Following an impressive Monoposto debut, as part of the Finol Star of Tomorrow championship towards the end of 2018, young hotshoe Max Hart committed himself to the 2019 championship season. He continued his debut form through the opening rounds of the championship, where the 17-year old took a brace of podiums at Donington Park.
Hart carried his impressive form and continued to cause the series regulars headaches in the early phase of the season, securing another two podiums by the time the series marked the mid-way point at Castle Combe. It was here that Hart took his first win of the series, with a fantastic drive from 5th on the grid. Jumping to second in the early stages of the race, Max stalked the leader up to the races half way point before enjoying a spirited battle, with the pair swapping positions on a lap by lap basis. In the end, it was Hart that prevailed, snatching the lead on the penultimate lap and securing his first slicks and wings victory.
Max was to back this up with a stunning victory on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit 2 rounds later, under difficult conditions. Lying second when the heavens opened, he maintained composure despite being on slick tyres, and steadily reeled in the erstwhile leader, taking the lead in the closing stages and pulling a comfortable gap by the time the chequered flag was shown.
A handful of engine issues in the latter end of the season saw Max lose ground on the championship leader, but despite this he arrived at the final round at Brands Hatch still with a mathematical chance of taking championship honours in his first season of racing in the UK. Alas, it was not to be but with a total of 8 podiums, he took some consolation in the runner-up spot.
His performances over the course of the season were enough to catch the attention of Motorsport Ireland, who awarded him Young Driver of the Month for the month of June. Max was then selected as part of the final 3, who were in contention for Young Driver of the Year and the 50,000 that comes with it. Ultimately he lost out to Formula 3 racer James Roe, but it was a great accolade for the Baltinglass youngster.
Fresh on the back of his successful year, Max recently competed in the final rounds of the South East Asia Formula 4 championship, where he managed to take a podium, despite extremely limited track time in the Formula 4 machine.
Morgan McCourt again tackled the Monomoto 1000 championship and the Cork based surgeon enjoyed his strongest season to date, recording numerous top 6’s on his way to 4th place in the final standings.
2017 Monoposto Champion Mark Reade made his return to the cockpit for the Leinster Trophy event at Mondello in September and he was also joined by Max Hart for the weekend. The pair put forward a typical giant killing performance, mixing it with some of the front runners despite the significant power deficit. The Irish weather duly obliged when race day came, with torrential rain causing the drivers all manner of headache. Reade and Hart enjoyed a battle early on, before the race settled out and Reade pulled a gap on his young teammate to finish 7th and 8th respectively.
Irish Formula Vee
Team boss and Leastone founder returned to competitive action for the first time in over 15 years by electing to tackle the Irish Formula Vee Championship for 2019.
Despite the undertaking ‘just being for fun’, it was clear the competitive edge was still there and Heavey hit the ground running early in the season, consistently running at the sharp end of the field and taking 3rd place in the Kirkistown opener. A number of rookie mistakes meant the results were mostly limited to top 5 finishes but he made amends during his first visit to Bishopscourt circuit in Northern Ireland. Despite not have raced at the former airfield before, Heavey took a popular win after a race long battle with the eventual 2019 champion, Anthony Cross. Ironically, this would he Heavey’s penultimate race of the year as he elected to sit out the remainder of the season to focus on Max and Morgan’s Monoposto efforts.
Even though he missed the bulk of the season, his early results were enough for him to take 3rd place in the ‘B’ Championship and 6th overall in the Selco Hygiene National Championship.
For 2020, the Leastone Racing Team will once again tackle the full UK Monoposto championship, which will see 14 rounds across 6 race weekends. Morgan McCourt will return for his fourth full time campaign, looking to break into the top 3 following his 2019 success.
The works team will field two cars for the full championship, with Morgan’s team mate on the verge of being confirmed at time of writing.
2020 will see the return of Mark Reade to Irish competition, taking the reigns of a works Leastone JH004 Formula Vee. Reade will look to take on select rounds of the National Formula Vee Championship. Paul Heavey is intending to emerge once again from retirement, to pilot the no. 26 Leastone for the few events that Reade is expected to be absent. Provisional 2020 calendars can be found here