Reigning UK Monoposto champion Mark Reade gave the Leastone 1000 its competitive debut on Irish soil last weekend at Mondello Park’s Leinster Trophy event, racing in the Formula Libre class. The local man recorded an impressive pair of top 5 finishes, battling hard against a great turn out of Formula 3, Formula Renault and F3000 machines.
Testing was limited to a handful of sessions on Friday which gave him some feel for the 1000 around the technical 3.6km Donore circuit, before heading into Saturday morning’s qualifying session. Struggling with some corner entry understeer, Reade pulled together a lap good enough for the outside of the 3rd row for Saturday afternoon’s race.
The 1000 got a good launch off the line for Race 1, with Reade jumping to 4th place in the opening laps. Given the powerful machinery on the grid, he was forced to turn his attentions to his mirrors and began a race long battle with Formula Libre legend Dan Daly. This battle would keep the crowd entertained for the subsequent laps, while the top three pulled away at the head of the field.
Unfortunately, the exciting battle would come to a premature end, when Dan spun at turn 3 and brought out the red flags. Given the time constraints of the jam packed time table, officials decided to declare the result there and then.
Further tweaks overnight sought to remedy the turn in issues but a damp qualifying saw Mark set a time that would see him line up 7th on the grid for the main event on Sunday, which would see the winner awarded the famous Leinster Trophy.
Another good start saw Reade jump to 6th place and a hectic few laps ensued between machines with various power outputs. Once the dust settled, Mark set about chasing a pair of Formula Renaults, just about hanging onto their coat tails. While the battle was not as entertaining as the Saturday exchange, there were a few position swaps over the course of the race. Despite ultimately losing out to the Renault, by the time the chequered flag was shown, the Donore native had pulled himself up to 5th place following a retirement further up the field.
Mark Reade – Leastone 1000 – R1 P4 / R2 P5
‘Great to be back out in Mondello park this weekend for the Leinster trophy! It was a great effort by Paul across the weekend, the car went quicker every time we hit the track after few set up changes and it was great to see the car turning heads on home soil. As always, thanks to my loyal sponsors for making everything possible: Global Service Centres, P&T Hydraulics Gearboxes, Finol Oils and Ricky on the spanners. Also, well done Max Hart for winning the Finol Star of Tomorrow Formula Vee Championship!’