish and some valuable championship points with it. Morgan enjoyed a spirited battle throughout the race, doing his best to defend his 6th place at the time. He did surrender the place in the final few laps, crossing the finish line in 7th place, while securing an overall top 10 in the process.
Reade leaves Snetterton with the championship lead, despite his issues, with a consistent run of podiums, including 1 win to open the year. The Monoposto series now head for Oulton Park, what is effectively a home race for the Leastone team as it is a mere 1 ½- 2 hour trek from Holyhead (compared to the 7+ hour drive home from Snetterton!). Mark and Morgan will tackle the International layout for a double header for a single day event on the 30th of June.
Mark Reade – Leastone 1000 No.45 - R1 P2/R2 P3/R3 P9
‘While it was frustrating to lack some performance over the weekend, it was great to come away with a bunch of points, podiums and the championship lead! The issue will be sorted for the next day, it was one of those unfortunate things that can have you chasing your tail over a race weekend. It better be sorted anyhow, as Oulton is my favorite track! Thanks once again goes to my sponsors Finol Oils, Global Service Centres and P&T Precision hydraulics, as always, this couldn’t be possible without them!’
Morgan McCourt – Leastone 1000 No.48 - R1 P8/R2 P8/R3 P7
'Another great weekend of racing. This is my first time at Snett and I had some very enjoyable wheel to wheel battles. And not just with my own class! This is a fairly technical layout so it took me a while to get my head around it but I’m delighted to grab another 3 top ten finishes. I have experience of Oulton, so I am really looking forward to getting back there.’