Tim Hastings - Silverstone & Brands Hatch GP‏

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Zax
Derren Brown
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Tim Hastings - Silverstone & Brands Hatch GP‏

Post by Zax » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:13 pm

Two further rounds of the Metzeler 600 Superstock National Championship have seen Tim Hastings gain more valuable experience in his debut season on a 600, but 2010 continues to be a frustrating year for the 17 year old Falkirk rider.

The recent World Superbike meeting at Silverstone finally gave the superstock riders the chance to run the race which was originally scheduled for Round 3 at Oulton Park. With the grid already determined in qualifying at the Cheshire circuit at the start of May - and Tim in P29 on the 8th row - Team Twister approached the weekend with a view to gaining set up information and track knowledge ahead of Round 11 of the BSB series scheduled for Silverstone in September.

Tim posted the 18th and 15th fastest times respectively in the two free practice sessions and declared himself happy with the bike set up, but starting the race in P29 was always going to be difficult and so it proved when on lap two of the race, two riders immediately ahead of Tim collided mid corner causing one to sit up and brake hard. Tim - already fully committed to the corner and on full lean - had nowhere to go and crashed out of the race bringing an abrupt end to the weekend.

As so often this season, the team left the circuit with mixed feelings - disappointment as far as the race result was concerned, but pleased with Tim's ever increasing confidence in coming to terms with the Kawasaki ZX6R.

It was then on to Round 8 of the championship at the Brands Hatch GP circuit, and Team Twister approached this round with real anticipation for several reasons. Tim has always loved riding at Brands, on both the Indy and GP circuits, and Brands always seems to be able to generate a great atmosphere. Brands has also been significant for Tim since he won his first superteen race at the venue in 2006 as a 13 year old, and in 2008 it was also the venue where the British GP125 championship was decided in favour of Matt Hoyle when Tim crashed out of the lead at Paddock Hill bend after starting the race from pole position and setting the fastest lap.

As hoped for, Tim and the Team Green ZX6R immediately gelled with the GP circuit, and Tim ran as high as P5 during the first free practice session. Changes made the bike before the afternoon’s first qualifying session included stiffer fork springs and a shortened wheel base and Tim was confident of producing a good lap times. The team was therefore delighted when Tim posted a time good enough to end the session in provisional 10th place, and when adverse weather conditions for second qualifying meant that no times would be improved on, Tim's best start position to date - on the third row of the grid - was confirmed.

With the bike readied for Sunday's race, Tim took up his third row grid slot and got away to a very good start, however, it became apparent from the first corner that all was not right. Tim dropped steadily through the field before running on at Westfield and then again at Druids, resulting in a last place finish. The team is still trying to establish what exactly caused the problem - and will need to wait until Cadwell Park to be certain - but Tim had zero confidence in the front end of the bike and reported that it felt like he was going to crash at every corner of every lap! Early indications are that his problems stemmed from an under inflated front tyre.

Apart from the obvious disappointment of the race result, Tim showed some impressive pace at one of his favourite tracks, and the team will head to Cadwell determined to replicate that speed and convert it into a good, solid race result.

Thanks to Tony Sladdin, Mick Simms & Tina Mason who continue to play a pivotal role in Tim's success. Thanks to Ashley Enright for dedication and patience in preparing our own Team Green / Twister grid umbrella and a very warm welcome to the Twister Fan Zone, to Jim Enright and Kym Allsopp. Thanks also to all those who stopped in to see us over the course of the weekend - your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated.

Thanks also to Gibsons, Evadne, TCX boots, Shark Helmets, MCS Scotland, Murray's Motorcycles, Knox and NGK for their continued support in this learning year

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