Dan's weekend started with an extremely cold and wet practice session. Determined not to waste a session it was a good opportunity to ensure the freshly built Supersport bike was running as it should and had the power to be competitive. After only a few laps, Dan decided he would be better off saving his ice-cold hands and retired back to the garage early.
Whilst still wet, the second practice session on Friday afternoon was slightly warmer, and with qualifying fast approaching, Dan knew he had to get some laps in. In damp conditions, with a dry line forming, Dan managed to keep inside the top 7 for the majority of the session. As the lyre started to go off, it was a sensible decision to call it a day, and the final timing sheets presented an encouraging, yet humble 14th position.
With the circuit drying up on Sunday, Dan and the rest of team were keen to get out in qualifying. Unfortunately, just a few laps in, the bike suffered a minor electrical issue, causing a misfire and ultimately a lack of power.
Disappointed and frustrated, Dan once again returned to Parc femme in 20th position.
The power issue was soon rectified, but it was then the weathers' turn to wreak havoc on the weekend. After a dry day, 10 minutes before the Supersport sprint race it started lightly raining - leaving many teams unsure on tyre choices.
In the end, the team opted for a dry front and rear combination, urging Dan to take it steady for the first few laps until a dry line was ensured. Following his directions well, Dan started the race at a steady pace, and gradually improved his lap time and position, ending the 8-lap race in 14th, qualifying 12th for Sundays feature race.
Once again, the Supersport feature race on Monday involved a tough lyre decision. With heavy rain all day, the track was drying quickly by 3 p.m. Many wet patches remained on the circuit, and the team decided to stick with full wet tyres. After a mistake at turn 1, Dan found himself back in 21st position at the end of lap 1. He battled through the conditions and finished the race in 16th position. After the race, frustrated and disappointed, Dan was keen to put the weekend behind him and move towards Brands Hatch with a positive and motivated attitude.
In the Superstock 600 class, Dan's teammate Cameron Lee had a strong start to the season. After a minor breaking issue caused early retirement in free practice 1, Cam went on to finish 10th in free practice 2 and qualifying in tough conditions. With a 6pm Sunday race, Cam got off to a good start, only to be involved in a collision on Lap 4, bending his clutch lever out making it difficult to downshift. Still determined, Cam worked his way up to 9th
position, but in the final sector of the race an arm-pump issue caused by the clutch lever led to the him missing a gear, and ultimately falling back to 11th on the final corner.
Overall, it was a difficult weekend for the team, but we are heading into round 2 with a smile on our face and a positive attitude. We are sure both riders can run at the front, and predict Brands Hatch will be a different story.
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