Chris was another of the Magnificent Seven to take advantage of the official test day on Saturday and given the cold start to the morning took the decision to delay proceedings until the afternoon session by which time the air and track temperatures has both risen quite considerably.
Having entered himself in the Allcomers Cup (600-1300cc), Peak Cup, Open Solo and Newcomers Handicap Chris had a full day on his hands and also had to deal with a large contingent of the ‘ringers’ who had arrived chasing signatures for the road racing season.
Sunday began with a fairly good omen for the day ahead when Chris was drawn out of the pot at number 7 meaning the inside of the 3rd row for the Allcomers race. In a field of more than 18 bikes and with only a single trackday under his belt pre-season Chris slipped back one place to come home in 8th place boosting confidence and underlining that things were going in the right direction.
Races 2 and 3 saw Coops pit his wits against the quickest guys at the meeting in the Peak Cup & Open Solo classes, starting 17th in race 2 Chris picked off two places to bring it home 15th while in the Open Solo he almost mirrored the results leaving the start line 20th and taking the flag in 19th.
The 4th race of the day was the second of the Peak Cup races, again starting from P17 Chris was on the charge from the word go and this time made up 4 places to bring it home in 13th setting his fastest lap of the day with a 1.01.91’s which, not surprisingly for a racer, he was the first to point out that it was in fact ‘down’ on last years times.
Race 5 was back to the Open Solo’s and produced similar results to the previous outing in the class, starting 17th and taking the chequered flag in a solid 15th. The final outing of the day was the Newcomers Handicap, being on a 1000cc machine meant starting last behind the smaller classes that set off at different time intervals ahead of him. A 5th overall and 3rd in class brought a successful end to the day and although still down on the pace from last year there was more than enough to leave Chris happy with the opening round and looking forward to the second meeting in May.