|Anthony Cross, Sheane, leads the field out of turn two on the opening lap of the race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
Crossing the border for the first time this year the formula vee circus was greeted by the Indian summer sunshine as they setup camp at Kirkistown Racing Circuit. A welcomed change from the miserable conditions at Mondello Park last time out. With racing being held on Saturday's in Kirkistown testing and qualifying are held on Friday's which can cause problems. This was the case for the man lying second in the championship Jack Byrne. A family wedding on the Friday meant an early start for the Wicklow man, leaving home at 2am to make the long trip north to keep his title hopes alive. Having to start from the back of the grid it was going to be a tough task, as while getting up to the top ten would be a relatively easy task, getting to the front would be another order.
|Jordan Kelly, Sheane, clipping the kerbs as he leads Anthony Cross, Sheane, during the Formula Vee race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
Behind the from two Gavin Buckley who always goes well at the county Down track settled into third and chased after Cross ahead. Round five winner Tim Murray was back in sixth behind Dan Polley and they began a race long battle. Kelly by lap three had made a gap over Cross just as he had in Mondello last time out proving his pace was there in the dry and not just the wet. The question was would car reliability hold up this time round. By lap five Kelly's lead was eroded and the first three were now together all having to put their trust in each other at this high speed track.
|Anthony Cross, Sheane, leads Jordan Kelly, Sheane, and Gavin Buckley, Sheane, during the Formula Vee race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
A lap later Cross was again ahead but as such was the battle he didn't stay there for long. He found himself back to third a lap later as Buckley began to sniff a win. Nobody could make a break though and try as he might Kelly had to keep an eye on his mirror. He was driving well and smooth and his car was very quick in a straight line. Murray got by Polley and it looked as though the Meath man was going to catch the front three. He duly did and and harassed Buckley after he had been put back to third.
|Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads Anthony Cross, Sheane, and Gavin Buckley, Sheane, during the Formula Vee race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
As with the previous round the tail enders were going to come into play. Kelly again while leading a race was going to have to deal with them first. He got held up by a spinning Brendan Ellis at the hairpin and this allowed Cross back in touch as the closing laps were being reeled off. Coming out of the chicane for the final time Kelly made a slight mistake which cost him precious drive down the straight, which allowed Cross to get alongside and by the hairpin he was back into the lead just in time to hold on the run to the chequered flag.
|Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads Anthony Cross, Sheane, during the Formula Vee race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
Buckley was safe in third but behind him the battle for fourth went down to the wire, as Polley got back past Murray for fourth with a lap to go. Next up was the hard fought points haul of Jack Byrne who drove hard from the back of the grid to get up to sixth. It was the best he could do as predicted, as the front group broke away and took the tow with them. It would never be possible to bridge that gap on his own, only a mistake or safety car could do it and neither came for the Wicklow man.
|Jack Byrne, Sheane, leads Robert Fleming, Sheane, and during the Formula Vee race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
After the race Cross was happy to take the win but knew it came from a mistake from Kelly. " I didn't think I'd get that as Jordan had great pace and had pulled clear but backmarkers brought him back to us and then he made a mistake at the chicane and I got a run on him going towards the hairpin. Thanks to Michelle Morrin for bringing up belts for me on Friday otherwise I wouldn't be out."
Again a win was lost by Kelly for the second time in a row. He should have won but he wasn't too upset after the race. " I got held up by backmarkers at the chicane and dropped back to Anthony and then made a mistake myself on the last lap at the chicane which gave him a better run to the hairpin. Still I'm happy after what happened in Mondello."
|Anthony Conway, Sheane, on his way to taking maximum points in the Motorsport.ie 'Star of Tomorrow' Championship during the Formula Vee race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
Third place man Buckley was as ever philosophical about his race that could have ended in a win for him at one point. " I was there or thereabouts and then I wasnt! I had the pace but unfortunately I had two lurid slides coming out of the chicane and was always catching up after that. It was a cracking race though!"
|Anthony Cross, Sheane, on his way to winnng the Formula Vee race. Kirkistown Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.|
Indeed it was a cracking race and as always in Kirkistown a thinking mans race. As already mentioned it is about being in the right place in the race as much as being able to overtake in a certain area. This is where experience helps but having the ability to keep your cool brings the rewards. Cross has both and it is why he is yet again leading the series and is starting to get close on putting one hand on the championship trophy again next time out.In the VW Spares championship Jordan Kelly got maximum points with Robert Kelly taking second and Tim Murray in third. For the Motorsport.ie 'Star of Tomorrow' championship Anthony Conway took the win from Donal Downey with Owen Kelly in third.
Another great turnout for the class with 21 drivers starting, a consistently high level of entries throughout the year so far. Next race up would be for the prestigious Holmpatrick trophy. It is also the next championship round so those up front in championships would have to be careful not to risk loosing points for the glory of taking the trophy.
Selco.ie Formula Vee National Championship
1st Anthony Cross
2nd Jordan Kelly
3rd Gavin Buckley
VW Spares Championship
1st Jordan Kelly
2nd Tim Murray
3rd Robert Fleming
Motorsport.ie 'Star of Tomorrow' Championship
1st Anthony Conway
2nd Donal Downey
3rd Owen Kelly