Leastone announces the 2014 “Leastone 1000″
March 4, 2014 by Leo Nulty
So the boys in Kilmeague have been busy. 18 months of hard work finally hit the ground recently and the Leastone boys are immensely proud of it. Introducing the Leastone 1000. 1000 as in the 1000cc that sits in the back of it, in the form of a Suzuki GSXR1000 engine, pumping out approximately 160bhp as standard. All these horses will be stopped by 4 pot Wilwood calipers and cross drilled discs all round. Dunlop slick tyres and adjustable front and rear wings compliment the streamline bodywork to give a very modern looking single seater.
Of course this is not the first time Leastone have launched a car among such fanfare. Looking back to the Formula 5 project, the team faced a number of challenges during the first foray outside of their hugely successful Formula Vee cars.
‘We wanted a budget slicks and wings car to offer young guys an accessible class to learn their trade before leaving Ireland. I had a price in my head and we came in under it, but with that philosophy comes a lot of pitfalls, especially when we were doing something completely new for us. If Red Bull can get things so wrong with all their millions of pounds, what hope to average Joes like me have!’ says Leastone boss Paul Heavey. ‘We used the RF engine because it was cheap, readily available and had limited tuning potential. But it was an old engine and ultimately not suited to the confines of a tightly packaged single seater as the heat rejection was really high, which had us struggling a bit with cooling from the off.’ says Heavey, talking of the Yamaha RF900 engine that powered the Formula 5.
‘Then we had a flaw with the differentials which had the built in reverse, meaning that the idler gear wasn’t able for the torque going through it. So all in all it was a trying couple of years! We did get on top of the issues and the car had great bang for its buck, but by then the damage to its reputation was done and nobody would touch the it despite some really good performances.’
Mistakes are ok, as long as you learn from them. So with that firmly in mind, the Leastone team have spent the last 2 years testing each component of the Leastone 1000 using the Formula 5 as a test bed. Now after 18 months of hard work, the actual car itself is ready to go. And it’s a looker. It just has to prove that it has the pace and reliability to match in order to grab people’s attention. If the pace and the reliability of the Formula 5 in its latter years are anything to go by, the team certainly have a good base of knowledge to work from.
The gap in the market is still there for Leastone to try plug, with the last out and out ‘slicks and wings’ class being Formula Ireland. And with a price tag of €16,250, means it will be bit more accessible to aspiring young drivers in terms of finance. ‘The car will run in Libre initially but obviously the long term plan would be for people to buy a load of cars and we can get a class running! We will also run in the Monoposto championship in the UK. The GSXR will be slightly tuned and now that we’ve put some proper wings on it, we can hopefully run the JEDI’s close around the quick stuff. We just need a few drivers now!’ rounds off Heavey, clearly looking forward to the coming season.