Formula Vee Round 8 - Mondello Park - 10th October
The Formula Vee Championship concluded at Mondello Park last weekend, with Leastone team runners Mark Reade and Michael Killian looking to round the season out on a high. Michael sought to lock in a top 3 in the motorsport.ie rookie championship standing, while Mark was still in with a shout of the VW Spares Ltd. crown, despite his recent run of unfortunate DNF’s. The Vees hit the track early on Saturday morning, kicking off a jam-packed timetable of racing and Reade secured a spot on the 3rd row, while Michael lined up on the inside of row 6.
Mark got a customary good launch, jumping up to 4th on the opening lap, while Killian also made good progress, sneaking into the top 10. A usual hectic battle emerged at the head of the field, with up to 5 cars joining the lead battle during the early stages of the race. Reade was balancing an attack for the podium, while keeping one eye on his mirror to maintain 4th.
At the midpoint of the race, the safety car was deployed to clear a car that was stranded in the gravel at Dunlop corner and Mark saw the restart as a prime opportunity to gain some further places. Unfortunately, that would not be the case as while he did mount a challenge for 3rd, he ran out of road at turn 1 and made a brief, but costly, trip through the gravel. This dropped him down to 9th, and despite his frustrations, he set about making up for lost ground.
Michael also lost some ground on the restart, slipping outside the top 10. Having lost touch with the battling group ahead, he would settle into a steady rhythm over the closing stages of the race to secure 11th overall and a podium finish in the motorsport.ie rookie class.
Mark staged a decent comeback with the short time he had, pulling himself back into the top 5 by the time he took the chequered flag, also taking second in class. His result would be good enough to secure runner up spot in the VW Spares Championship.
That marked the end of the 2020 Formula Vee season. Given the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a fantastic achievement by the Formula Vee Association to pull off the compressed schedule, which was only made possible with the support of Mondello Park and Kirkistown race circuit, whose professionalism and strict safety protocols made the season a resounding success.
Here’s to a more normal looking season in 2021!