Rounds 3 and 4 of the Formula Sheane championship kicked off this past weekend in the challenging but fast Pembrey race circuit Wales. The weather was great all day Friday for practise and Saturday morning there was a heavy rain, which soon dried up to make a perfect day for close Formula Sheane racing.
Qualifying was very close throughout the session with Brian Hearty setting the fastest laps from the start , however Brian was contested strongly by both David parks and Kevin Sheane . Brain Hearty took P1 on the grid for race one but only barely from David Parks who was five thousands of a second off Brian’s time. This lap was set on the final lap just as the flag came out ,
The final qualifying positions for race one were ….
1: Brian Hearty , 2: Dave Parks ,
3: Kevin sheane , 4: Richard Kearney ,
5: Robbie Allen , 6: Niall o’flynn ,
7: Chris McCabe , 8: Charlie linnane ,
9: Leslie Shaw , 10: John linnane ,
11: Ray Mckenna , 12: Mark Dunleavey.
The cars lined up on the long straight after a warm up lap and both the drivers and the spectators nerves were wrecked , the red light’s came on and then quickly off and the 12 strong grid of Formula Sheanes were away. Dave parks took the early lead getting the jump on Brian Hearty. Kevin Sheane also had a good start. The first corner is a very tight hairpin and is a very scary corner when 12 of Ireland’s fastest one make series cars fly in all at once and trying to fight for the first step.
There was one casualty in the first corner which unfortunately was Niall O’flynn. Despite the incident Niall was OK and the race went on. As the race progressed Kevin Sheane continued to put more and more pressure on the leader Dave Parks and they both started to pull away from the pack. Back down the grid a little Brian hearty had a mechanical problem . Mark Dunleavey had a great drive to come from last and fight his way past some very talented drivers. It would be wrong not to mention Chris McCabe as one of the most determined and talented. Chris had a great race also but in the end mark Dunleavey got by. Mark Dunleavey finished 3rd in race one.
In the scholarship championship Leslie Shaw , Charlie Linnane , John Linnane and Ray McKenna had a great race, Ray showing great pace as a new comer all weekend. Leslie had a lead over John and Charlie Linnane, the talented father son duo and as the race went on he extended that gap more and more using some great focus and skill and then took the win in the Scholarship Championship. The final finishing order for Race 1 was:
1: Dave Parks , 2: Kevin Sheane , 3: Mark Dunleavey.
Race 2 was going to be hard to watch for mechanics for the first few laps after getting a taster of how tight some of the corners were in Pembrey and when there are 12 extremely tail giddy cars coming into the same corner at once it’s always going to be exciting .
The lights went and it was Dave Parks who got away in front but as the cars came into turn one there was a massive incident where Robbie Allen ended up taking flight over Charlie Linnane. Thankfully all drivers who were involved walked away with out a scratch and Charlie Linnane was even able to restart the race. The cars lined up again as Robbie Allen’s car was removed from the dangerous spot in turn one and the lights came on once again.
Dave parks once again got the start and led into the first corner . Dave Parks and Kevin Sheane had a very close battle until, due to a collision with a huge kerb, Kevin had to retire from the race and the car was in another dangerous spot. This meant that the race had to be restarted once more. There was a quick vote among drivers whether the race should finish on those positions or not but the drivers decided to continue. This time Richard Kearney got the jump off the line and got away at the front of the determined pack. Dave Parks managed to get back down the inside of Richard Kearney and took the lead once more and when Richard Kearney looked in his mirrors Brian Hearty was all over him. As Brian and Richard got caught up in a battle Dave managed to pull a reasonable gap and with only a lap to go Brian Hearty got by Richard Kearney to finish second. he final order for the top three was:
1: Dave Parks , 2: Brian Hearty , 3: Richard Kearney.
Bob Parks Trophy Race:
The cars once again lined up on the grid for the final time at Pembrey race track . This race was to be a reverse grid format and also a 5 second head start for the top 5 grid positions which meant Ray Mckenna , Charlie Linnane , Leslie shaw , John Linnane and Chris McCabe would start 5 seconds early .
The lights went out and the first five drivers flew off the line . Leslie Shaw was leading by turn 3 and giving the others a hard fight to get past . The other drivers were let go and they scampered quickly to catch the rest . Eventually they caught up and it made for an amazing view. They were about 3 cars wide going down the straight and more behind trying frantically to find a way through or set the cars up for an overtake in turn one.
Kevin Sheane then took the lead followed closely by Dave Parks. Both drivers had come from the back of the grid and worked their way through the talented field of drivers. Unfortunately Kevin Sheane was forced to retire due to mechanical problems . This meant Dave Parks had the lead but Richard Kearney was going to make him fight for it . Both drivers had an amazing few laps of constant overtaking and a serious display of skill . Four laps from the end Dave parks was forced to retire due to a throttle issue despite trying to continue just using the ignition switch However this didn’t work and he had to pull in .
It was Richard Kearney who was leading now but not by much from Niall O’Flynn they battled two and fro for the rest of the race and Richard Kearney crossed the line first but due to a penalty it was Niall O’Flynn who took the win after a very impressive drive .
A great weekends racing was had and a very entertaining weekend also onwards now to rounds 5/6 in two weeks in Mondello Park. See you all there