BOSS Ireland - Leinster Trophy - Mondello Park International - 13th September
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, Leastone and their 2020 Monoposto drivers, Colm Blackburn and Morgan McCourt, made the decision to abandon UK racing activities for the year, despite the reworked Monoposto calendar. They did however, circle one specific weekend on home turf; the Leinster Trophy event. While a win was never on the cards, given the calibre of machinery on the BOSS Ireland grid, the event is always a highlight of the Irish racing calendar.
Morgan and Colm would be joined by Brendan O’Brien, who would also see competitive action for the first time in 2020, dusting off his striking Global Service Centre Leastone 1000. Raceday format saw qualifying take place early on Sunday morning, before the drivers would line up for first of two BOSS championship rounds, the second of which would count for the famous Leinster Trophy. (Side note: every article that mentions the Leinster Trophy is obligated to note that Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen are among previous winners – and for this year, bonus points are awarded for mentioning 2-time Indy 500 winner, Takuma Sato 😊)
All 3 drivers had some rust to shake off but represented well in qualifying with Colm 8th, Brendan 12th and Morgan 18th in the 21-car grid.
Brendan suffered a gear selection issue on the opening lap which unfortunately gave him a false neutral, relegating him to the sidelines. While their teammate suffered misfortune, both Colm and Morgan made good getaways, moving up to 7th and 15th respectively. Forward progress continued in the early laps and by the mid-way point, Colm found himself in 5th, with Morgan in 12th.
Colm was engaged in an entertaining battle with some of the F3 machines and ultimately slipped to 6th at the flag, while Morgan held station to lock in 12th place.
Race 2 – Leinster Trophy
A hectic race day for the team (who also had to deal with a Formula Vee double header on the same day) meant they had to act fast to rectify Brendan’s issue, but luckily it was a quick fix. Colm would take 7th on the grid, with O’Brien 13th and McCourt lining up 16th
Despite dropping to 8th on the opening tour, Blackburn picked up where he left off in race 1, getting stuck in among the Formula 3 machinery, clearly enjoying driving the wheels off his 1000. Brendan also lost a spot off the line but recovered the lost ground by lap 3, while Morgan was making progress from the get-go, slotting into 13th by the end of lap end of the same lap.
Things would get a little too hectic as the clock wound down, when a collision brought out a red flag late in the race. The result was declared at that point and Paul O’Connell took the coveted Leinster Trophy win in his Dallara Formula 3.
Colm would secure a second top 6 for the day, giving a good account of himself and the car, while Brendan and Morgan would cap a great weekend for the team, taking 9th and 10th respectively.