This meeting also featured the first overnight stay in the caravan for new arrival (7-week old baby) Lucy which provided an interesting night inside the caravan! Outside of the caravan, 40+ mph winds took their toll on the paddock - and especially on the free-standing awning parked across from us which collapsed in the overnight wind.
Our last visit to the Aintree circuit was in 1999 and some new patches of tarmac were laid the week before the race meeting - so for us it was like visiting a brand new circuit. After the usual safety checks and signing on, we were out in the first practice to try and learn the track. We only completed three laps before the session was ended - with our laptimes tumbling from a 1'26 to a 1'19 and then to a 1'14, demonstrating that there was still a lot of learning to be done. We managed to persuade the circuit staff to let us out in the following session where we did a further three laps within the 1'12 second bracket and had much more of an idea of which racing lines to take!
Race 2 was the qualifying race for the "650 Supertwin" class. Again the grid positions were allocated 'out of the hat', but this time we picked peg number 2 - so instead of having one person behind us at the start, we now had only one rider in front of us! :-) We had a great start and initially led the pack off the line but not knowing exactly where to brake we lost a couple of places and exited the first corner in 3rd place. Knowing from the first race that there were some riders lapping in the 1'02 second bracket we braced for a flood of riders to come past but we managed to hold them off for a lot longer than expected, reducing our laptime down into the 1'05 second bracket in the process. We finished 7th in class, which put us 13th on the combined grid for the Supertwin final race.
The final race of our day was also the final race of the day - the "650 Supertwin" final race. From our 13th position grid spot we got a good start and some good battles with a couple of 'steel frame 600' riders who were sharing the track with us. By the chequered flag, we had made our way into 5th place in class and on the very last lap of the race we set our fastest lap of the day - a 1'05.08. With further visits to the circuit we are confident that further reductions in our laptimes would be possible. But with no further visits planned for this season, we will take the positives away as there is now the traditional summer break whilst the Isle of Man TT races take place.
Our next time out on track will be for Rounds 4 and 5 of the Darley Moor championships on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June.
The onboard race videos from the meeting have been uploaded to our YouTube Channel.