Testing was held on Friday and with Luke O Faolain unable to make it, Lee Newsome was able to get both his and Luke’s car run in and set up for qualifying on Saturday morning which was held in beautiful sunny conditions.
Luke settled back into his surroundings and qualified in 11th for the Selco Hygiene sponsored National Championship race and 5th for the Probe 2000 sponsored B&C race.
Lee qualified 3rd and would line up alongside Anthony Cross behind Ray Moore and defending Champion Colm Blackburn.
The B&C race was a humdinger, Luke managed to get a great start and was soon leading the race. A great slipstreaming battle between the front group of cars entertained the spectators and Luke held the lead for a long time until he ran wide at the last corner defending his lead and unfortunately dropped out of the battle for the race win. Luke got his head down to recover 3rd position at the chequered flag behind Ken Browne and Shane McBride.
Could the evenings Selco Hygiene National Championship race serve up as good a race for the spectators? You bet it could!
When the lights went out, Moore held the lead for the first lap before Blackburn and Lee took to the front, however disaster struck on Lap 4 When exiting the final corner side by side Lees car got sideways on the outside kerb and contact was made with Blackburn sending both cars spinning towards the tyre barriers, Lee was fortunately able to rejoin the race but Blackburn wasn’t as lucky and was eliminated from the race.
Jimmy Furlong had an off in the chicane and as a result the race was red flagged.
From the restart Lee started at the rear of the grid and When the lights went out he got a great start and by the end of the 1st lap he was up to 4th. Another great battle ensued between the lead group of 8 cars of which Luke was also right in the mix. Lee eventually took 2nd with the fastest lap of the race behind Moore and ahead of Cross with Luke finishing a brilliant 5th position.
Our next event is at Mondello Park over the weekend of 14/15 April.
Photo credit: Cregor Elliott