The second round of the East Midlands Racing Association championship at Mallory Park took place this weekend and, just as in round one, the Magnificent Seven were out in force and once again performing at the top of their game.
Two years since his last visit Stockport based Dave was back at the Leicestershire circuit having decided to miss the first round due to the class with the Darley Moor championship.
Attempting to relearn the circuit and get up to speed at the same time in a very short session Dave admitted to feeling a little uncomfortable as he managed to qualify in 18th place. Despite the tight circuit layout and short length when the lights went out Dave managed to pick off 5 riders ahead and finished in 12th, he went one better in race 2 and brought it home in 11th recording a best lap time of 57, 385 in the process.
While Dave has set his sights on the Darley championship in 2019 now he is clear of events clashing and having a couple of races under his belt at Mallory he will be looking to be much closer to the top 5 next time out.
After round 1 Shane arrived at the circuit brimming with confidence despite the unfortunate, and pretty spectacular, ‘off’ while at the front of the field last time out. The weather was dry and warm, new slicks were on the bike and Shane was ready to go and qualify.
An unfortunate scheduling of sessions meant ‘The Wheel Man’ had to do back to back qualifying stints and Shane struggled slightly with a lack of peak fitness which, coupled with a lot of traffic on the circuit, meant that most of his ‘hot’ laps were marred by slower riders looking for their own space but he still managed a second row 5th place in the Rookies class and a third row 9th in the Open category.
Starting 9th in Open race 1 Shane found the race a little static with most riders unable to make up ground on anyone ahead of them and, feeling a little off colour and unable to push on he was disappointed to bring it home in 11th place given the 5th he enjoyed in round one.
In the Rookies race Shane was lying in 5th position when a crash involving the leader brought out the red halt and a 15 minute halt to proceedings, it also seemed to fire up the Telford man and at the restart he was quickly into 2nd place until pushing a little too hard on cold tyres saw him make a slight mistake that put him onto the grass and back into 4th but, head down and fired up, the charge was on and soon the podium looked in sight again and at the flag he took a fantastic 3rd place just 0.02 off the second step. His first visit ever to the ‘box’.
Rookies race 2 saw Shane now on the front row thanks to his brilliant finish on the first race and as the race settles down he was in 2nd place and feeling comfortable. Seeing the leader begin to pull away he decided the best plan was to keep things smooth, clean and mistake free, perhaps being a little too conservative he was suddenly a full second off his normal race pace and into 3rd place when a hard charging rider behind him took full advantage but that was a bad as it got as he took the chequered flag in 3rd place for his second visit to the podium and this time it went with his very first trophy.
Having been full of confidence after round one Shane may well have to tie himself down before round 3 and a serious run at the title must now surely be on the cards for ‘The Wheel Man’.
Faced with a huge grid of 40+ riders and some very stiff competition Mark, ‘Hetty’ and Team Bod arrived after another perfect weekend at Darley Moor and were ready to take it to the opposition from the moment the wheels began to turn.
Qualifying 7th out of 43 in the 500 class he, and the tireless Hetty, also put themselves in 7th place in the Minitwin class.
Race 1 for the CB500’s saw Mark gain two places and cross the line in 5th place while in race two a titanic battle amongst the front runners saw the Chesterfield man take the flag in 4th place in what he later described as a “mega scrap”
Next it was time to take on, not only the CB’s, but also the Minitwins too and yet again he was challenging at the sharp end of proceedings. Sixth overall in race 1 was followed by an 8th in race 2 which meant and class win and a 3rd to cap another successful weekend for the team.
Gazbo was also up against Mark in the Minitwins class and was once again at the front of the pack as racing got underway.
In a grid of 30 riders Garry showed most a clean pair of heels in both races. Race 1 saw a return to the podium that he visited in round one when he managed to take the flag in a brilliant 2nd place recording a lap time of 59.623 in the process.
Race 2 was again a close one to call but despite going faster with a 59.425 the Leicester man was pipped to the podium and had to settle for 4th place.
Having now enjoyed 2 visits to the podium Garry must also be considered a genuine title challenger for the EMRA Minitwin title with plenty of round and racing still to be done.