The Macaulay Train Rolls Through Kirkistown

Race Report by Adam Macaulay

Dan Polley heads the grid at Round 5 of the Crowne Plaza Dundalk National Formula Vee Championship at Kirkistown.

Dan Polley heads the grid at Round 5 of the Crowne Plaza Dundalk National Formula Vee Championship at Kirkistown.

The Vees arrived to a sunny Kirkistown for their first of three Crowne Plaza Dundalk National Formula Vee championship rounds this year.

The nature of the super quick Kirkistown sees average lap speeds of well over 80mph which usually leads to epic slipstreaming battles. This race was no exception.

Dan Polley had hired a Newsome racing Sheane for the weekend after engine trouble in his own LOH run Sheane. After trading quickest times with Adam Macaulay and Jimmy Furlong during testing on Friday Dan duly took the Pole with a blistering lap time of 1.04.674 with an average speed of over 84mph and some three tenths of a second under the existing lap record! Sean Newsome scored his first ever front row start with a 1.05.07 and must be one of very few Rookies if at all any to start on the front row. Newsome Racing pair Macaulay and Dave O Brien filled the second row. David Kelly was 5th in his Sheane followed by a trio of Leastones, Colm Blackburn, Kevin Grogan and Stephen Morrin. Anthony Cross was second of the rookies in an excellent 9th and Fridays pace setter Jimmy Furlong rounded out the top ten after a blocked carburetor jet scuppered his qualifying.

First up was the B&C race. This turned into a great battle between Sean Newsome and Stephen Morrin. Sean led the race lights to flag but this doesn’t give an accurate reflection of how exciting the race was. Stephen had Sean under severe pressure every single lap and the pair ran side by side through Debtors on almost every occasion. Sean’s winning margin was only .105 of a second. Anthony Cross filled the bottom step of the podium. Sean took maximum points in the Finol Star of Tomorrow championship while Stephen took top honors in the B championship.

Then we had the main event, round 5 of the Crowne Plaza Dundalk National Formula Vee Championship.

Both drivers on the front row made good starts. However Colm Blackburn had the best one, and by the exit of colonial he was up to 2nd right on Dan Polley’s gearbox. Everyone else more or less held position aside from Macaulay who had dropped to 6th. On lap two Colm then took the lead with an audacious move around the outside of Dan at Colonial. Dan wasn’t to be denied for too long however and was back in the lead by the hairpin. This dropped Colm back into the clutches of Dave O Brien. A fierce seven car battle for 2nd then ensued allowing Dan Polley to make good his escape. This continued until Lap 5 when Colm’s throttle cable snapped on the start finish straight. Dave O Brien had to take emergency avoiding action and did very well to keep his car pointing the right way after brushing the armco at over 100mph! This promoted Adam Macaulay who had just passed AvantiSport driver Kevin Grogan for 4th up to 2nd place and he quickly set about chasing down Dan who was by now about two or three seconds up the road. He reeled off a succession of fastest laps to reel in Dan and pass him at the hairpin at the end of lap 8. Dan’s challenge wasn’t finished yet however and he was back in the lead by lap 11. The pair then continued to slipstream past each other through Debtors lap after lap taking it in turns to lead. Macaulay got the pass into Debtors to take the lead for a final time and held on to take his 4th straight win of the season. A recovering Jimmy Furlong took the bottom step of the podium ahead of the battling pair of Dave O Brien and Kevin Grogan with a brave double pass through Debtors on Lap 12. Kevin held on to 4th from Dave by .04 of a second! Stephen Morrin took a fine 6th after a great dice with Dave Kelly who was 7th. Sean Newsome came home 8th and Anthony Cross and Jack Byrne rounded out the top 10 with fine drives.

The results put Macaulay top of the standings from Kevin Grogan and David O Brien. Dan Polley moves up some places after a terrific return to form.

VW Spares Highest Grid Mover – Jimmy Furlong
Kirkistown Park Fastest Lap – Adam Macaulay
Finol Star of Tomorrow Fastest Lap – Sean Newsome

Star Drive: Colm Blackburn. A rocket ship start and some brave overtaking had Colm lead a championship round for the first time, and he was in contention for a podium when bad luck struck. If he continues to progress as he’s doing he’ll soon be a regular contender for podiums and race wins.


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