After 6 years of trying, overnight success Adam Macauley bounced back from a DNF to take his fourth win of the season in dominant fashion at Round 8 of the Crowne Plaza National Formula Vee Championship held at Mondello Park.
Ray Moore in his Bernard Dolan run Leastone had been consistently fastest during Saturday testing and throughout qualifying which was held on a drying track. A controversial mix up with the length of the session saw Moore take the flag on a slow lap while Macauley was on a quick one and duly took pole from Moore. David O Brien in his Newsome Racing Sheane took third with Jimmy Furlongs Sheane in fourth.
Once the racing got underway, Macauley got his Newsome Racing Sheane off the line and into a lead he would never relinquish despite attempts by Moore at every possible opportunity. Speaking after the race, Moore said that it was a “cracking race. We were faster at different spots on the track which led to very close but fair racing. I’m very happy with my car”.
Behind the lead pair, there was a great race for third between O Brien, Furlong, Dan Polley and Kevin Grogan. When O Brien spun in the Esses and Grogan’s AvantiSport Leastone dropped off the group, Furlong and Polley went toe to toe like racers of a forgotten era with overtaking moves at almost every corner. In the end, Polley got his LOH Motorsport Sheane into third on the last lap and remained there for the bottom step of the podium.
Further down the grid, there were typically close Formula Vee battles with Colm Blackburn’s works Leastone edging out teammate John Downey by the slightest of gaps at the chequered and 16 year old Jack Byrne getting the better of his Dad Ger.
Speaking after his victory, Macauley said “This is my best win yet. I knew from testing that Ray was on his game. During the race he had me under huge pressure at every corner so I’m real happy to come away with the win. Drinks may be had”.
The earlier B/C race saw Colm Blackburn take a commanding lead early on only to slow down with 3 laps to go. He did manage to cross the line in first ahead of Stephen Morrin by 0.1s but post race scrutiny gave him a 10sec penalty after a component failure on his car. This relegated Blackburn to third with Morrin inheriting the win from Morgan McCourt in his KERS Leastone. Behind the lead three, just one second covered the next four drivers Ger Byrne, Damian Murphy, Gary Owens and Jack Byrne.
After Round 8, Macauley now has a 9 point lead at the top of the Crowne Plaza National Championship with ex-champion Moore in second. After dropped rounds are taken into account, theres only 6 points in it with Dan Polley a further 6 points behind. Morgan McCourt retains top spot in the Dunlop Championship although Colm Blackburn is level when dropped rounds are taken into account. In the VW Spares Rookie Championship, Brendan O Brien currently leads although when drops are counted, young Jack Byrne leads by 1 point from Justin Costello. Its all to play for in the final three races.
Star Drive – Adam Macauley. He’s had a few star drive awards this season and its very hard not to be awarded it again. Over the weekend, he was always behind Ray Moore on lap times but managed to pull out a lap in qualifying when it counted and then use great racecraft to keep Moore behind him in the race. A real star quality drive.
Total Oils Fastest Lap Award – Ray Moore.
AvantiSport Highest Grid Mover – Stephen Morrin.