Monoposto Rounds 13/14 - Silverstone Grand Prix
The 2018 Monoposto championship finale ended up being a bit of damp squib at Silverstone last weekend, with the meeting being abandoned due to extreme weather conditions on Sunday. In order to retain his MonoMoto 1000 crown, Mark Reade needed to outscore the championship leader by 14 points with a maximum of 26 available across the 2 final races.
Despite the size of the task at hand, the team were keen for maximum attack and Mark kicked off the weekend well, posting a time good enough for 2nd in class, 5th overall and most importantly, ahead of his championship rival who was back in 5th. Morgan McCourt continued his solid 2018 run, slotting onto the 4th row of the MonoMoto 1000 class.
Very different weather met the drivers early morning Sunday, with a deluge hitting the Northampton track, resulting in a lot of standing water around the 5.89km Grand Prix circuit. Organisers did their best to get racing underway, asking the drivers to start behind the safety car for Race 1. The race did eventually get underway proper after two laps of yellow and Reade immediately went to work, challenging the race leader, while the entire field battled aquaplaning all the way around.
Reade snatched the lead on the first racing lap but at that stage, one competitor had unfortunately aquaplaned into the pitwall at the new pit complex, causing the red flags to be shown at the start of Lap 4. At that point, the officials called the result and on countback Mark was awarded 2nd place, with Morgan taking 6th.
With no sign of the rain letting up, the ogranisers were left with a difficult decision and in the interests of safety, decided to abandon the meeting.
Mark Reade – Leastone 1000 No.45 - R1 P2 / R2 Cancelled
‘I was wishing for rain but not quite that much! I was fairly surprised to see the lights go out on the safety car, they were about the only thing I could see out there! I managed to get the lead of the class but the aquaplaning was so bad and I was expecting the red flag at any moment. It was a pity to end the year this way but the right decision was definitely made. P3 in the championship is nothing to be ashamed of! I have a lot of people to thank for this year: my loyal sponsors Global Service Centres, Paul Walsh from P&T Hydraulics and Gearboxes and Finol Oils. Thanks to the Monoposto Racing Club for another year of professionally run racing (and a good degree of craic!). Big thanks to Ken Elliott, Ricky Kenny, Rachel Lovett, Mick Kinghorn and Andrew Cliffe all for various reasons and a huge thanks to Paul Heavey for his endless hours of work and driving all over the UK!’
Morgan McCourt – Leastone 1000 No.48 - R1 P6 / R2 Cancelled
‘It was a pity that the event was called off but conditions were very, very difficult. Qualifying was very enjoyable, it’s fantastic to drive this car around a Grand Prix circuit such as Silverstone. I was lucky to pick my way around the puddles out there in Race 1 and even managed to sneak a few spots before the red flag to get myself another top 6. All in all, pretty happy with my year, I’m learning more and more with each passing lap and can’t believe the season is already over! Thanks to Paul, Ricky and Mark for all their help and advice during the year, it was immensely enjoyable and I hope to be back again next year!’
The Leastone team now look to round the year off in style at Brands Hatch on October 27th, where Max Hart will take the wheel of Mark Reade’s no. 45 Leastone 1000 for two rounds, which is part of his Finol Star of Tomorrow Championship winning prize. Max will be joined by Formula Vee frontrunner Gavin Buckley for the weekend, who will also be making his Leastone 1000 debut that weekend.