Monoposto Rounds 10 & 11 - Oulton Park - 19th August
The Leastone team had a mixed set of results at Oulton Park last weekend, as David Heavey came away with a brace of podiums, but Codey Keogh was left wondering what could have been following a strong qualifying at the Cheshire track. The 17-year-old Wicklow native secured a front row slot for Race 1, with class pole to boot. Teammates Morgan McCourt and David Heavey lined up on rows 2 and 3 respectively, indicating that the Leastones were enjoying the challenging International layout.
Codey got a dream start, powering into the lead and he was surprised to see Heavey in his mirrors, who had jumped from 5th to 2nd through Old Hall. Keogh then stretched his legs while Heavey was focused on defending for the opening laps but this gap would count for nothing, as a gearbox failure saw him coast into the pits and retirement around the midpoint of the race.
Heavey then relinquished his inherited lead after an enjoyable battle and he settled into a steady rhythm, not having the pace to try work his way back past the new leader. While all this was going on, Morgan was maintaining a solid 5th place in the early laps, which then became 4th when Codey was sidelined. He would suffer late misfortune however, with his 1000 losing power just 3 corners from the chequered flag.
With just over 3 hours separating the races 1 and 2, the team had to put in a herculean effort to change Codeys engine, while chasing down Morgan's electrical issue. They succeeded in both with about 20 mins to spare, enough for Codey to give the car a slow run around the paddock to ensure the new power unit was at least functional.
He would be alone on the front row for race 2, with poleman Nigel Davers forced to start from pit lane due to a clutch issue. Codey again got a tremendous launch and had already pulled a decent lead by turn 1 but later in the lap it became apparent that all was not well with his replacement engine. It seems a spark plug failure resulted in the teenager being well down on power but he soldiered on, still managing to come home 6th in class.
Heavey couldn’t quite replicate his rapid race 1 start but still slotted into 3rd on the opening lap, which then became 2nd with Codey's problems. Morgan held 4th in the opening phase and was then embroiled in what became a 3-way battle for the final Monomoto 1000 podium spot over the final few laps. His challenge faded slightly in the last 2 laps but still secured good points for 5th in class at the flag.
At the front, Heavey was pushing to close the gap to the leader but the gap was being managed to roughly 3 secs for most of the race. He almost threw his 2nd place away on the final lap at Brittens chicane, launching himself over a kerb and off the road. He somehow managed to recover and brought his Selco Hygiene 1000 home for his second podium of the weekend.
The team now turn attention to the final championship round, which takes place at Anglesey in Wales on September 16/17th. Codey will look to end the season on a high, following a string of frustrating results and as Anglesey is relatively new to the Monoposto championship calendar, he might be on something of a level footing in terms of track knowledge compared to the rest of the field. This is effectively a home event for the team, being just 30 minutes from the boat!