Sunday, 25 July 2021

Philip Sheane takes win number two in Formula Sheane Championship

Philip Sheane, Sheane, on his way to winning the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

With only a week between rounds four and five it was a busy week for Formula Sheane competitors to get their cars ready for the fifth and sixth rounds of the championship. This would see them cross the border for the first time to Kirkistown Racing Circuit in county Down just outside the small seaside village of Kircubbin located on the shores of Strangford Lough. Winner of the last two rounds Enda O'Connor would not be out this time but back after missing last weeks races was Richard Kearney. Sadly Paul McLoughlin was also unable to start still having problems with his engine after it blew in practice the previous weekend. 

Philip Sheane, Sheane, on his way to pole position for the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

It would be between Richard Kearney, Derek Roddy and Philip Sheane but with the long straights and high speeds of Kirkistown reliability would also play a key role. Like in Mondello Park qualifying is as critical in Kirkistown although the tow would play a part on the straights here as it is hard to overtake if the guy in front defends well. If Kearney had any luck, he used it up in round one when he limped home to take a podium after a rose joint failed. Ever since then it has all been bad and this round again was no exception. Illness forced him out last week and after qualifying this time out he again had to withdraw after his clutch gave up on him. A gutted Kearney explained, " The clutch began to slip at the start of qualifying and it got worse so there is no point in going out. I'm just sick, we have a spare but even if we got it changed, I don't know if there is any other damage done." 

Philip Sheane, Sheane, leads Derek Roddy during the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

It was Philip Sheane who took pole position after only arriving at the track that morning after a 4am start from his home in Balinroe. A great achievement as it was his first time racing this car at the track and with no testing it shows the talent that the Wicklow man has. Derek Roddy who has been chipping away in the last couple of rounds lined up alongside him. 

Philip Sheane, Sheane, on his way to winning the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

As the lights went out Sheane powered away and easily lead the field into turn one. Roddy made a poor start and was lucky not to drop down the field but held on to stay in second as the exited turn two. Sheane had already opened a gap of over a second with his driving pinpoint accurate. It looked to be set to grow further as by lap three it was up to two seconds. Roddy however began to get his act in line and put in the times having the gap to the leader setting the fastest lap of 1.01.870 seconds in the process.

Derek Roddy, Sheane, on his way to second place during the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

It all came undone a couple of laps later as Roddy outbraked himself going into the hairpin at the end of the back straight. This gave Sheane the breathing room he needed. Try as he might Roddy could not get the lost time back. It was a case of reeling of the final laps to bring the car home and take the win. This Sheane duly did and deservedly so, with a clean precise display of driving.  Behind the first two , rookie Chris Dunne stayed out of trouble and drove superbly to take his fist ever podium in single seater racing. His times improved as the race went on and as the Kirkistown circuit is new to him he pulled clear of his rivals in the scholarship class of Riche Adams and Tom Foley. To add to the result Dunne now leads the  scholarship championship. A mistake on lap three saw round one podium finisher Mark Keenan drop to sixth but a race long battle with Richie Adams and Tom Foley saw them swap places during the race but Keenan's experience won out as he came home in fourth. 

Chris Dunne, Sheane, on his way to third place during the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A relieved as much as excited Sheane spoke of his win after the race, " I'm glad to get the win it wasn't as easy as it looked as Derek was catching me after the first few laps then the gap went up again so I'm guessing he made a mistake somewhere. It's nice to get the win as we only came up this morning and got no testing in yesterday as it was a last minute decision to come due to work commitments".    

Richie Adams, Sheane, leads Mark Keenan, Sheane, during the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Tom Foley, Sheane, leads Mark Keenan, Sheane, during the fifth round of the Formula Sheane Chamopnship. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Kircubbin, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.


National Podium from left, Derek Roddy,2nd, Philip Sheane 1st, and Chris Dunne.3rd. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Scholarship Podium from left, Derek Roddy,2nd, Philip Sheane 1st, and Chris Dunne.3rd. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Results:

National Championship

1st Philip Sheane

2nd Derek Roddy

3rd Mark Keenan

Scholarship Class

1st Chris Dunne

2nd Tom Foley

3rd Richie Adams                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


Wednesday, 21 July 2021

O' Connor Does The Double

Enda O'Connor on his way to winning round four of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

With no sign of the temperatures reducing ahead of round four. The drivers had more than that to worry about as they had to find an answer in stopping Enda O'Connor from taking a clean sweep of pole, two wins and fastest lap over the weekend. Some adjustments were going to be made by Philip Sheane who didn't show the pace he had in the opening two rounds of the season. " Im going to make a couple of adjustments as the front left brake kept locking up on me in the previous race so hopefully it will be better for this one" said Philip ahead of round four. 

Philip SHeane on his way to second place during four of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Again O'Connor was on pole ahead of Derek Roddy. Again it was O'Connor who got the better start off the line and lead into turn one. Roddy tucked in behind and set out to keep O'Connor honest and not let him break away. Easier said than done when you have a hard charger like Philip Sheane behind you. It was like so many other races gone before where a driver has to balance his attack and his defence at the same time. The leader didn't have to worry with a clear road ahead O'Connor got his head down and began to open a gap like he did in round three. Sheane knew he could not afford to let his fellow county man get to far ahead. 

Derek Roddy on his way to third place during round four of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

By lap two he made his move and got by Roddy, who it has to be said was driving very well and putting in the times. Sheane began to close in, his car clearly handling better this time out. Behind the front three again Mark Keenan and Chris Dunne had their own battle with Keenan getting by on lap two but having to defend for the rest of the race. While the international track layout provides more overtaking opportunities it does tend to spread the car out and any slight mistake makes it hard for the driver to get it back. While his initial attack drew O'Connor back towards him Sheane ran out of steam and could not get close enough to really pressure the Brittas Bay man. O'Connor maintained his gap and the 2015 champion in the end won convincingly by 2.6 seconds. However he just missed out on a full clean sweep as Roddy took fastest lap on the penultimate lap. 

Derek Roddy on his way to third place during round four of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Speaking with Enda after the race he was delighted to win after only jumping into the car on the friday test day before the race." Yes the race went very well for me and got out into the lead at the start as in round three and maintained the gap to Philip and Derek behind me. The track conditions were much better for that race and the car ran faultlessly. I have to thank Brendan for giving me the chance to use it this weekend although he has no excuses now when he gets back into it!" 

Enda O'Connor on his way to winning round four of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Would the fact that winning two races in a row since his last one off drive at last September's Leinster Trophy meeting entice him out again this year? 

" No I can't commit to a season I just have too much on at work and helping to run the class also. Plus if I went out the other lads would be giving out about not getting a win for themselves!" Weather or not he does or does not come out again this year he showed the rest a clean pair of heels in rounds there and four of this years series.

Another happy man was Derek Roddy who got two podiums to get his championship right on track and showed a great turn of pace by taking fasted lap in race two. " I am delighted how this weekend went after the disasters of rounds one and two. Two podiums and a fastest lap makes the hard work put in worth while and plus I couldn't let Enda get too big a head!" 

 

Monday, 19 July 2021

Classy Cross Notches Up Another win

Anthony Cross holds his trophy after winning round four of the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

For round four and second race of the weekend in the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship current champion Anthony Cross lined up on pole position ahead of Jordan Kelly who was eager to make it a double. The weather did not get any cooler so it was more of the same as the previous race in terms of tyre and engine management as well as coping with the heat. Cross actually had a cold shower in between races to try and help himself cope with the very hot conditions. 

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads the field into turn one during round four of the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

As the lights went out though it was Cross who was caught napping as Kelly made a fantastic start and got the jump and lead as they went under bridge let alone the first corner! Tim Murray also made a good start and joined in third but Gavin Buckley was right behind and looking to move up and join the front to before they broke away. Kelly by the end of lap one had a two car length lead over Cross but cross in turn had a five car length gap over Tim Murray in third. Jack Byrne had now moved up to fourth and being full in Murray's mirrors meant he had to defend which caused them both to fall back from Kelly and Cross up front. The same happened to Buckley as he now had to defend from Trevor Delaney which in turn caused the first six cars spread out into three groups of two. 

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads Anthony Cross, Sheane, during round four of the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Cross was now much closer but seemed happy to follow Kelly for a few laps and see where he was quick. In doing that though it shields the cool air getting to the engine so he didn't want to stay behind for long if he could help it and he duly took the lead on lap 3. Byrne had now moved up to third demoting Murray to fourth but tightening up that group to a four car train. By the start of lap four Byrne found himself down in sixth and it was anyone's for the final podium spot. Up Front Cross now had to defend and put up with the pressure of leading the hard charging Kelly. This one was shaping up to be a Formula Vee classic. Kelly tried everything to get back into the lead inside, outside but it didn't work and Cross just soaked up the pressure as he always does, maybe the cold shower worked after all. Then just as the race was coming to a climax a plug lead came off Kelly's car with two laps to go. 

Anthony Cross, Sheane, leads Jordan Kelly, Sheane, during round four of the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A disaster for the Donegal man who did not deserve that bad luck after driving so well. It certain made life a lot easier for Cross who only had to keep going to take another win a build on his championship lead. Behind him Buckley and Murray now were battling for second place and swapped place several times in the last few laps with Cross cruised home to win yet again in Mondello, another strong performance and showing how staying out of trouble early on in races pays dividends by the end. Buckley came home in second to make up for race one and Murray took third.

Anthony Cross, Sheane, leads Jordan Kelly, Sheane, during round four of the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.


It didn't fail to deliver in action but it was a case of what might have been if Kelly stayed going. In saying that Cross did have the race under control and looked like having something in the bag if it came to it. Another strong performance from Kelly which was great to see going into the four week break before coming back to the national circuit in Mondello Park on the 14th of August.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

O' Connor Rolls Back The Years With Victory In Formula Sheane Round 3

Enda O'Connor leads Derek Roddy on his way to winning round 3 of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

County Kildare's Mondello Park again was the venue for the third round of the Formula Sheane Championship, this time on the international circuit. The warm weather was a welcomed boost for organizers who were allowed to open their gates to spectators for the first time in almost two years. It is still early days as far as title races go but another couple of strong points positions for those who scored well last time out would put pressure on those who didn't. Would the drama of the opening race be repeated and would the new kid on the block Philip Sheane, take another win? Everyone was out to see if it would happen again. 

Enda O'Connor claimed pole position during qualifying for round 3 of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Unfortunately the drama all happened off track this time before a wheel was turned in anger. First round winner Paul McLoughlin did not make the start with his engine letting go in testing and also Brendan Carr who hurt a shoulder also was sidelined. This lead to former champion Enda O'Connor coming out of retirement for this meeting. It still shaped up to look a close contest as Derek Roddy was now back after his mechanical troubles at the opening weekend and Philip Sheane and Richard Kearney also were there to battle it out. 

Derek Roddy leads Philip Sheane in their battle for second during round 3 of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

First blood went to O'Connor however as he set his stall out by qualifying on pole. Those who thought it might take a bit of time for him to get up to speed were wrong as he was ahead of second qualifier Roddy by 0.504 seconds. Sadly Richard Kearney had to pull out due to illness leaving one of the front runners out of the mix. As the lights went out it was O'Connor who led the field into turn one. followed by Roddy and Sheane. The unusually high temperatures made it hard for engines and tyres.

Enda O'Connor leads the field into turn one during round 3 of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

 O'Connor built a lead up but at the same time did not make a large enough gap to leave room for any mistakes. Roddy and Sheane held themselves up for a couple of laps while battling together but once Roddy's car began to leak oil, Sheane dropped back as his visor became covered in the oil forcing him to leave it open for a couple of laps before he got it cleared. Roddy who was oblivious to his cars problem pressed ahead and began to catch O'Connor. 

Mark Keenan leads Tom Foley in their battle for fourth place round 3 of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Enda O'Connor on his way to winning round 3 of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

With a couple of laps to go O'Connor began to wave his hands to officials trying to alert them to the oil layed down at the penultimate corner. He regained his momentum on the final lap to keep a cushion over Roddy to take the chequered flag. Another win for the Wicklow man in Mondello but one which was not as easy as it looked. 

" I got a good start and pulled a small gap on Derek and Philip but towards the end there was a lot of oil down so I slowed a bit. I could see Derek closing so I pushed again on the last lap and held on for the win. It was all thanks to Brendan Carr loaning me the car for the weekend other than that I wouldn't be out. I'm happy to get the win." 

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Buncrana Man Kelly Takes Maiden Selco.ie Formula Vee Win At Round 3

Jordan Kelly hold up the winning trophy after taking his maiden win during round 3 of the 2021 Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Mondello Park again held a double header for the rounds three and four of the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship. The Kildare circuit looking particularly well in the glorious in the sweltering summer sunshine. It did lend itself to the much welcomed spectators that were at long last allowed into see the action after almost two years, but it made life harder for the drivers who already have to put up with high temperatures inside the cockpit of their cars. 

Still being in the early stages of the season it's still anyone's for the taking but another couple of strong points positions for those who scored well last time out would put pressure on the rest who didn't. This meeting the drivers would be on the international circuit were there would be a few more overtaking opportunities than the national circuit. Qualifying would be key but unless a good start is made it can be for nothing, as proved with Cross and Reade last time out. A great grid of twenty six  cars lined up for qualifying. 

Jordan Kelly, on his way to taking pole position. Photo: Barry Cregg.

The hot weather really was not a friend to the VW engine cars as the air cooled power units don't like hot conditions but it was the same for everyone though but going hell for leather for the entire qualifying session would not help the hard worked tyres either. Jordan Kelly put in his best time in on his third lap and it wasn't bettered to give the Donegal man his first pole position. That said it was only by 9 thousands of a second over Anthony Cross. So really nothing in it up front but the ever improving Kelly would be hard to beat. 

Anthony Cross, Sheane, leads the field at the start or the race. Photo:Barry Cregg.

Speaking after qualifying Kelly had a plan for the race." I'm happy with that, we had a misfire at the last round so we changed a few things and it's running well now so I just want to get out of the first turn in first and get the head down and make a gap to the rest." 

Tim Murray, Sheane, leads, Gavin Buckley, Sheane, and Dan Polley, Sheane, on his way to third place. Photo: Barry Cregg.

When the lights went out both front row men got away well but Cross used his experience to take the lead on the outside of turn one. Kelly tucked in behind with Tim Murray and Gavin Buckley behind him. Going into turn 7 Cross slowed on seeing oil and let Kelly to go by. It would prove costly to Cross as Kelly unaware of the oil for several laps made the brake from the pack and built a lead. Behind the front two Dan Polley had a coming together with Buckley dropped him back to fifth and dropping Buckley to fourteenth. Tim Murray held third and Jack Byrne moved up to fourth gaining from the Buckley and Polley tangle. 

Anthony Cross, Sheane, on his way to finishing second during the race. Photo: Barry Cregg

By lap four Murray made his move and got by Cross showing his best performance in recent times. This allowed Byrne, Polley and Trevor Delaney to make it a five car train for second. This played right into the hands of the leader Kelly who just extended his lead further. Taking the final corner a lap later Cross was back up to second getting by Murray on the inside, even though he was still too far back to challenge for the lead as Kelly was way out in the distance with a 2.5 second lead which is rare for Formula Vee. 

Jack Byrne, Sheane, leads Dan Polley, Sheane, during the race. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Then back markers began to come into play along with waved yellow flags causing Kelly to slow and unable to pass allowing Cross to close in. Thankfully though for Kelly it came on the last lap and his hard work in the early part of the race paid off, as he had enough in hand to take his maiden national victory.  Tim Murray came home in third and top scorer in the 'B' championship. Polley got the better of Bynre to take fourth. 

Jordan Kelly, on his way to winning round 3 and his maiden win in Formula Vee. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A thoroughly deserved win and to finally get it after coming so close last season in Kirkistown. It is also a deserving win for a driver who has with his brother Owen the longest journey to any venues on the calendar with a four hour drive to Mondello Park alone. Smiling after the race he said " I'm glad to get the first one out of the way anyway. I didn't realise there was oil down for a while and Anthony slowed and let me by, I just put my head down and tried to get a gap on them behind. Then at the end I caught back markers and I couldn't pass as there was yellow flags out and I could see Anthony in my mirrors getting closer. I also missed a gear in turn two and thought the box was gone but thankfully I had enough in hand to take the win."

Jordan Kelly, on his way to winning round 3 and his maiden win in Formula Vee. Photo: Barry Cregg.


Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Mr Tin Top or Mr Single Seater?


Richard with his newly lived car ahead of the opening round of the 2021 Formula Sheane championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Many race drivers are often pigeon holed for being a 'Single Seater' or 'Tin Top' drivers. They are usually judged on their performances in the category they have had most success, even if they have had tried both forms. Therefore they usually are not regarded as an all rounder. 

This is far from the case. Going back in time from the 1950's to the 1970's many Grand Prix drivers raced in F1, sportscars, touring cars or even the odd rally when time allowed it. Of course those times are very different than today and F1 and other top level motorsports are a world away from club racing that most of us only truly know the ins and outs of. That said the principal is the same. If a driver is an all rounder it means that they could be quick in any type of car. 

Here in Ireland in recent years Barry Rabbitt switched from years of Uno, Punto and ITCC racing to single seater and winning the Leinster Trophy twice in doing so. Kevin O'Hara is as quick in a Formula Ford as he is in a sportscar. 

Richard with his newly lived car ahead of the opening round of the 2021 Formula Sheane championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Another to follow in these similar steps in Carlow man Richard Kearney. The Leighlinbridge native has put in a long stint on the tracks of Ireland and even across the water at times. Originally known for being a 'Tin Top' man he has now earned the same reputation as a 'Single Seater' man after taking the Formula Sheane championship in 2019 ( No Championship in 2020 due to Covid-19). 

As many youngsters first taste of racing comes by start out in karting it wasn't the case for Richard. " I first got into motorsport really through following my dad Dick around as a toddler when he raced hotrods, I never really did any karting and it wasn't until I came of age I began racing saloon cars in Mondello Park." 

Fast forward twenty years and Richard is still as keen on the sport today as he was when as young seventeen year old, who set out in his Fiat Uno to see if he could get good at this racing lark. Good he did get as the move into the MKI Fiat Punto class brought him his first championship glory. He came close to matching that in the new Abarth class in 2005 but the highest he got in the championship was third. No mean feat as competition was high in that class. Richard also got several Phoenix Park wins to his name where some would swap a title for the prestige of a park win.

Richard with his newly lived car ahead of the opening round of the 2021 Formula Sheane championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

" I went from Uno's then to Punto's and Abarth's but took a break for a four or five years before coming back to racing in the Formula Sheane class. I wanted a new challenge and that is why I really went for the single seater class." The transition from closed wheel to open might sound appealing but not as easy as going from open to closed wheel as Richard found out. " I found it difficult at the beginning but I just stuck at it and practiced and tested, but there were many points where I thought did I do the right thing? It worked out in the end but I got there quicker than I thought and what others thought too." 

Richard leads the field into turn one during the Punto race at the 2012 Phoenix Park Motor Races. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Richard on his way to winning the Punto race at the 2012 Phoenix Park Motor Races. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Richard on his way to winning the Punto race at the 2012 Phoenix Park Motor Races. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Why the go for the Sheane class? " I tried a wide range of cars but for me the best bang for your buck was the Formula Sheane class and they are not too expensive to run and I enjoy them." Retired for now class stalwart Brian Hearty also helped Richard in his thinking of staying with the Formula Sheane class as many a battle on track converted into help and advice off it. " Brian Hearty couldn't have been more supportive to me from the moment I went into the class until he finished up in it. A serious competitor on track and take your life in your hands when battling with him but off track you couldn't find anyone that could help you more." 

Richard leading Brian Hearty in one of their many battles on track. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Now that Richard is the current champion and the one who they all want to beat, that in itself sure is motivation to go for the title again but who does he think will the opposition come from? " Oh there are plenty of lads out there still and as quick. Young Philip Sheane is very quick and will be a thorn. Paul McLoughlin, Derek Roddy are also there, any of the top five really, its very close out there." 

Richard on his way to taking pole position for the opening round of the 2021 Formula Sheane championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

The Covid pandemic has hit racing hard again this year with a later start than the normal month of March when racing usually begins with. The launch of the new ICCR series has it added to the race day for the competitor? "You don't realise how much you miss it when you can't do it. Just to be able to go and do a practice session is great to settle you down. The new ICCR seems to have given racing the shot it needed and the changes made are heading in the right way and hopefully when spectators come back they come in large numbers." Richard also plans to do a few races in his Legend this year so the ties to 'Tin Tops' hasn't completely gone. 

Richard in action while in the lead which he was to loose due a faulty rose joint during the opening race of the 2021 season. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Like all competitors the racing is only part of the weekend and never fully tells the whole story of how things went overall on each event. While down in the program to compete in Mondello one weekend, there was no sign of Richard or any of his crew at the track. While the rest of his competition were busy testing, qualifying and fettling theirs chariots before race time approached poor Richard and his band of merry men were stuck in their truck at the infamous narrow bridge that crosses the River Liffey coming into Carragh village. When freed and at the track they found that qualifying had gone by but they had a chance still of salvaging something from the weekend by at least starting from the back of the grid. Their efforts didn't go in vain as Richard bagged a couple of podiums that weekend which at least softened the blow to repairing the damage to the truck. 

So will 2020 bring more of the same as 2019 did? " I hope so it will be hard but I will be trying and I'll see after the opening weekend goes as I'll know where I am then." The opening round brought a mixed bag for the Carlow man who was quickest in qualifying but bad luck and a bad front rose joint dropped him from the lead to third in race one and a bad start in race two lost him the chance to get a win but a second place to add to his third in the opening race have gave him a good haul of points from the first two rounds of the Formula Sheane championship.


 

Monday, 21 June 2021

Philip Sheane Wins on debut race weekend in Formula Sheane

Philip Sheane holds up his trophy after winning round two of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

After the drama of the opening round of the Formula Sheane Championship onlookers wondered would they get more of the same in round two. Well they certainly did and not only that a debut win for newcomer to the class Philip Sheane. Philip who comes from Balinroe just outside Wicklow Town, graduated from the Formula Vee Championship  last season where he showed impressive pace and a race victory in his first year in single seater racing. 

Richard Kearney in action during qualifying on his way to pole position. Photo: Barry Cregg. 

His cousin David started both the Formula Vee and Formula Sheane series in the 1970's and the latter at the start of the new millennium. His recent illness has kept him away from the paddock in recent times but thankfully he is on the mend and is keen to get back to the tracks to see how his younger cousin is doing. 

Philip Sheane leads, Paul McLoughlin and Richard Kearney during round two of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Current champion Richard Kearney lined up on pole position with Philip alongside in second. Showing strong pace in round one only for his rear shock problem it would be foolish to rule his out of contention for a result in round two. As the lights went out it was Sheane who got into the lead the field out of turn one. Kearney dropped to third place behind Paul McLoughlin after making a poor start. Now all eyes were on Sheane to see if he could handle the pressure from his more experienced competitors. 

Philip Sheane leads Paul McLoughlin on his way to winning round two of the Formula Sheane Championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

It wasn't for the faint hearted in the opening laps as Sheane defended for his life in the tight infield section of the Mondello Park circuit. It was interesting to see where each of the front three gained and lost time to each other. Sheane was quickest between the final corner and turn three but then lost it again as McLoughlin gained time from there to exit of the Esses.

Paul McLoughlin leads Richard Kearney and Mark Keenan during round two of the Formula Sheane championship. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Kearney had no option to bide his time as there was just no way through. However after several laps Sheane got into a rhythm and began to pull away from the second and third placed men as they began to battle between themselves. By lap eleven Kearney had got by McLoughlin and began to chase after Sheane setting fastest time on lap sixteen with a 58.927 second lap.

Philip Sheane on his way to his first victory in Formula Sheane during round two. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Garrett McKenna on his way to taking the Scholarship Class at round two. Photo: Barry Cregg.

It was to no avail as the laps ran out for him to apply any real pressure. If he had it may not have had any effect as Sheane drove superbly and took his maiden win in the series and proved that he is already a title contender for this year.


Results:

National Championship

1st Philip Sheane

2nd Richard Kearney

3rd Paul McLoughlin

Scholarship Class

1st Gareth McKenna

2nd Richie Adams

3rd Chris Dunne