|Weeden: Overtook Michael Dunlop in style|
Practice went well on both bikes. In the initial practice sessions Tom went 6th fastest on his Triumph and 3rd fastest on the SV650, this was certainly a confidence boost going into qualifying and into the races. Weeden went 11th fastest in the 600 qualifying session and 13th fastest in the Supertwin session but was confident that if he got off the line well he good push for a decent result from there.
Tom made a good start in the 1st of the Supertwin races and soon started to make up places. He crossed the line in 8th position at the end of lap 1 and momentarily dropped back to 9th before reclaiming the place back. Tom put some consistent laps together before putting his fastest lap of the race in on the last lap to cross the line in 8th behind Chris Palmer.
Next up was the Darren Lindsay Trophy for bikes of 600cc and above. Weeden was starting at the back of the grid and so just decided to have fun and treat it as a bit of practice. He made a good start again, however on the first few laps his brakes were not working properly causing him to run wide at the hairpins. He still managed to pull the bike home in 17th place after 8 laps around the Olivers Mount road circuit but was adamant he should have finished higher if it wasn’t for the brake issue.
In the David Jeffries Cup Tom finished 8th in both the Heat race and the first leg, but had sorted out the brake problem and was confident that he could produce a good finish in the second leg on Sunday.
Tom only completed 1 of the two available practice sessions on Sunday morning in order to save the only set of wet tyres the team had for the races. He completed 2 laps on his Triumph and went 9th fastest and then posted the fastest time in the Supertwin session after pulling in after only 3 laps. This boosted Tom’s confidence and he knew that if it was wet for the races then he was in for a good chance of a decent result.
After 1 lap of the 2nd leg of the Darren Lindsay Trophy the rain started to come down whilst all the riders were on dry tyres. Tom pulled in hoping to be allowed to change to wets and that the race would be restarted. The race was then halted before half distance which meant a full race restart would be made. A lot of the riders felt it was a passing shower and went for intermediate tyres or drys for the restart, Tom however decided to risk it and kept the wet tyres on hoping it would rain again otherwise he would chew up his only set of wets. From the very back on the grid Tom had nothing to lose and everything to gain and decided to go for it for the 3 lap restart.
After 1 lap Tom had moved up into 10th. Then on the second lap the rain came down and Tom decided to gas it and make up as many places as possible. Weeden found himself in 5th going into the last lap and decided to just keep his head down and stay focused in the difficult conditions.
On the last half of the lap he caught up with the TT stars on their 1000cc bikes and snapped up the opportunity to overtake such high profile names. Tom moved up into 2nd place, overtaking Michael Dunlop around the outside into one of the hairpins and was ecstatic as he crossed the line to take 2nd from very last on the grid.
Tom was next out for the second leg of the David Jeffries 600 Cup. From 12th on the grid, Tom made good progress on the first lap and crossed the line in 9th position. On lap 3 Weeden moved into 8th position and set his sights on the next rider in front of him. On the fifth lap he moved into 7th place and put in some fast laps to gap the riders behind. Tom crossed the line in 7th and then was straight back out in the next race on his Supertwin bike.
The last Supertwin race had to be restarted twice after two incidents occurred on the track. But once they got away Tom made a great start and slotted into 4th place on lap 1. The rider in front narrowly avoided highsiding in front of Tom and he had to quickly make avoiding action as he slotted up into 3rd place. He remained there for the remainder of the race to take another top 3 finish and end the season on a high.
Tom left the Oliver’s Mount road circuit over the moon with the results he had achieved and he can’t wait to return next year.
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