Monoposto Rd 10 & 11 - Oulton Park - 27th August
The Leastone team travelled to Oulton Park last weekend, looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend at Silverstone last time out. Qualifying would not look to bring much reversal in fortune, with a broken wishbone ending Karl O'Brien's session after only 2 laps while just a lap later, Morgan McCourt had a sizeable shunt avoiding a slower car on the run-up Clay Hill. David Heavey was fighting a bizarre electrical issue carried over from testing, which saw the car shut down after just two laps of running in each session. Despite the teams’ best efforts overnight, this again saw him parked in qualifying and with all avenues exhausted, retired for the day. Some silver lining however, despite Morgans dramas, he had put a lap on the board which saw him secure a front row slot! The team faced a race against time to repair the damage in time for race one, using Heaveys car as a donor to expedite the process.
Karl’s frustrating day continued early in race one, with an ECU fault causing him to coast to a halt. Morgan was left to lead the team charge and a steady start saw him lose some ground on the opening lap, slipping to 4th. He would stalk the 3rd placed car during the opening phase, drawing alongside at one point on the run into Hislops but could not find a way to make the move stick.
He would eventually tail off from the podium battle in the latter phases of the race, happy to secure a strong 4th place and add to his already solid points tally for 2022. With the grid for race 2 decided on fastest lap times from race 1, Karl would again be left at the back of the grid, while Morgan would line up 3rd for the day’s finale.
Morgan again struggled to launch off the line, although this time it would cost him as he was launched into the air by cars struggling to get around his slow starting 1000. This would ultimately end his race, as the suspension damage from the shunt pitched him off the road at Shell Oils corner and while he made it back on track, he would be forced to park at Hislops.
Karl took full advantage of the chaos in front of him, with a sensational first lap that vaulted him from 15th on the grid up to 4th by the end of the opening lap. 4th became 2nd by the end of lap 2 and despite being over 7 seconds behind the race leader, he got his head down and began to chip away at the deficit. A fascinating battle ensued, with the pair trading fastest laps and the gap ebbing a flowing over the subsequent laps. Karl did manage to get the gap down to 1.5 seconds but was never quite close enough to launch a proper challenge for the lead.
Given Karl’s recent run of torrid bad luck (and the day so far), a second-place finish would have been a welcome result but just when it looked like the race was settled, the leader suffered a mechanical issue on the final lap, allowing Karl to sweep by and record his first Monoposto win.
Karl will now look to build on this result, as the series heads to Donington for the final 3 rounds of the championship on September 17/18th. This will be the second time at Donington this year, but this time the Monopostos will us the full Grand Prix layout to close out the season.