After his race winning debut at Cadwell Park last month, Mark Reade and the Leastone team suffered a number of frustrations over the Monoposto championship rounds on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit last weekend, May 20/21st.
Friday testing was curbed somewhat, when an electrical gremlin crept in, something that proved difficult for the team to trace. By end of day, the team were confident that the problem had been solved and Reade suffered no repeat during qualifying, where he ran well while experiencing the Grand Prix loop for the first time (testing had been restricted to the Indy circuit only). With the qualifying session counting for grid positions for races 1 and 2, Reade logged times good enough for 4th and 3rd for the 1st and 2nd races respectively.
As the lights went out for Saturdays Race 1, Reade got a solid start and set about harrying for the final podium spot throughout the opening laps. Late into lap 3, Reades Suzuki GSXR1000 set itself into ‘limp’ mode, restricting his RPM and sending him tumbling down the order. He managed to coax the car back to the pitlane, where a quick engine reset solved the problem, but unfortunately lost him any chance of a decent result. Undeterred, Reade set about a charge through the field, using the remaining 6 laps to claw back into the top ten, despite being a lap down.
Overnight, the team set about trying to find the root cause of the Race 1 issue but with nothing obvious apparent, and the car running well after the reset, it was assumed to be a simple software glitch. Races 2 and 3 took place on Sunday, and once again Reade got a decent start, jumping up to 2nd on lights out. He defended hard over the ensuing laps but slipped back to 4th by lap 3. He maintained this position until lap 6 of the 11 lap race, when a broken wire forced his Leastone 1000 to grind to a halt.
To compound matters, the Race 3 grid was decided on Race 2 results, meaning that Reade would line up 23rd overall. The team worked frantically during the break, having to replace the entire wiring loom to solve the problem. They completed this just in time for Reade to take up his grid slot but unfortunately, the frustration was to continue, when Reade suffered a suspension failure after running over the Paddock bend kerbing.
‘Today just wasn’t meant to be unfortunately. Overall, not a good weekend for results but the Grand Prix circuit is top class, making it an enjoyable weekend despite the problems. We have some work to do before the next round but I’m already looking forward to Silverstone!’ said a surprisingly upbeat Reade after the weekend.
Rounds 6 and 7 of the Monoposto championship take place on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on July 1/2nd.
Photo Credit: Norwich Photo