Formula Vee Rounds 4 & 5 - Mondello Park International - 13th September
The Formula Vee Championship returned to Mondello Park last weekend, where rounds 4 and 5 took place on the International layout. Both Mark Reade and Michael Killian looked to build on their strong outings at Kirkistown at the end of last month and were met with tricky conditions for qualifying on Sunday morning. Reade’s session was hampered by a broken exhaust later in the session which meant he missed the best of the track conditions and this left him 7th on the grid for both races, while Michael laid down a laps good enough for the inside of row 6.
Michael's race was over more or less before it began, when an electrical fault left him stranded after the opening lap. Reade made a good start to jump into the top 6 and looked to have the bit between his teeth as he continued to push forward over the opening laps. He quickly made his way up to 2nd place by lap 3 and began to harry series champion Anthony Cross for the lead.
Cross showed his experience and resisted Reade's attack, but what was shaping up to be a 4 way fight was cut short by a red flag after just 4 laps of the 3.5 km Kildare circuit. The results were declared, and Mark secured an impressive podium, in addition to taking class honours for the VW Spares Championship.
Reade had a similar mountain to climb in Race 2, starting again from 7th on the grid. Despite dropping to 13th on the opening lap, Michael's race was going significantly better than his Race 1. He recovered the lost ground by lap 3 and set about making further progress.
Mark had a storming opening lap, vaulting up to 2nd place once again. A typical Vee battle ensued, with the top 4 from Race 1 resuming battle once again. By the mid-point of the race, Jack Byrne had made a break at the head of the field, leaving Mark in the middle of a 3-way fight for 2nd.
In the meantime, Michael had made his way inside the top 10 and held 4th place in the Motorsport.ie Championship classification. He would hold position until the chequered flag, securing critical points for the Rookie championship following his DNF in the earlier race.
Mark looked set for a repeat of his earlier second place but dropped to 3rd on the final lap, taking a hefty haul of points for the Selco Hygiene National Championship, in addition to another VW Spares Championship class win.
This has both Mark and Michael in good shape for their respective championships heading into another double header at Kirkistown on September 26th, where Reade will look to make amends for what looked to be a lost win from his last visit there.