Mark Reade and the Leastone Racing Team bolstered their Monoposto championship hopes with a strong performance at Oulton Park last weekend. The Donore native scored a brace of second places at the Cheshire circuit which was using its full 4.33km International layout, one that has proven a driver favourite throughout the years.
Qualifying went as well as the team could have hoped with Reade securing pole position for his MonoMoto 1000 class for both of the days races, producing times quick enough for 4th and 3rd overall in the 19 car field.
Race 1 saw some confusion at the start over green flag laps but once the race got way proper, Reade surprised the front row by vaulting into the lead on the short run to Old Hall. He put up a stout defence from the more powerful 1400 class cars, but by lap 3 he had been bundled down to 4th overall and now had his closest class rival filling his mirrors.
Even with the length of the International circuit, backmarkers were coming into play as early as lap 5, which saw Reade drop to 2nd as he negotiated the slower traffic. He pushed the new leader hard, getting alongside on a number of occasions, in areas that do not typically see much overtaking, but could not make the move stick. Unfortunately his challenge was ultimately blunted on the final lap, when traffic again caused Mark to drop time.
Reade could not replicate his lightning fast getaway from earlier at the start of race 2, slotting into second place and again, he began to apply pressure for the lead. The gap remained at just over the one second mark for the opening laps before traffic would again come into play, this time on lap 4. From there, the gap ebbed and flowed depending on who caught the backmarkers at the more opportune time. Mark could not quite get within striking distance of the leader over the remainder of the race; crossing the line to record his second podium and increasing his points haul to 24 for the weekend.
With that, Reade is now just 8 points away from the championship leader and will be looking to close the gap even further when the Monoposto championship visits Snetterton on the 26/27th of August.
‘Oulton Park is my new favourite track, a proper track! Great to get the double class pole and I really enjoyed the race 1 battle with the Jedi, but I just couldn’t hold him off. The 2nd race was a bit quieter but another good haul of championship points. We made a lot of progress with the Leastone 1000 this weekend, I have to thank Paul Heavey and Leastone Racing for their hard work and Finol Oils for the continued support’ – Mark Reade No. 45 Leastone 1000