Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Cool Hand Cross Bags Another Win - Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship Round 7

Anthony Cross, Sheane, leads Gavin Buckley, Sheane, on his way to winning the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Bohernabreena's Anthony Cross took yet another win in the latest round of the Selco.ie Formula Vee championship at Mondello Park on Saturday. It was also an important victory as the championship leader retire from round six as he was hit from behind by Donal Downey forcing his retirement from the race. With zero points taken from that round he needed to make up as many points as he could in round seven. 

Starting from the second row it gave him a great chance to take a sizable points haul if not a win, but it would be crucial to stay out of trouble this time, especially in the early frantic part of the race. He has won the last four championships on the bounce and you don't do that many without being clever and tactical in a race and over the course of a season. 

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads Donal Downey, Leastone, during the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Fellow Dubliner Gavin Buckley was also out to make amends for a DNF in round six but his was all his own doing. He was starting from pole position alongside local man Donal Downey who has shown so very impressive pace so far this season. He has yet been able to put it together over an entire race yet but he is not far away and is one for the future in Formula Vee. As the lights went out it was Downey who got the best start and used the outside line round turn one to take the lead as Buckley lost ground to Jordan Kelly and Lee Newsome. Cross made a very rare bad start and lost four places off the line but hung on to remain in fifth as they headed out of turn two. With twenty cars on the grid and being so even one small mistake can cost you a lot of time and ground. 

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads Lee Newsome, Sheane, and Donal Downey, Leastone, during the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Luckily for this round the drivers were using the international track which allows more overtaking opportunities. Kelly was right on the gearbox of the Downey and looking to try and get past as early as he could and try and make a break. He did at turn seven and by the ending lap one there was an seven car train that broke clear from the rest of the pack. The winner would come from here. As they headed out on to the international loop the front two were side by side and had a slight gap over their pursuers lead by Buckley from Newsome and Cross. With the front two battling they lost the gap the built up and now it was nose to tail once again and by the final corner Newsome made his move to take third. 


Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads Anthony Cross, Sheane, during the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

It was shaping up to be a race that would be decided in the final laps as the front six cars remained in their positions as each defend their lines from the other. If Cross was going to try and take the win, in this one he needed to start making his moves soon. Up front in the space of two corners the lead had changed as Kelly carried too much speed into turn four and running wide letting Newsome by who had just past Downey in the turn before. As they took to the international loop again they were three abreast. Fantastic wheel to wheel racing leaving onlookers on their edge of their seats. By the end of the lap Cross had made his way by Buckley and moved into fourth and nearing a podium. His pace much quicker he closed the gap to the front three within a few corners. 

Jack Byrne, Sheane, leads Owen Kelly, Sheane, during the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

His experience would be key now and his remarkable sense of biding his time would again come into play. Half way through this lap he was up to third and right on the gearbox of Newsome who had lost the lead to Kelly. Time was starting to run out but by the end of the penultimate lap he was up to second. With only the last lap remaining he had no time to waste in deciding where to take the lead. First he had to close the slight gap to the leader which he did as again Kelly went wide at turn four giving Cross the better line and momentum for the run up to the next corner where he got by to take the lead. If he held his lines around the tight International loop, it only left the final corner for a last chance move by those behind him.

Anthony Cross, Sheane, on his way to winning the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

This he did and defended the final corner forcing Kelly to try and use the outside line. This was the case but as he did an over ambitious Downey tried to take second but hit the back wheel of Kelly and putting him into the gravel. This let Cross comfortably cruise to the chequered flag and take the win. Another classy and canny drive by the Dubliner who took maximum points to still hold the championship lead. Gavin Buckley took second with Jack Byrne in third. 

Anthony Cross, holds up his trophy after winning the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Speaking after the race the winner was both relieved and happy to take the win. " I didn't get the greatest starts in the world! I dropped back and it took a while to work my way back through again and I got stuck behind Gavin for a while. Once I got by him I caught up to the others and started to pick them off one by one. I was concerned after bang the car took in the race before, but it was ok. It's great to get that win after having the DNF."

Shane O'Neill, Leastone, on his way to winning the LOH Motorsport class during the Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

In the VW Spares Championship Donal Downey hung on to take maximum points from Owen Kelly and Paul Lewis rounded out the podium. In the LOH Motorsport Rookie Championship Shane O'Neil took the win from Kieran Hannan this time with Stephen Roche in third.

The Next round of the series is back in Mondello but on the natioanl circuit on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of July.

Results:

Selco.ie

1st Anthony Cross

2nd Gavin Buckley

3rd Jack Byrne

VW Spares

1st Donal Downey

2nd Owen Kelly

3rd Paul Lewis

LOH Motorsport Rookie Championship

1st Shane O'Neill

2nd Kieran Hannan

3rd Stephen Roche

Monday, 13 June 2022

Lee Newsome Wins Round 6 - Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship

Lee Newsome, Sheane, celebrates his victory after winning the Selco.ie Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Ashford man Lee Newsome took an impressive win at round six of the Selco,ie Formula Vee championship at Mondello Park. the baby of the Newsome family was on his own this weekend as brother Sean could not make it out for this round. However, he didn't help himself by qualifying in 6th place. As with all Formula Vee races while qualifying is important, on the international track layout there is plenty scope to improve your finishing position come the end of the race. It was Dubliner Gavin Buckley who took pole position from Jordan Kelly 0.112 of a second. In fact, the top six driver were covered by the same second showing the competitiveness of the class. 

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, Lee Newsome, Sheane, and Donal Downey, Leastone, during the Selco.ie Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

As the lights went out it was Kelly who got the best start and led the field into turn one. Both Buckley and championship leader Anthony Cross got swallowed up by the pack and Newsome found himself in third on the exit of turn 1. By Turn three the pole man was out spinning off into the gravel letting Newsome gain another place as they headed out on to the international loop.

Lee Newsome, Sheane, leads Jordan Kelly, Sheane, during the Selco.ie Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Another Wicklow man Jack Byrne from Annacurragh had also moved up to third but the leader had a gap of three seconds over them. While the Wicklow men worked together to close the gap to the man from Donegal all sorts of battles were happening further back in the pack which ended in championship leader Cross being hit from behind by Donal Downey causing his retirement. The unfortunate Paul Lewis whose car broke a trailing arm and put him into the path of Jonathan Hollywood causing both men also to retire from the race as well as bringing out the red flags.

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, Lee Newsome, Sheane, during the Selco.ie Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Once all the debris and broken cars were removed from the track the drivers lined up on the grid with Kelly on pole from Byrne. Once again Kelly got a flyer off the line, but Newsome got the better of his fellow county man to nip into second from the second row. Not content with second he made a brilliant overtaking maneuver on the outside of turn 7 to move into the lead. Byrne ran wide on the exit of the penultimate corner dropping back to the clutches of local man Donal Downey. 

Lee Newsome, Sheane, on his way to winning the Selco.ie Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A lap later he had made a gap and began to catch the leaders who were having a mighty battle up front. Newsome defending with all his might from Kelly who tried the cut back from the outside line of the final corner to the inside line going down the main straight. Newsome was wise to it and covered the line and held his lead forcing Kelly to use the long outside line again at turn 1. This began to play into the hands of Byrne who was closing right up both men and as Kelly tried to overtake Newsome at Birrane's Bends they ran wide leaving a gap for Byrne to take but he then collided with Kelly and took the grass dropping back to fifth. While lost his nosecone Kelly remained glued to the back of Newsome , who was soaking up all this pressure superbly. This allowed Downey to close right up making it a three car scrap for the lead. Another Formula Vee thriller was shaping up as they began the last lap. 

Lee Newsome, Sheane, holds up to his trophy after winning the Selco.ie Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Newsome held his line brilliantly right around the international loop as did Kelly who had to deal with Downey trying to get past. As they Made their way up to the final corner Newsome stayed to the right forcing Kelly to go the long way round, which can back fire if not done right. He judged it perfectly though as he carried enough speed out of the corner to hold of his two rivals and win the drag race to the chequered flag. What a finish to a brilliant race with the top three cover by only 0.294 seconds! It was a deserved win for Newsome who has had the pace all year so far but not the luck or reliability to make it to the top step. Speaking afterwards a delighted victor spoke of his race. 

" It was a great race but I didn't qualify well although the car felt good but i wasn't too worried as the big track today helps with plenty of places to pass. I got a great start in the first run of the race and got up to second but I got into a battle with Jack Byrne and dropped back from Jordan but the red flags came out. I got the jump on Jack in the restart and passed Jordan on the outside out the back and then had to defend for the rest of the race which wasn't easy!! It was great fun and very enjoyable and thanks has to go to my two brothers Garry and Sean for their help today and all year. It's been up and down but hopefully this will give us the lucky we need to carry on up the front for the rest of the year,"

In the VW Spares Championship Jordan Kelly took the win from Donal Downey and Owen Kelly took third place. In the LOH Motorsport championship Kieran Hannan took the win with Shane O'Neill in second with Stephen Roche in third. 

Kieran Hannan, Leastone, on his way to winning the LOH Motorsport Rookie class during the Selco.ie  Formula Vee race. Mondello Park, Donore, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.


Results:

Selco.ie

1st Lee Newsome

2nd Jordan Kelly

3rd Donal Downey

VW Spares

1st Jordan Kelly

2nd Donal Downey

3rd Owen Kelly

LOH Motorsport Rookie Championship

1st Kieran Hannan

2nd Shane O'Neill

3rd Stephen Roche

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Kearney Makes It Four In A Row - Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane Championship

Richard Kearney in action on his way to winning round six of the Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane championship. Mondello Park, Donore, Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

In form Richard Kearney from Leighlinbridge in coutny Carlow, was out to redeme himself after loosing his two wins from the previous meeting in Bishopscourt last time out due to a technical problem. While his car and driving were not in question, his failure to have his engine dyno sheet print out handed in to the stewards in time was. Thus he was found to be in breach of the rules. 

Richard Kearney in action on his way to winning round six of the Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane championship. Mondello Park, Donore, Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

With this now sorted out it was time for rounds six and seven of the Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane Championship which saw drivers take to the international track at Mondello Park in county Kildare. The forecast was not promising with rain due and with drivers now running on a new make of tyre it was going to be a challenging race meeting for all.

The new tyres were introduced to reduce costs in the class but would also mean a lot of setup changes and testing by the drivers to get them to suit their cars. Unfortunately the rain came down so much during testing on Friday leaving all drivers guessing a setup for qualifying on Saturday,  The one consolation was everyone was in the same boat. 

It was Kearney who came out on top qualifying in pole position by 1.5seconds clear of Mark Keeenan. Sadly Chris Dunne and Garrett McKenna did not make the start, so it would be a rematch between Kearney and Keenan again as in the previous round north of the border.

Brendan Carr leads Richie Adams and Tom Foley during round six of the Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane championship. Mondello Park, Donore, Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

It was Carlow man who got the best start and lead the field into turn one with Keenan behind in second and Richie Adams in third. Everyone looked like to be battling hard with their cars and clearly the new tyres were causing their own problems. At least it was dry and the threat of rain in the distance. Kearney set out his stall early and by the end of lap one he was over a second clear in the lead. Keenan was holding his own and dropped Adams behind in third. Behind the top three Tom Foley chased down former Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr, These two were enjoying  close battle giving the onlookers some entertainment.

As the laps went by Kearney built on his early lead with Keenan dropping further back with no answer to his rivals pace. Adams was in the same boat in third and all three were locked in position barring any mistake or mechanical breakdowns. Behind though Carr got on the power to early coming out of the final corner and spun, letting Foley off the hook and dropping down the field. In the end Kearney took the win comfortably by 5.2 seconds from Keenan and Adams. 

Mark Keenan leads Richard Kearney during round seven of the Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane championship. Mondello Park, Donore, Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

For race two they lined up on the grid in the same order and many predicted race two to be a copy of race one. All except Mark Keenan who made a couple of changes to his car between races and made a superb start to jump ahead of Kearney and lead the field into turn one. Adams again slotted into third. The first two however were in a different league and pulled a gap on the rest. The long lap of the international layout provides more overtaking opportunities but also can catch drivers out in the technical sections. 

Kearney lost seemed to have lost his extra pace he had over Keenan in race one and although he was right on his tail he clearly was driving hard to stay with the county Meath publican. It was another step up in pace for Keenan who is the closest at the moment to giving Kearney a run for his money this year, However Kearney came close to entering the gravel trap at turn four after outbraking himself in an effort to close in on the leader. Time was running out for him and he needed to make a move soon with only a lap to go. 

Richard Kearney in action on his way to winning round seven of the Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane championship. Mondello Park, Donore, Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

A lap later he was on the gearbox of Keenan and made his move into turn seven drawing alongside him. This time it was Keenan who made the mistake by outbraking himself. Unlike Kearney he didn't save it and ran wide and into the gravel briefly but enough to drop him back too far to Kearney but still he was safe from Adams in third. Kearney used his experience but he knew he hard to work for it and that he also got a bit lucky too.

Richie Adams in action on his way to his second podium finish during round seven of the Airportcars.ie Formula Sheane championship. Mondello Park, Donore, Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo: Barry Cregg.

"I'm glad to get the two wins here today after loosing the two wins at from Bishopscourt due to my own stupidity by not getting the engine dyno print done. Rules are rule though but the two wins today has got me back in the hunt again for the championship. The new tyres were hard to get used to but I'm sure we will all get them sorted out as time goes by. Race one was ok I got a good start and built on it and managaed the gap. Race two though was hard work. I made a bad start and made a few mistakes but Mark was driving very well so all I could do was keep up the pressure and it paid off as Mark went off and let me through. I can't wait for the nextround to come in four weeks time."

Mondello is the venue again for the next round of the championship on the smaller national layout on the 16th and 17th of July.

Results:

Race 1

1st Richard Kearney 

2nd Mark Keenan

3rd Richie Adams

4th Tom Foley

5th Mike Dermody

6th Brendan Carr

Race 2

1st Richard Kearney 

2nd Mark Keenan

3rd Richie Adams

4th Tom Foley

5th Mike Dermody

6th Brendan Carr


Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Buncranna Man Bags Second Win Of The Year at Round 5 - Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads Anthony Cross, Sheane, on his way to winning the Formula Vee race, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Buncranna man Jordan Kelly dominated round five of the Selco.ie Formula Vee Championship with a lights to flag victory at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit in county Down on Sunday. Kelly who started from pole position ahead of championship leader Anthony Cross. Just like in Kirkistown, the other track the series visits in Northern Ireland, the long straights and fast bends seem to suit Kelly and his driving style as he always goes well on them.

Jordan Kelly, Sheane, leads the field on the opening lap on his way to winning the Formula Vee race, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

As the lights went out he got the better start but as often is the case at Bishopscourt the long run to turn one gives those behind time to draft past with the leader helpless to defend his position. It happened before in round four which put him down the field and caused him the chance of a win as he had to spend the rest of the race climbing back through the field and getting caught up in other peoples battles. This time however he stayed ahead and lead the field round the flout out left hand bend. Cross got beaten up a bit at the start and lost several place dropping to fifth as Sean Newsome moved into second with Donal Downey in third. 

 Sean Newsome, Sheane, leads Lee Newsome, Sheane and Michael O'Callaghan,, Leastone, during  the Formula Vee race, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Kelly set about making a gap to the rest in an effort to break the tow so he couldn't be caught by the other in his slip-steam along the long fast straights. This he did as by the end of the first lap he had a five car length lead. With weather conditions perfect it was shaping up to be a typical hard fought battle between the rest to battle for second place. Although he lost place at the start Cross was now moving up and he had to if he were to have any hope of catching Kelly. By lap two he was into fourth and a lap later into second and out to catch Kelly. Newsome ran into mechanical trouble as he did in round four dropping down the field which was a shame as he had looked strong. 

 Gavin Buckley, Sheane, leads Jack Byrne, Sheane, Lee Newsome, Sheane and Michael O'Callaghan,, Leastone, during  the Formula Vee race, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Jack Byrne winner of round four was up to fourth trying to find a way past Gavin Buckley but with everyone lapping so close in times it was hard for anyone to find a way by. Kelly was now 2 seconds ahead and and setting fastest lap of the race in doing so with a 1.10.037sec lap. Michael O Callaghan was have his best drive to date lying in seventh for much of the race and battling with Lee Newsome and Donal Downey all the way. The race for the lead was over by the halfway mark as Kelly had pulled the pin and was in no fear of being caught by Cross and both men just reeled off the laps. Third place however, was still up for grabs and a brilliant battle for the final podium place was giving the onlookers plenty to take about.

Gavin Buckley, Sheane, leads Jack Byrne, Sheane, during  the Formula Vee race, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

Byrne tried everything he knew going on the inside then outside of turn one, inside at both chicanes lap after lap but Buckley defended his place. Sadly for Bynre laps ran out and he had to settle for fourth, though if he had got past earlier in the race it would have been interesting to see if he could have taken the fight to Kelly. That said, Kelly drove superb all race making it look easy with clean lines and never looked out of shape which is somewhat unusual for him.



Jordan Kelly, Sheane, on his way to winning the Formula Vee race, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

 He took the chequered flag 5.344 seconds clear of Cross and Gavin Buckley in third. A strong performance again and one that should give the Illies man confidence going into the next round at Mondello Park in June. It also gave him another maximum points haul in the VW Spares 'B' Championship to make it a double in class wins! 

Dan Coyne, Sheane, on his way to winning the LOH Motorsport Rookie class during the Formula Vee race, Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Co. Down. Photo: Barry Cregg.

In the LOH Motorsport Rookie Championship class Dan Coyne got the better of Aaron Murray and Stephen Roche. The next round of the champship will take the drivers back to Mondello Park in county Kildare on the 11th and 12th of June. 

Results:

Seclco.ie National Championship

1st Jordan Kelly

2nd Anthony Cross

3rd Gavin Buckley

VW Spares 'B' Championship

1st Jordan Kelly 

2nd Donal Downey

3rd Sean Newsome

LOH Motorsport Rookie Championship

1st Dany Coyne

2nd Aaron Murray

3rd Stephen Roche