Rounds 3 & 4 Bishopscourt May 12th 2019

The third round of the Selco.ie Formula Vee championship brought the drivers to the beautiful Bishopscourt race circuit in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Bishopscourt specialist Dan Polley who has won the last six races at the track, was out to not only out to keep his winning streak going but also to get his first win of 2019. The Dubliner has had to watch rivals Jack Byrne and Anthony Cross take the chequered flag at the Kirkistown and Mondello rounds of the championship so far this year.

Anthony Cross drew first blood as he grabbed pole from Polley by 0.100 seconds. Unfortunately Polley was a non-starter and as the lights went out it was Cross, who made the most of the free space vacated by Polley at the start and lead the field into first corner. Right from the first corner Cross had his mirrors full of Jack Bryne and veteran Formula Vee driver Paul Heavey. Heavey then made a move on Byrne going into the chicane on the back straight to move into second. This trio quickly pulled clear of the field but on lap three Byrne while attempting to pass Cross got caught out on dropped oil and spun off at the hairpin.

This left Heavey and Cross to battle it out and both drivers put on a great display swapping the lead several times over the course of the race. By crossing the line with three seconds to spare, they got one final lap in the 15 minute timed race. It was Heavey who drew on all his Formula Vee race experience who came out on top as he took the chequered flag by 0.161 seconds ahead of Cross. Jack Byrne recovered to finish in third.

For the second race it was Anthony Cross starting from pole. He made best use of it as he lead off the line to head the field into turn one.

It looked to be shaping into a copy of race one as Cross, Byrne and Heavey began to battle it out in the opening laps. Until a mistake by Heavey ended in an off-course excursion, dropping him down the field. That left both Sheane car drivers Cross and Byrne to battle it out for the win. Byrne passed at half distance but it was a short lived as Cross was ahead again by the end of the lap. Once Cross regained the lead he never let it go and started to open a small gap on Byrne but the red flags came out on the final lap ending the race somewhat prematurely.

Another two close races at the sharp end of the field that kept the onlookers on their toes. The championship is still wide open and im sure it will be just as close at the next round.

 

 

Results by class:
A Championship Race 1
1st Paul Heavey
2nd Anthony Cross
3rd Jack Byrne

B Championship Race 1
1st Paul Heavey
2nd Jack Byrne
3rd Matt Bodden

Star of Tomorrow Championship Race 1
1st Philip Seane
2nd JB Farrell
3rd Sean McCallion

A Championship Race 2
1st Anthony Cross
2nd Jack Byrne
3rd Philip Sheane

B Championship Race 2
1st Jack Byrne
2nd Robert Fleming
3rd Colin Lewis

Star of Tomorrow Championship Race 2
1st Philip Sheane
2nd Justin Gray
3rd JB Farrell

Round 7 Mondello July 14th 2019

Round seven of the Selco Hygiene Supplies Formula Vee championship brought the drivers to Mondello Park for the second time this year. This round saw a welcome boost to grid numbers with twenty-one cars lining up for qualifying, all vying for the important two front row spots at the tight and twisty county Kildare circuit. 

At the previous Mondello Park round series leader and current champion Anthony Cross won from Dan Polley by 0.209 of a second and as both won a race at the last time out at Anglesea in Wales, both were favourites to lock out the front row. After a good test on Friday Cross was confident of qualifying well. “I had a good day testing and was quickest overall but Dan wasn’t here and he always goes well here, so it’s hard to tell if it will be good enough today but we will see how it goes.” Indeed Polley did go well by topping the time-sheets but only by a meer 0.45 of a second.

It was first blood to Polley and by his own admission he needs to finish ahead of Cross to keep himself in this years championship hunt. The biggest surprise though in qualifying was the man heading the second row. Gavin Buckley making his first appearance this year after recovering from a broken pelvis in a skiing accident earlier this year put in a great time finishing only 0.4 seconds off Polley’s pole time.

Polley made the most from his pole position by leading the field into turn one, although cross himself made a good start but had to slot in behind Polley on the exit to protect his second position from Trevor Delaney who moved into up third. A mistake under braking into turn four by Robert Fleming caused him to spin his Sheane and in the process got collected the luckless Karl O’Sullivan who had nowhere to go with both cars ending up in the gravel. Unable to move both cars, race organizers had no option but to bring out the red flags.

Cross then set upon building a lead which steadily grew each lap. Behind the front two Trevor Delaney and Gavin Buckley had a race long battle for the final podium spot. Delaney got the jump on Buckley off the line and moved up one place from his qualifying position. At one point Delaney began to close in on Polley but after getting got caught up with backmarkers it left him too far behind to challenge for second. John Farrell had to pull his Sheane over to the pitwall after suffering fuel issues with two laps to go, with the car deemed to be at risk to others once again organizers had to put out the red flags. As the race was past three quarter distance a result was declared, which left Cross as the winner from Polley with Trevor Delaney in third. In the “B” championship Paul Heavey took the win from Jack Byrne with Tim Murray in third. Heavey a winner at the Bishopscourt round back in May, was somewhat off the pace and never looked like moving up towards the front of the field. Justin Gray took the “C” championship win from Sean McCallion with MIchael Killian in third.On the restart Polley again was better of the line and lead the opening lap but only just from Cross who got better drive out of turn one and by the exit of turn two he was passed and into the lead. A well worked move but respect shown by Polley who could have easily squeezed him on to the grass.

Another good show put on by the Formula Vee drivers and great to see the numbers coming back up again which bodes well for the rest of the year. The next round brings the drivers back up north to Kirkistown in county Down on the 24th of August.

 

 

Results by class:
A Championship Race 
1st Anthony Cross
2nd Dan Polley
3rd Paul Heavey

B Championship Race 
1st Paul Heavey
2nd Jack Byrne
3rd Tim Murray

Star of Tomorrow Championship Race 
1st Justin Gray
2nd Sean McCallion
3rd Michael Killian

Round 11 Kirkistown September 28th 2019

With the autumn days getting into their stride and the long evenings now a distant memory, it also meant that the 2019 Selco.ie Formula Vee championship was drawing to a close. Not before one last outing though, and another trip up north to the popular Kirkistown racing circuit in county Down.

While the championships were all decided at the previous round at Mondello Park two weeks ago, it didn’t mean that this last round would be of little significance. This would be the last chance for some to grab their first win of the year or even their first ever win! Anthony Cross who successfully retained his title this season, would be out to finish the year with another victory and the rest would be out to stop him doing just that! Not only was it the final championship meeting, but also a separate race for the all important Emerson Fittipaldi trophy, won last year by Dan Polley.

A grid of fifthteen cars lined up on the grid headed by Philip Sheane who impressed at this track in August. He was the man who dominated qualifying and took his maiden pole position by 0.787of a second from Anthony Cross. Joining the grid for the first time this year was UK Formula Vee champion Ben Miloudi. When the lights went out it was Cross who lead the field towards turn one, the infamous Debtors Dip. Cross held his lead as they exited turn two, followed by Philip Sheane, David O’Loughlin, Dan Polley, and Jack Byrne. His lead was short lived as by the second lap it was Sheane who now lead. Building on from his qualifying, Sheane was showing he wasn’t going to let Cross have it all his own way. Cross retook the lead on lap five dropping Sheane back towards Dan Polley who by now was up to third.

The race was shaping up to be the one of the closest all year as the lead battle grew into a five car train. Once again Sheane on lap seven took the lead from Cross determined to grab his maiden win. The front began to slightly gap Polley and Byrne in third and fourth, Jimmy Furlong was also putting the pressure on in fifth. It looked like anybody’s race and a small mistake could see you drop back down the order in a split second.

Then with only a couple of laps to go Cross made his move on Sheane to retake the lead which he held onto to the chequered flag but by only 0.2 of a second. Polley came home third but by only 0.001 of a second from Byrne. Again it was this years champion who took the win but he was made work hard for it and it shows that next year’s championship looks set to be a closely fought one.

Now that the championship was over, it was time for the Emerson Fittipaldi Trophy race. Cross was out to take his second win of the meeting boosted in confidence after winning the season finale race earlier in the day. The Fittipaldi Trophy is a trophy all formula vee drivers want their name on. All that has gone on during the season prior to it, be it good or bad goes out the window. The old saying of ‘Saving the best for last’ certainly couldn’t have been more apt for the race to bring the curtain down on the 2019 season. At one point there were six cars battling for the lead with nothing bar a cigarette paper between each of them.

It began with Philip Sheane taking the lead from Anthony Cross around the outside going through ‘Debtors Dip’ followed by David O’Loughlin who was having his best showing of the year in second place with Jack Byrne in third and Cross forced back to fourth place. Going into the chicane on lap two Byrne forced his LOH Motorsport car up the inside of Sheane to briefly lead, but with Sheane having the line for the second part he couldn’t make his move stick.

In doing so Sheane got out of shape and ended up having a bad run on the exit, giving the rest behind, lead by Cross a better run down the back straight. By turn one on lap four cross was now in the lead taking Sheane on the inside. Setting out to build a lead, proved unsuccessful as he simply could not shake off the pack behind, now lead by Byrne who was determined get by as soon as possible. He did so within a couple of laps and it looked like the front two would have the race to themselves, especially after Sheane got his car very out of shape on the exit of the chicane with only a handful of laps to go.

On lap eleven Cross got back in front and slowed the pace to bring the pack behind back into play again in efforts to prevent Byrne getting passed. It worked but just, as Sheanes last corner efforts nearly came off but Cross held it to the line to win by 0.021 of a second with Byrne back in third and Jimmy Furlong in fourth. The top four all crossed the finish line within the same second. Furlong grabbed the fastest lap in another strong performance. A second win for Anthony Cross made it a championship and Fittipaldi trophy double and deservedly so. As he was the man to beat all year and won at times by digging deep when other really should have won.

 

Results by class:
A Championship Race 
1st Anthony Cross
2nd Philip Sheane
3rd Dan Polley

B Championship Race 
1st Jack Byrne
2nd David O’Loughlin
3rd Nick Mulhall

Star of Tomorrow Championship Race 
1st Philip Seane
2nd Justin Gray
3rd Sean McCallion

Emerson Fittipaldi Trophy Race
1st Anthony Cross
2nd Philip Sheane
3rd Jack Byrne