Formula Vee Rounds 1 & 2 - Mondello Park - 12th June
Mark Reade opened his 2021 season with a brace of wins in the VW Spares Ltd Championship, in addition to an overall podium in the second race of the weekend. Following a shakedown of his freshly rebuilt JH004 earlier this year, Fridays test session gave him his first proper opportunity to refine the set up in advance of the opening weekend’s double header on Mondellos National circuit. Following some fine tuning throughout the course of the day, Mark was comfortable heading into Saturday.
Qualifying was held in tricky conditions, with the drivers facing a damp but drying track and Reade took full advantage to bang in a lap time that would put him on the front row for both races which would take place later in the day. Despite his front row slot, he would be disappointed to miss out on pole by just 1 hundredth of a second.
The sun was out and track fully dry by the time Race 1 rolled around and Mark nailed his start to snatch the lead on the short run to Turn 1. He was straight into defence mode and sustained pressure over the opening laps before a safety car neutralized the race for a handful of laps. When the race resumed, a 4 car pack broke away with Reade resuming where he left off.
Late in the race, Mark lost the lead on the run to the final turn and was further wrong footed in the process, which saw him also lose 2nd place as things sorted themselves out. Things would get worse for the Donore native, as the following lap he was boxed in behind a back marker as they navigated the esses. Reade had to tap the brakes to avoid contact and dropped to 4th as a result, but despite the disappointment of losing a podium so late in the race, he was happy to have secured full points in the VW Spares Ltd. championship.
Race 2 didn’t see as good a start from Mark and he slotted into 2nd place. Again he was driving to his mirrors as a hectic battle developed around him, which allowed the leader to break away from the squabbling pack. The duration of the race saw a number of swaps for the final podium positions with Reade leading at times a 5 car train. Late into the race, Mark again found himself shuffled back to 4th place but a decisive move on the penultimate lap saw him snatch the final podium slot and another maximum haul of VW Spares Ltd. championship points.
Mark Reade - No.45 Leastone JH004 - R1 4th (1st in class) R2 3rd (1st in class)
'Leading the first half of Race 1 was good fun but unfortunately I fell back to after making two mistakes. Happy to make amends somewhat in Race 2 with the podium and overall a good haul of points for the VW Spares Limited championship with two wins. Racing was top class and so competitive, hopefully we'll get top step next time overall - qualifying shows we have the pace. Big thanks to the Paul for setting the car up yesterday in testing, it was a busy day! Fair play to Selco Hygiene for giving all 26 Vee drivers a complete box of Hygiene supplies and I can't forget to thank my great sponsors M3 Van Centre, Finol Oils and P&T Precision Hydraulics & Gearboxes!'
The Vees are back in action on July 17/18th for Rounds 3 and 4 on Mondellos International layout.