So long 2020!
2020 will be remembered for a lot of bad things but one of the few success stories of 2020 had to be sports perseverance, which managed to give people somewhat of an outlet during a generally grim year. Thanks to the herculean efforts of the motorsport clubs, Mondello Park and Kirkistown Race Circuit, a decent, if somewhat compressed, racing season managed to be completed during the course of the second half of the year. Leastone kept activities curtailed to Ireland for the first time in many years, focusing mostly on the Irish Formula Vee championship and below is a wrap up of the 2020 fun and games!
Irish Formula Vee
2017 Monoposto Champion Mark Reade made his full time return to the cockpit in 2020, piloting the Total Leastone JH004 for an assault on the VW Spares Ltd Formula Vee Championship. He was joined by Corkman Michael Killian, who entered his first year in motorsport with hopes to take the Motorport.ie Rookie title.
After an encouraging test day back in March, the inevitable postponement of the opening rounds saw the calendar shifted back to a June start. The Formula Vee association, together with Mondello Park and Kirkistown, managed to compile an 8-round championship between the two circuits, which would see several double headers across 5 weekends.
Reade started the season off strong, scoring taking 3 wins in the first 5 rounds, along with a further 2 podiums. Unfortunately, in the mid part of the season, he suffered 2 DNF’s, which combined with the shortened season, meant he was on the back foot for the championship run in. Despite this, he still secured the runner up spot and was satisfied with his return to competitive action.
Michael fared well in his first year of racing, taking podiums in all 3 opening rounds, one of which was a rookie class win. After his strong start, Killian’s results tapered off a little as the odd rookie mistake crept in. He did secure a number of top 5 results over the course of the second half of the season and this consistency saw him finish 3rd in the rookie standings.
2017 Formula Vee Champion Colm Blackburn had announced his intentions to tackle the 2020 UK Monoposto Championship, joining championship regular Morgan McCourt, but the worsening Covid-19 pandemic put these plans on ice. Despite the Monoposto organizers getting the series underway later in the year, the team and the drivers made the conscious decision to avoid any unnecessary travel to the UK.
Both Colm and Morgan made their one and only outing on home turf, joining the BOSS Ireland grid over the course of the Leinster Trophy weekend. They were joined by Brendan O’Brien for the one off outing and all three shook off the rust in the BOSS championship round early in the day, where Colm showed great pace against some of the more powerful machinery to come home 6th overall. Between the championship round and the Leinster Trophy event itself, Morgan secured a brace of top 10 finishes.
Brendan suffered a gear selection issue in the first race of the day but a quick fix during the midday break, saw him take to the grid for the Leinster Trophy event and grab himself a credible 9th place overall, in the 21 car field. Colm continued his strong form into the Leinster Trophy race, enjoying a spirited battle with some Formula 3 machinery. Following a race long battle, he would secure another top 6 finish.
It is the intention to field 3 cars in the UK Monposto Championship, with at least 1 car in the Irish Formula Vee Championship. In light of the pandemic, all plans for 2021 are tentative at this time but both Colm Blackburn and Morgan McCourt are hoping to make up for lost time and complete the full Monoposto championship. They will be joined by Kildare teenager Karl O’Brien, who will turn 16 just 2 days before the opening event. Karl makes the step up to single seaters following a successful campaign in Ginetta Juniors, which saw him take 1 win and a handful of podiums over the course of this year.
The Monoposto championship will take place across 6 weekends, following its traditional format of double and triple headers. The Irish Formula Vee championship will visit the traditional venues for 11 championship rounds. All dates are provisional at this time but can be found on our calendar page.