Clearly the most important motorcycle championship in the UK is the Hottrax Motorsport Racing Club endurance series, however few of us realise that some of our regular riders are fortunate enough to be competing at other levels both home and abroad.
Jovial but rapid rider Pete Jennings appeared on board the championship winning GBMoto R1, his day job is crew chief with Rizla Suzuki who have vastly improved this year to guide Tom Sykes into 4th place within BSB and team mate Atsushi Watanabe further down the table whilst landing bronze position in the manufacturers championship.
Also appearing on the same bill as BSB were Welsh Superstock 1000 pilots Phil Bevan and Rod Lynn who also enjoyed considerable kudos in endurance racing with race winners Co-Ordit Racing and Sweatshop Moores.
Part of the Co-Ordit mob was Notts rider Richard Cooper who was part of the BMW works endurance team racing at world level and winning their class.
The diminutive Cooperman must have been one of the busiest racers on the planet as other weekends between March and October saw him racing or winning in Superstock 1000, Rob McElnea’s Henderson R1 Cup - where he struck a single win and finished 7th overall - and nailed a brace of wins and no less than three second places in the KTM Super Duke R Battle making third in the championship all his own.
On his spare weekends Pidcock’s white van man charged around Darley Moor as if he owned the place winning both legs of the annual Stars at Darley bash as well as testing more development BMWs than you could shake a stick at on his days off!
Moores' man, appearing at Cadwell, James Hurrell also saw service in Superstock 1000, whilst in Supersport 600 HMRC runners Craig Fitzpatrick notched up 13th overall with a highly creditable 1st in the Cup; the rapid and personable Jenny Tinmouth was 7th in the Cup and other regular riders appearing included Ben Wylie, Jon Railton and Sam Neate.
As well as Cooperman, Phil Bevan and Danny Brill made their presence felt in the Henderson R1 races and bike journo Bruce Wilson joined Coops in the KTM Super Duke R Battle during 2008. It was a real pleasure to see Maria Costello racing in a wide variety of settings, in addition to HMRC Mario was also at the Manx, TT and other demanding strips of tarmac around the UK.
Other regular Hottrax riders have a racing life outside endurance racing, Moores men Jim Agombar and Tony Jimenez are both very accomplished competitors on the classic/historic scene and there will be others including young chargers.
Keep an eye out for Fred Russo and Tom Young who have been campaigning Honda CB500s all season and moved up to R6 Yams fairly recently – 2009 should be a successful time for them. At World Endurance Championship level, most of the HMRC jockeys probably wished they could participate but only Alex Cudlin and Richard Cooper obliged.
Other people making one off appearances of note included the man from Cork, Declan Swanton and Keith Pringle – if I have left anyone off the list of incredibly talented people, to me all riders are heroes to appear in Endurance Racing.