TALAN RACING - RACE REPORT FROM CADWELL PARK (27-29 APRIL)
TALAN SKEELS-PIGGINS #83
Friday saw Talan back out on circuit instructing Thunderbike Sport and Rookie Minitwin racers. It was a wet and cold day, so the pace was gradually built up to ensure he didn't have the embarrassment of crashing in front of his students, or having one of his students lose grip and go down.
Saturdays conditions were to prove very difficult for a lot of riders, with the wet and bitter cold meaning many racers lost grip and slid off the track. However, not the first time, Talan was able to shine in the dismal weather. Qualifying in 9th overall in the MRO600 was his best qualifying to date in that class. The hard bit was then having to start on the 14th row of the grid instead of the 3rd. With the spray kicked up by the rider in front, each racer would move slightly across the track to get better vision, which meant that there was a wall of bikes in his way, going significantly slower than the pace Talan could travel at. A few rider-less bikes spun into his path at various corners, so there were some very extreme manoeuvres to avoid riding over machinery. Steadily he picked his way forward, and ended up 12th overall and 5th in class, a great result to begin the weekend.
Sunday was dry but remained bitterly cold. The day was marked with mechanical issues on the bike. In the first race the electronic gearshift was intermittent and then stopped working all together on the last lap, leaving Talan to complete a lap in 3rd gear. Then the second race saw the clutch decide to fail. As soon as the bike hit 11000 revs the engine would spin up to 15000 revs and no drive would happen. Short shifting through the gears left Talan at a massive pace disadvantage and the riders he has passed were able to get back past him.
The weekend may have been frustrating with weather and mechanical issues, but it was better to happen there than in two weeks time. On 19/20 May Talan is taking part in the IBHR2018 (Disabled World Championships) which is a support race at the Le Mans MotoGP. The bike is currently with Steve Jordan getting repairs on the clutch and electronic gearshifter. Fingers crossed all will be fine for the big race in just over two weeks.
ANDY HOUGHTON #333
The plan for the Friday test day was to get a feel for the set up changes that had been made since the last round at Brands Hatch and make the switch from Pirelli to Bridgestone tyres ensuring all would be well for the races on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately after 1 short session in the morning the heavens opened and rain was in for 2 days solid. So it was back on to the trusted wet tyres and a well known wet set up.
Saturday's race was very wet. All riders were experiencing aqua-plaining on Cadwell's two high speed straights and the race was a test of feeling for the grip in the braking zone and around the turns. Comparative to the other riders in the Powerbike race Andy performed very well finishing 13th out of 25 and 7th in class which is a great result considering, as always, Andy has to start (with the aid of his launch crew) from the back of the grid. The performance was even better considering his fastest lap time was 2 seconds faster than the next two bikes up the road but the time taken to get through the pack had meant the race was too short to gain those extra couple of places.
Mercifully the rain stopped for Sundays races. Andy had 2 races on Saturday but it was more difficult to fight his way through the riders now going at full speed on a dry track. Overtaking opportunities were rare on the twisty Cadwell park track but a favoured overtaking spot at the end of park straight was where Andy was making the places up. On both of the shorter Saturday races Andy fought his way from the back of the grid and made up 5 places in each race and rounded out the race weekend with a personal best lap time in race 2. All in all a successful weekend's racing. Andy's next race with BMCRC will be Donington Park on 16/17 June.