Monoposto Rd 12, 13 & 14 - Donington Park GP - 17/18th September
The 2022 Monoposto championship came to a close with 3 races on Donington Parks Grand Prix circuit last weekend. Karl O’Brien arrived at the Lincolnshire circuit off the back of his win at Oulton Park last month, but any hope of building on that strong result was nixed by an engine failure in testing. This would be a frustrating early ending to an already frustrating season, as he would take no further part in the weekend.
David Heavey and Morgan McCourt would carry the teams hopes forward and while Heavey grabbed 5th in qualifying, Morgan was consigned to a last place start for Race 1, when his chain failed on Lap 1 of the session.
Heavey made a solid start and managed to slot into 3rd place at Redgate, while Morgan gained 4 spots on the opening tour. A scrappy opening few laps would see Heavey slip to 4th, but Morgan continued to push forward to and was 5th in class by lap 5. Heavey was promoted to 3rd again by the mid-point of the race, due to the leader’s demise, which also saw Morgan into 4th in class and 7th overall. Heavey held a lonely 3rd place to the flag, taking a 4th podium for the year but Morgan unfortunately dropped to 5th in class, follow an exhaust leak late in the race.
Heavey was afforded an extremely early bath from Race 2, having smacked one of the sausage kerbs at the Esses and breaking a suspension rod end – while warming his tyres on the warmup lap! He was able to park well off track and the race got underway without delay, with Morgan holding 5th overall once the lights went out. By lap 3 he had elevated himself to 3rd in class and set about pulling a comfortable gap to those behind him. He looked set for 4th overall and a class podium when a battery failure saw him crawl into the pits to retire.
The one silver lining from the Race 2 disaster, was that Morgan set a lap time good enough for a front row started in Race 3. Heavey lined up on the back row, the team having repaired his car in speedy fashion. When the lights extinguished, Morgan struggled to get away and slipped to 3rd but immediately latched onto 2nd place man’s gearbox, looking for a way to recover lost ground. Heavey jumped from 14th to 4th on the opening lap and managed to slip by his teammate and into 2nd by the end of lap 3. With the leader some 8 seconds up the road at that point, it looked like 2nd was as good as it would get but a coolant pipe on his 1000 had other ideas. He pulled into the pits on lap 6, followed by a large plume of steam.
Heaveys bad luck was Morgans gain, as he went on to take the flag in 3rd place overall and 2nd in class – a result that gave him 3rd place in the MonoMoto 1000 championship for 2022! Despite Morgans end result, along with 2 wins and a number of podiums for Karl and Dave during the year, 2022 was without doubt a very difficult year, so the team will now look forward to the winter break, where they can regroup and come back stronger for 2023!