HAIGO ADAC Historic Cup - Tor Poznań - 16/17th July
The Leastone team travelled to Tor Poznań last weekend for a one-off appearance with the German HAIGO ADAC Historic Cup. Team boss Paul Heavey came up with the idea at the start of the year and he was joined by 17-year-old Karl O’Brien, who travelled to Poland looking for a change in fortune following a tough start to his Monoposto campaign.
The pair had a single free practice session on Friday to learn the fast and flowing track and the learning process continued into qualifying on Saturday, where they continued to find pace lap after lap. Karl was enjoying his Leastone 1000 around the challenging track and he took pole position for the first of the weekend’s races. Paul would line up on the outside of the second row, with it being his first outing this year, he was still bringing himself up to speed.
Race 1 was turned on its head right before the start when a brief downpour soaked the track with the field all on slicks. The race began with the field scrambling for grip but with the track drying, it was a case of waiting it out until a dryer line appeared. Both Leastones were not without error, with Heavey spinning during the opening laps and Karl with a brief trip through the gravel. Unfortunately, by lap 5, Karl’s bad luck struck once again with an engine issue forcing him to park. Paul would come home 5th following a few more excursions, but he did manage to set fastest lap along the way.
Karl was forced to start Race 2 at the back of the grid but with dry conditions, he quickly set about carving his way through the field. Such was his pace advantage, he hit the front in the early laps and set about chipping away at his fastest lap time. Heavey had elevated himself to 2nd, but he had no answer for the youngster’s pace, who continued to pull a healthy lead past the halfway point.
The pair then managed their pace in the closing stages of the 20-minute race and crossed the line to record a 1-2, making amends for their Saturday struggles.
‘This was a mad idea that entered my head at the start of the year, I wanted to race somewhere new, but it was tricky to avoid clashes with the Irish and UK calendar. Eventually through some Polish contacts, the idea of Tor Poznań came up and they put me in contact with the HAIGO folks. The track is really impressive, although too many corners for me to remember! The group here have been fantastic hosts and I’m glad that Karl made the trip with me. There wasn’t a chance of me getting near his pace and its fantastic to see him on the top step of the podium!’ said Heavey at the end of the weekend.
The team now turn their attention to Silverstone GP at the end of the month (July 30/31st), where rounds 8 & 9 of the Monoposto championship take place. Karl will be looking to carry the momentum from this good result to chase down a pair of wins at the Northamptonshire circuit.