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Formula Vee Rounds 10 & 11 - Mondello Park International - 10th Sept

Mark Reade made a return to Formula Vee at Mondello Park last weekend, after a 3-year absence. He stepped into Kevin Gillespie’s recently acquired Leastone JH004 for the penultimate rounds of the Formula Vee championship, which would also see the Leinster Trophy awarded to the winner of Race 2. It would be a tall ask for him to challenge for top honours in the super competitive field and with only a handful of laps in the Friday’s test session, he entered qualifying unsure as to where he would stack up. Qualifying did not go to plan, with a slipping clutch hindering progress but Reade qualified 8th nonetheless.

The heavens opened for Race 1, which somewhat levelled the playing field for Mark and he used his wet weather prowess to vault from 8th to 2nd on the first lap. He was in defensive mode for much of the early part of the race, enjoying a hard battle with some of the Vee regulars which saw him bounce down to 4th and then back to 2nd before a mid-race safety car. With numerous cars scattered around the international loop, the race would only go green again with 1 lap to go. Reade and rookie sensation Ronan Doherty had a great battle for second, which would then become the lead when the erstwhile leader looped it at Tarzan 2 and unfortunately Reade would slip to second with only a handful of corners remaining. Still, he was delighted to return to the series with a hard-earned podium.

Conditions for the Leinster Trophy were also mixed, although a bit drier than those of Race 1. The tricky conditions resulted in 2 early red flags and when the race got going proper, it was shortened to just 8 minutes. Mark got a decent start once again, getting into 5th on the opening lap. The track was now drying quickly and with his limited dry running, he was forced to focus on his mirrors in order to hold position, as the lead pack pulled a gap on the Selco Leastone. Again, Reade enjoyed a great battle in the closing stages and found himself running in 3rd when misfortune hit some of the frontrunners.

He crossed the line to record his second podium of the day, and with it, another ‘B’ class victory to add to his earlier class winning result.

‘A great result really, having only stepping in the car on Friday! I really enjoyed the battle with Ronan in Race 1, pity I couldn’t hold on for another few corners to grab the win but it was amazing even to snatch the runner up spot. Race 2 was a bit tougher with the drying track but again I’d a great battle with Tim and Trevor all the way to the flag. Delighted to see two chequered flags and get results for Kevin and his new motor!’ said the understandably happy Donore native after the race.

The Leastone team look to carry momentum from this good news story into their final Monoposto event at Anglesey this weekend, where Codey Keogh, Morgan McCourt and David Heavey look to finish 2023 on a high note.


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