Monoposto Rounds 11/12 - Brands Hatch Grand Prix
Mark Reade got his championship challenge back on track with a solid brace of results at Brands Hatch last weekend. Morgan McCourt also came away with a solid haul of points, recovering from a qualifying hiccup to grab a pair of top 10 finishes around the 2.43 mile Kent circuit. Mark put his no. 45 Leastone on the second row for the first of Saturday’s races but Morgan’s session did not go as smoothly, as a throttle issue sidelined him in the early phase of qualifying. He would start Race 1 from the last row, in 28th position.
Reade got his customary good launch to jump into 2nd place when race 1 lights went out and Morgan had a similarly productive start, vaulting to 20th on the opening lap. At the front of the field, Mark was busy defending his 2nd place, which had allowed the leader to pull a useful gap. Reade eventually ceded the place and settled into what would be a lonely 3rd place. Traffic would prove to be an issue prior to the midpoint which would see the gap at the head of the field ebb and flow, but ultimately Reade came out worse and was a distant third at the flag.
Morgan continued to scythe through the field, picking off 3-4 cars per lap in the early laps. As he made his way to the sharper end of the grid, his progress levelled out but he had still managed to pull himself inside the top 10. By the time he took the chequered flag, he had gained 13 places overall and took 10th place in the MonoMoto class.
Race 2 began in dramatic fashion as Mark was forced to make a pitlane start, following a brake issue. He would make the start but was still suffering with a long brake pedal, which would take him a few laps to adjust his driving style around. With the race 2 grid decided by fastest laps from race 1, Morgan was enjoying his better grid slot and continued where he left off, picking his way through the field.
In the meantime, it was Reades turn to charge up from the back it didn’t take him long to get his head around the brake issue as he was on the cusp of the top 10 by the end of lap 2. By the mid-way point, he had slotted himself into 6th and was continuing to close on the top 5.
While his progress was not as dramatic as his team mate, Morgan had also moved inside the top 10 by lap 5 and was trying to hang onto Mark’s coat tails in 6th place. Traffic was again an issue in the closing stages of the race with Morgan coming off a little worse and slipped to 8th at the flag. Mark fared a little better through traffic and pulled himself up to 4th place, grabbing valuable championship points in the process, points that were all the more valuable on a day that the championship leader suffered a DNF in Race 1.
Reade heads to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit after an almost 8 week break, where the series will close out the 2018 with a double header. Mark is 6 points behind the championship leader, when drop scores are taken into account and he will be hoping for a dose of good luck to help him retain his MonoMoto title. The championship finale will take place on October 13/14th.
Mark Reade – Leastone 1000 No.45 - R1 P3/R2 P4
‘This was a good bounce back from the problems at Cadwell and nice to be back on the podium! Race 1 was a little lonely but the drama of Race 2 made up for that! We still have to work out what the issue was with the brakes, they may have slightly boiled after the chequered flag in Race 1, as we have a very short cool down lap here. We’re still on the back foot in the championship but it’s closed up a lot heading to Silverstone, which I am really looking forward to now. Big thanks to Finol, P&T Hydraulics and Global Tyres for their continued support this year’
Morgan McCourt – Leastone 1000 No.48 - R1 P10/R2 P8
'Even though the qualifying problem lost me some laps around this great track, I really enjoyed the charge through in Race 1! The car is really enjoyable around this place and again the racing was really tight across the two races. While I’m looking forward to Silverstone, I can believe that it is the end of the season. I’m happy with the progress so far this year, we’ve been consistent top 10 runners and squeezing closer to the top 6, maybe we’ll sneak inside there in Silverstone!’