BMZRC, OULTON PARK, APRIL 19.
There was a race practice on the Friday and a few riders took advantage of this, it was especially useful as the circuit had been altered to include a new chicane at Knickerbrook. In practice Tim Kaley, the current leader was putting in some very fast lap times, but John Thompson was also lapping very quickly, it was the first race of the season for John.
Race 1 saw the usual suspects line up, in addition a few who have not raced this season yet also joined the back of the grid. Tim Kaley had an excellent start off of the line closely followed by Paul Emanuel. Unfortunately Jon Hart had a mechanical problem, which saw him limp from the start line to the first corner. Chris Rogers, a championship contender, also had mechanical problems and had to retire out of the race.
John Thompson moved his way through the pack to finish in 2nd place and also put in the fastest lap and new lap record. There was close racing for a few laps between Paul Emanuel, Bernard Morley and John Welfare.
Marek Wieckowski, who was way down the grid (23rd), gradually moved his way through to finish 3rd. Another rider starting from the back, in his debut race of the season, was Martin Baldwin who diced for several laps with Bernard Morley and John Welfare, eventually just getting Bernard on the line to finish 6th.
Simon Nix disappeared from the circuit on lap 5 and re-appeared in the paddock with a rather bent bike. The bike was soon re-built by so many riders that they were fighting for a spanner.
It was very close at the finish for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th positions with Paul Emanuel just being beaten by John Thompson and Richard Lee not far behind.
1) Tim Kaley, 2) John Thompson, 3) Marek Wieckowski, 4) Paul Emanuel,
5) Richard Lee, 6) Martin Baldwin, 7) Bernard Morley, 8) John Welfare,
9) Philip Munday, 10) Tim Timmins.
After their excellent results in Race 1 John Thompson and Marek Wieckowski started from the front row of the grid. And despite their problems both Jon Hart and Simon Nix both were able to start, albeit from the back of the grid.
Marek, Tim, John Thompson and John Welfare had a flying start. Through Cascades John Thompson fell, taking John Welfare with him. Bernard Morley also got caught in the melee, but managed to take avoiding action onto the grass and rejoined somewhere near the back of the pack.
The next bit of reporting may be completely inaccurate as with John Welfare (my husband) having fallen; I was concentrating on watching them cart him off to the medical centre, as he was knocked unconscious! So this is all second hand information.
The incident had allowed a gap to form between Mare and Tim in the lead and the rest.
The next time around Martin Baldwin had made his way to 4th and was having a battle with Richard Lee, which continued for most of the race. With Paul Emanuel keeping third place, until he could keep ahead of the charge by Martin Baldwin no longer.
Jon Hart put up an exceptional run from the back to battle with Chris Rogers for 6th place, which he missed out on by a whisker.
1) Marek Wieckowski, 2) Tim Kaley, 3) Martin Baldwin, 4) Paul Emmanuel,
5) Richard Lee, 6) Chris Rogers, 7) Jon Hart, 8) David Swatton, 9) Phillip Munday, 10) Bernard Morley