Brands Hatch GP Final Round
This season’s final BSB round took the team back to our “home track” at Brands Hatch for the middle of October. As usual, Brands lived up to all expectations and we had mixed conditions ranging from sunny and warm to monsoon rain conditions! Fortunately, the majority of bad weather occurred in the evening after the race has finished.
The weekend started with practice on Friday morning and allowed Thomas to test the bike since the last round at Assen where the bike received some damage in Race Two. The conditions on the GP track were dry but cloudy and Thomas managed to finish in 11th place. Qualifying started later in the day and Thomas was able to improve on his lap times finishing in 6th place for day one.
Saturday morning started brighter with lighter cloud, Q2 started just before 10am and the clearer conditions helped Thomas improve further by nearly 1 second from day one finishing in 4th place on the grid. With minor adjustments to the bike, the team felt confident for the first race later that day.
Race one saw Thomas get a good start holding his position through the first lap before getting into a battle with some of the Open class bikes. The 10 lap race continued well for Thomas but unfortunately he was not able to catch the leading bikes and eventually finished in a strong 5th place. Saturday evening saw Brands Hatch deluged by rain with the team having to take emergency action to avoid being swamped by running water coming down the hill and through the awning!
We woke to better conditions on Sunday and the chance for a dry race with brighter skies. Once again Thomas started well from 5th position but going into Paddock Hill Bend, another rider fell and his bike skittled down the track and right into the path of Thomas so he had to take avoiding action. The first few corners saw a number of riders jostling for position until the pack settled down. Thomas started lap two in 8th position with a gap to make up to the next group of riders. The longer race distance of 12 laps gave Thomas the chance to fight back and by mid race he was pushing low 1:38 second laps on a damp track. As the race progressed, Thomas saw a chance to catch the group in front and pushed hard dropping his lap times to 1:37.6 in the final stages of the race. Entering the last lap, Thomas passed one bike and moved up to 6th place. Holding his nerve through the final lap, Thomas chased down the bike in front and as they raced to the line he managed to snatch 5th place. The result might have been so different, if the first lap incident had not happened but the team were extremely pleased with the result and felt that Thomas had tried everything to get back into a better finishing position.
That evening the team reflected on this season and celebrated finishing 6th overall in the 2016 Hel Performance British Motostar Championship Moto 3 Standard Class.
“I would like to thank all our 2016 Partners, TS25 Supporters, family and friends for contributing towards the year. I could not accomplish racing at National level without the support of so many people and businesses. I would also like to personally thank Billy Giltrow, Lorne Case, Andrew Strudwick, Keith Rose, Allan Rennie, Colin Leeder, Alex Cairns and especially my Dad for helping me get to and from the circuits! See you all in 2017!”