Heres a bit of a report, but Darren can add the full bifter.
Day started off well, couldn't get the genny to start, the head mechanic had the tennents open by 8am and Darren was running around like a headless chicken trying to get his bike scrutineered and get his license signed on.
Eventually got everything up and running.
Out for qualifying and some of the quick bikes there flying, then low and behold look round to the monitor and here is Darren up from an early 10th, to 5th where he finished the 10 minute session, ahead of some well known Scottish racing names. back to the pits, buzzing. Fastest lap being a 54.49
. Darrens best lap is a ("i think i've done a 53, but never been timed". Must be good at 1 elephant, 2 elephant as he is going round).
Next qualifying, where the times would get faster. Good 10 minute session, with a grid position of 9th. Lap time of 53.68.
(Times from 6th to 11th from 53.37 - 53.99).
Time for race 1, and basically we told him the same as we have told him for a few week, you must finish every race. No point going out there and binning the bike and people thinking who's this bam. Try to improve on your starting position.
Lights go green, Bike wheelies, then bogs down off the grid. Problem being, he has never done a race start before, and he cannot hear his own bikes revs due to the noise, and didnt want to look down at the rev counter and miss the lights. So poor start, and down a few places. Into McIntyres and he is pushed slightly wide, just onto the grass and loses a few more places. I think at 1 point, he was down to 12th. Start passing people and upto 9th, but stuck behind a Superbike spec GSXR1000. After a few laps he passed the Gixer with a dive up the inside at Clarks curve and clear track ahead. Pulled away from everyone behind him, and posted a 52.56
, which put him 5th fastest on track. This is a new Clubman 1000cc lap record.
And remember this is a standard road bike with race plastics, an end can and a reworked standard shock. No engine mods, no front suspension tweeks. So a happy and jumping loon back at the pits with an 8th. Commentator, Dennis Hobbs giving it Darren Ross this, Darren Ross that over the tannoy. I think he paid him.
Race 2. Brilliant start, and up from 8th to 5th by the 3rd corner. He was hard up the ar5e of the bike in 4th on the 2nd lap, when the red flag came out due to a crash at the chicane. Damn. I think with a clear track he may have ran with the guy in 4th, if not, he would have had a straight run on his own for 5th, and hopefully some good consistant laps.
Re-start, and again poor start. Down to 11th and stuck behind the GSXR again, where he stayed for the race, although they both passed a few people and Darren finished 9th, just 0.082 behind the guy in 8th. If he had passed the GSXR he may even have got a 7th. Best lap 53.18
Race 3, the following day after a nice kip in a freezing cold van. (I wasnt there on the Sunday, so only some details).
Started 9th on the grid, and again had a poor start. Eventually finished the race in 11th, with a best lap time of 53.99.
Race 4. Skys looking dodgy. Started the race from 11th place. Grid had a few people missing behind due to chance of rain. Sure enough the rain came and Darren had to pull in on after lap 3 as he had slicks on. So finally classified as 14th, so down the grid for the next race.
Race 5. Track was now dry again, and getting away in heavier traffic in 14th. Good race this time, getting past some slower riders, and managed to get upto 9th place again with a best laptime of 53.72
Darren was then interviewed on the podium after the event with his tidy orange t-shirt on(for being top Clubman racer in Superbike class), and he says he will be on Motors TV in the next few weeks. Hopefully wont scare your kids if they are watching it.
Good effort, and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. On this evidence, with a bit more bike under him, and the same steady progress i think a top 6 is on the card. Target is to win the Clubman Championship.
As you can see, the bike needs a bit of work, and a bit of funds.
There have been some good donations from a few companies / people, with hopefully some more due after this weekend.
So, if your feeling flush, then please donate if you can.
Some fork springs and a pissy-V custom set up are required hopefully by the next race to give a bit more of a chance against some Â£20k + machinery.