Monday, 27 June 2011

Cadwell Park Rounds 3 & 4 - ACU Clubmans Championship

Following his lacklustre results from the first round, Phil and the Team headed to one of his favourite circuits, the fantastic rolling countryside of Cadwell, in the hope of improving his Championship position. Phil was looking forward to trying a new type of tyre this weekend and he’d also managed to spray the bodywork and replace the damaged petrol tank – and it looked fantastic!

With the meeting being held over the Bank Holiday, the test day was on the Saturday and the Team had plenty of time to set up the awning, etc.

The morning sessions were used to “get his eye in” and Phil then changed from the slicks he’d been familiar with for nearly 6 years to a new, treaded Bridgestone. Initial impressions were not that favourable – although there wasn’t anything radically wrong with them either! But after a few adjustments to the suspension Phil became more accustomed to them and improved his times slightly.

The Friday evening was spent changing to the newly painted bodywork and putting the bike through scrutineering - and the bike looked great!

After initially trying the tyres in practicing, Phil decided to use them in practice and Race One to see how they held up. Phil had also (finally!!) got the new Lindstrand Leathers back after adjustments and set off in practice......however he was so, so lucky as both the new paint and leathers were nearly ruined in the first 200 yards! As he'd rolled out of the holding area along with the other riders, a 600cc competitor ran underneath him at the hairpin. Lifting slightly, Phil followed him through Barn and just as they began to build speed the 600 simply crashed to the ground! Luckily, Phil narrowly managed to avoid both rider and machine and continued his practice.

In Race One Phil got an average start and the cold conditions were immediately highlighted when one of the front runners highsided exiting the Gooseneck. It turned out to be a fairly steady, uneventful race and Phil was really struggling with the jump over the Mountain finishing 8th. The tyres were ok but still felt vague, although they gave lots of grip.

Phil got a poor start in Race Two when the lights went on/off/on and then off! He wasn't the only rider caught out and was lucky not to get a jump start penalty. Struggling to maintain his quick pace his times dropped off, and after a few silly mistakes he was mugged on the last two laps finishing 11th, frustrated and annoyed!

Fitting a new set of tyres for Sunday's Race One, Phil got a better start and pushedfrom the off. He was just hanging onto the two riders in front but again faded on the last 2 laps as his times dropped off and he finished 8th. Although disappointed he was boosted slightly as he didn’t realise he was as high as 6th!

For the second and final race of the weekend the weather had deteriorated and it was much colder and extremely windy. Battling the elements as much as the track Phil didn’t feel fast and it showed, his lap times were slower and he couldn’t settle into a rhythm. Phil finished 11th but the bike and rider were upright and Phil gained vital points.

Again, frustrated and disappointed with both the results and his lap times Phil hopes to improve at Anglesey in June!!

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