Firstly, a massive thanks to everyone on the team for the past weekend. To say I am relieved, elated and beyond excited after securing the Championship this weekend is mild! Even if the weekend didn’t go exactly to plan!
Testing on Friday was challenging, I had to bring myself back up to speed with the technical layout but racing on the international circuit again was going to be exciting. I know it is a huge effort to cover the many, many turns on Mondello’s longest variation so a big shout out to all the marshalls for making it possible!
Last year the Leinster Trophy weekend was one of my early racing experiences and having ended it in the gravel, I was determined not to make any ‘rookie’ mistakes this time and try to sail home in one piece. So, team Leastone had a busy Friday night, making some tweaks in trying to hit the sweet spot for Saturday but unfortunately I didn’t position well in qualifying due to an engine issue. I had a lot of ground to make up in Race 1, so the pressure was palpable....
Things didn’t get much better for me, as we had an electrical issue (apparently cable insulation doesn’t work when said cable breaks free and decides to sit on the exhaust!) and had to pull into the pits. The team could see that it was not a quick fix so I spent the rest of the race watching from the sidelines. At the same time I had some comfort in knowing that I had some championship points to give up thanks to my run of strong results earlier in the year.
Putting Saturday’s frustration behind us, and determined to fight through the pack, Sunday’s racing proved to be better as I fought my way to a P2 finish in the Finol Star of Tomorrow class. I couldn’t get near enough to Matt Bodden to challenge, as Matt took a great win, his second of a dominant weekend.
That would give me my 7th podium of the year and with it, the points needed to secure the championship with a round to spare! It was cool to be racing alongside Tadgh Sharkey for the first time this year and it was great to see him back after his heavy shunt a couple of races ago. Before I could really kick off my celebrations, I got to watch my fellow Leastone teammate Mark, in the Leastone 1000, have a great run in the Formula Libre race. He showed me what the 1000 is capable of and I will need to pick his brains before I get to run it in Brands Hatch later this year!
A huge thank you must go to my sponsors, Selco Hygiene, for giving me the opportunity to race this year. I also would like to thank Paul Heavey and all the Leastone team, including Mark Reade and Ricky Kenny, for all the work, effort and advice this year. Thanks also to Finol Oils for putting up the prize package for the Finol Star of Tomorrow Championship, I cannot wait to get to Brands. But first, we have to close out the season at Kirkistown on September 29th…