Andy Houghton #333 - Clubman1000
As normal, Brands Hatch did not disappoint in giving interesting conditions for the opening round of the Bemsee calendar. Strong winds and intermittent showers made for some tricky racing. In the end, Andy was lucky over the weekends three Powerbike/Clubman 1000 races, as all were dry. With the lighter winds meaning the best lap times came on the Saturday race where Andy picked up a 9th in class. Although the conditions worsened on Sunday it saw the better racing for Andy, locked in a battle with 3 other riders in both races. In Sundays first race, there was great deal of passing and re-passing each other in Andy's pack. Andy managed to uncover a new overtaking spot around the Indy circuit into Graham Hill Bend, which proved beneficial in picking up a total of 3 places in this section of the track alone. The second race on Sunday was a more frustrating affair for Andy, after a good 1st lap, the passing opportunities seemed much thinner on the ground but Andy really felt he was being held up by the pack of riders in front of him. This left him with no other choice than to pressure the riders ahead, which in turn forced some good fortune his way when a mistake by the rider in front meant Andy gained a extra place on the last lap. This showed that you should never back off and "settle" for a position if there is any hope of gaining an extra place. Completing the meeting with 8th in class on both of Sundays races made for a great set of results for the weekend efforts.
Race 1 - Start 33 Finish 26 (9th in Class)
Race 2 - Start 29 Finish 20 (8th in Class)
Race 3 - Start 31 Finish 23 (8th in Class)
Talan Skeels-Piggins #83 - MRO600
The first race meeting of the season often coincides with the anniversary of Talan’s accident. This season saw his 16 year anniversary fall on the test day (Friday) and at the exact moment he had been paralysed in 2003, Talan was out instructing an able bodied racer. Proof that we can all achieve great things if we believe in ourselves. It was also the first race meet since the terrible crash at Lydden Hill when Talan lost his right little finger and shattered his left thumb. Both hands are expected to take 9months to a year to heal properly, so it was a careful outing at Brands to ensure there were no mishaps. All four races saw the same group of racers competing wheel to wheel. With Talan, Dave and Kevin battling from lights out to chequered flag, the trio enjoyed multiple passes and all enjoyed their time on track. In one of the Saturday races, the three racers were separated by 0.1sec as they crossed the line. A safe and enjoyable return to racing for Talan, who has continued to rebuild his confidence and understanding of the Yamaha R6 race bike.
Race 1 - Start 30 Finish 25 (14th in Class)
Race 2 - Start 30 Finish 19 (11th in Class)
Race 3 - Start 24 Finish 17 (10th in Class)
Race 4 - Start 21 Finish 17 (10th in Class)