Formula Vee Round 3 - Kirkistown - 29th August
The Leastone Team made their first trip to Kirkistown last weekend for Round 3 of the Irish Formula Vee Championship. Both Mark Reade and Michael Killian looked to build on their strong opening rounds at Mondello which took place over a month ago. The duos results had them well placed in the VW Spares and Motorport.ie championships respectively and with the shortened calendar and only one drop score allowed, they were aware that every point was critical to championship hopes.
Qualifying was hamstrung by timing issues, with Mark logging a pole winning time but only 8 of the 23 cars having registered on the timing system. In the spirit of fairness, the class decided to forego their ‘B’ race and re-run qualifying in its place. During this session, Mark secured a front row slot, missing out on pole by 0.004 of a second, with Michael securing his first top 5 qualifying on the inside of row 3.
For the race, Reade made a good start and managed to secure the lead on the run into Colonial, with teammate Killian dropping to 6th in the early stages. A typically tight battle developed for the lead, with Mark’s defence holding firm for the opening few laps. He did briefly lose the lead on lap 4 but immediately snatched it back on the following lap.
Behind the top 3, the field was somewhat strung out, with Michael still maintaining an impressive 6th and showing consistent pace throughout. With the lead battle looking frantic, Reade seemed to be comfortable out front and fending off the attentions of Phillip Sheane behind. It was in the closing stages of the race that things went awry, with a misfire developing in the M3 Van Centre JH004.
Mark began to drop down the field but despite the electrical issue, he still managed to secure a 6th place finish. His misfortune was to Killians benefit, as he was then elevated to 4th overall at the flag, rounding out a fantastic race for the rookie.
Even with Marks late race problem, he did still secure 3rd place in the VW Spares Championship, adding crucial points to his tally. Michaels 4th also translated into a Motorsport.ie Class win, further extending his championship lead.
Reade and the team will look to build on this display of pace at the next 2 rounds, both of which will be held on Mondellos International layout on September 12/13th, while Michael will be hoping to further improve his championship lead and the championship prize of a Formula Renault test later in the year.