The Leastone team kicked off their 2020 Formula Vee campaign at Mondello Park last week, with a double header around the national circuit. This year will see several double headers across a revised calendar, as like many racing series around the world, Formula Vee look to recover the time lost from a suspension of sporting activities earlier this year.
2017 Monoposto champion Mark Reade has returned to Formula Vee this year, hoping to challenge for both the Selco Hygiene National Championship, in addition to the VW Spares Ltd Championship. Mark is joined this year by Michael Killian in his Leastone JH002, who will tackle the newly sponsored Motorsport.ie Star of Tomorrow Championship for rookie drivers. Motorsport.ie have recently teamed up with the BOSS series to offer the winner of the Star of Tomorrow a Formula Renault test at the end of year. While Michael took part in a handful of events last year, his limited experience means he is still eligible for Formula Vee’s hotly contested rookie championship.
Friday testing saw Reade working hard to dial out some handling issues, a result of somewhat limited running during the preseason. Having limited experience overall, Michael continued to log mileage, gaining time with each passing lap, and setting himself up for a competitive qualifying. Despite it being two-day event, the Vees were only in action on Sunday and somewhat tricky conditions met the drivers for qualifying. Mark set a lap time good enough for 5th on the grid overall with Michael lining up 3rd of the rookie runners.
Race 1 saw Mark drop a place to 6th on the opening lap with the typical tight vee battles forming throughout the field. While the top 3 initially made a break, the top 6 train compressed by mid race, but with not much change in the overall running order. Mark was battling hard to recover his 5th place and managed to slip by late in the race, which unfortunately that didn’t leave him with much time to try snatch 4th. Either way, he secured 4th place points in the National championship while taking the class win for the VW Spares Championship, while recording the races fastest lap. Michael continued to build on his strong qualifying pace and moved up the order to secure 14th overall, taking 2nd in the Star of Tomorrow running.
Race 2 saw a messy opening few laps, forcing not 1, but 2 restarts. Mark was caught up in a start line shunt which saw the second of the red flags and while he was forced into pitlane for checks, he was able to take the restart from the pitlane. Despite this, he put his red mist to good use, storming through the field to take 5th overall and 2nd in the VW Spares Ltd classification. Michael navigated the carnage to take 10th overall and 3rd in the motorsport.ie rookie standings, to round out a solid opening weekend for the team.
The team will now look towards Kirkistown for round 3 which will take place on August 29th, where both Mark and Michael will look to build on their strong opening weekend.