James Cater traveled to Ireland for a very rare round of the Heritage Parts Centre UK Formula Vee Championship at Mondello Park, where they would join the Irish Vee racers for their annual Festival as well as a championship round.
James arrived still not knowing if he could even get into the Primrose Hospice sponsored race car, as he had broken his ribs in a motorcycle accident only a week before and was in considerable pain.
Arriving late with only one brief test session squeezed in, James qualified 12th of the 15 car grid, knowing he needed to find at least another 2 seconds per lap to be in contention.
Graham Gant took pole position honours.
A few set-up changes to improve the cars turn-in did exactly that, and James stormed up to dice wheel to wheel with Bill ‘Wom’ Garner for the Class B win.
After an amazing battle James found himself behind as they went into the last lap, taking several corners at high speed with his wheels interlocked with Wom, before making a late dive into the very last corner. Unfortunately James spun off the circuit, losing a few places to finish 12th overall but still 2nd in class.
Graham Gant took an excellent win with Irish wildcard driver Jimmy Furlong taking 2nd. Ian Jordan took 3rd, less than half a second behind the winner.
For the second race James had gear selection problems, forcing him to do most of the race only in 3rd gear. This put him out of contention for the class victory, but he still battled to 11th place overall to pick up another 2nd in class and bouncing back to 3rd overall in Class B, and 18th in the overall points.
Gant made it two from two, with Craig Pollard and Tim Probert filling the rest of the podium places.
On Sunday the UK cars joined the Irish spec cars for the Vee Festival, with almost 50 cars competing in heat races to get into the final.
With more gear selection problems, James was only able to pick up 17th overall in his first heat, before a huge accident cut his second heat short, with James picking up some damage from a separate collision.
Having pushed his body as far as he could, James was unable to enter the final races due to pain in his ribs, but was very happy with his performance over the weekend.
The overall Festival winner was Colm Blackburn in a Leastone, followed by Anthony Cross and Luke O’Faolain. Tim Probert, with 5th overall, was the highest placed UK spec car.
The next round of the championship is at Silverstone circuit on 11th & 12th August, where James hopes to take his first class victory.