Ray Moore replied to off season paddock rumours suggesting he had retired with an impressive lights to flag win against strong opposition at the Formula Vee season opener in Kirkistown last weekend.
The race for the Dunlop B Championship & VW Spares Rookie Championship was one of the best of the day, with Colm Blackburn, now driving for Leastone Racing and backed by Total Oils, battling mightily with impressive Vee debutant Sean Newsome from the off. When they outbraked themselves mid race, Stephen Morrin took over the lead in the ex works Leastone. Morgan McCourt had been progressing well in the Ken Elliot run Leastone and he closed in and began to battle with Morrin. When the pair came together at Fishermans, with Morrin out on the spot, the recovering Blackburn retook a lead he would hold to the flag for an impressive win. 16 year old Jack Byrne took a great fourth on his Vee debut despite constant pressure from Dad Ger for the duration- no sign of Multi 21 with that pair! The recovering McCourt was next up from Justin Costello and Uno graduate Gary Owens, in his freshly rebuilt Sheane.
In the Crowne Plaza Dundalk National Formula Vee Championship race, Moore led from pole but Adam McAuley and the resurgent Dan Polley, now back driving his beloved Sheane chassis, were right with him. In the early stages, the pair looked as if they would challenge Moore but as they began to battle, the black Leastone began to ease away. The subsequent scrap for second was one of the highlights of the day, as the evenly matched Sheane mounted pair swapped places almost every lap. On more than one occasion, they rounded Debtors, Colonial 1 & 2 and even Fishermans, side by side, wheel to wheel. It was hard but fair with Polley being ahead when it counted. Both acknowledged how good the battle had been, but rued the fact that a chance to race Moore for the win had been lost. Kevin Grogan was an impressive, if lonely, fourth at the flag, unable to get on terms with the battle in front but well ahead of his pursuers, headed by new Vee chairman John Downey.
Star Drive- Ray Moore. Pole, lights to flag win and fastest lap to boot. A top class performance.
One to Watch- Colm Blackburn. Was always quick and spectacular. Now under the wing of the works outfit, he is definitely one to keep an eye on in 2013.