To take care of a bit of house keeping, we brought back our 2019 championship trophy, along with 12 scrubbed race tyres for Stuart Hall. Once we had setup - and had 3 visits to scrutineering then a visit to the office to signon - we were very pleased to see bumper grids for the weekend: with 17 Twins machines, 26 Formula 600 machines and 30 Allcomers listed in the race programme.
SATURDAY RACE DAY
It rained all through Friday night and Saturday morning, so we swapped over to wets in the morning, as the forecast was for showers all day.
When we went onto the circuit for the Twins qualifying session, the track surface was so cold and wet that the rear wheel was spinning in a straight line as soon as we joined the track (see video below). Returning '2018 Mini Sound of Thunder champion' Elliot Williams crashed at Wilsons Chicane on his first flying lap. We got some heat in the tyres and put in a lap time of 1'16.49 which put us 5th in class (10th on the combined starting grid). Jack Petrie took pole position with a 1'13.05 lap.
As the conditions meant that we were not pushing anywhere near as hard as in the dry, both bikes were feeling very firm at the front. We made some blanket adjustments, taking 3 turns of preload from each front fork leg and reduced the damping adjusters by two clicks each.
It was now time for the races... First up was the Allcomers Race where we picked a 2nd place grid spot from the hat! We started the 10-lap race and spent the first two laps making sure the tyres were correctly up to temperature. As expected, we were passed by several riders during these laps - but once we were comfortable with the bike settings we started to retake some positions, as well as seeing some riders retiring from the race. We began to lap riders on lap 8, so by the time we crossed the line at the end of the 10 laps we didn't know exactly where we had finished! After the race results had been published, we learned that we had been classified as 2nd place finishers in the race - 10.02 seconds behind race winner Joe Connolly.
We got a fabulous start from our 8th position grid spot to enter Wilsons chicane in 3rd place. On lap 2, Ricky Tarren had a small slide at Wilsons chicane, so we nipped passed into 2nd position. We didn't hold that position long as Ricky got us back along the Pope straight. Then on lap 4, Formula 600 Race 1 winner Harry Jackson also came passed, demoting us to 4th place. For the remaining 4 laps we rode as hard as we could on the overheating wet tyres and managed to cross the line in 4th place, which we were very happy with given our day so far. We also won a trophy!
SUNDAY RACE DAY
The good weather arrived as predicted on Sunday, but it was quite chilly with the temperature only reaching a peak of 12 degrees.
Our first qualifying session was for the Twins class. The conditions were fine but not wanting to do anything silly, we put in a few laps and banked a 1'05.49 lap which was quick enough for 2nd in class, behind Jack Petrie who logged a 1'05.10. This put us 6th on the combined grid.
Soon after, we were out again in the Formula 600 qualifying session. With the bumper 600 grids (both Formula and PreInjection machines), it was hard to get some clear track time. We managed a single clear lap and put in a 1'00.87 which put us 5th on the grid. Ricky Tarren got the pole with a 59.05 lap.
And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my supporters (if you're reading this - then that's you!), Dave Carson Snr, Steph Carson, Lorna Carson & I would particularly like to thank Pomerol Partners, Rock Oil and Holroyd Tyrewarmers for their support.