|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."