It was certainly great weather for ducks at Brands Hatch over the weekend, with dismal conditions on the Saturday contributing to more than 100 crashes during the day’s racing.
However, despite the weather a number of promising riders running on Continental tyres produced some fantastic results over the weekend at the famous Kent circuit, including several wins and podium finishes.
The ContiRaceAttack Rain proved extremely popular on the Saturday, with a number of riders using it for the very first time and coming away impressed with the performance of the soft compound in the cold and wet conditions. Sunday finally saw some dry weather arrive in the south of England, so the new ContiTrack Slick had it’s first competitive outing in the UK, along with the ever popular ContiRaceAttack Comp treaded tyre.
In 2016 we are backing Ryan Strafford and RS Racing in the Golden Era Superbike championship once again, but unfortunately for Ryan the bike (pictured above; photo credit to Ian Boldy) encountered technical issues during the warm-up, and subsequent fueling problems meant it was very much a weekend for damage limitation when they finally made it onto the grid on Sunday. Despite being unable to rectify the fueling issues, Ryan climbed up from 21st on the grid in Sunday’s first race to finish 8th in class, and was extremely impressed by the edge grip available on the new ContiTrack Slick – and we’ll have a full race report from Ryan and the RS Racing team very soon.
Continental race dealer Tyres 4 Bikes are working with a number of riders in 2016 in Thundersport, and the opening round of the season certainly didn’t disappoint for them. In the Golden Era Steelsport class Honda CBR600 mounted Dave Langley had a superb start to his season with a 3rd placed finish, followed by three wins, giving him a vital early lead in that championship. Suzuki rider George Lawson was also running on Continental tyres in the Supertwins, and in both of Saturday’s wet races he bided his time to take two exhilarating last lap victories, and followed this up with two 5th placed finishes on Sunday in the dry. George also recorded two fastest laps on the Saturday. Jack Thompson was also making his Thundersport debut in the Elite 600, and came home with a credible 13th placed finish overall.
In the Selco 600 Freshman class, Alex Laureys was disqualified for overtaking under a yellow flag in race one, but came back strong with a class win in the second race despite starting 25th on the grip, registering a fastest lap in the process. On Sunday, Alex recorded further strong results and another fastest lap with a 2nd and 3rd place, putting him in the early running around the top of the points table.
In the Golden Era Supersport championship promising young rider Ryan Cooper of Coops Racing had a difficult day in the rain, coming home in 11th in race one, and failing to finish the 2nd race due to fuel pump issues. However, Sunday was a much more productive day, with Ryan showing his talent to carve through the field and grab two 3rd placed finishes and some valuable points. Fellow competitor Martyn Bloomfield was also amongst the points with three top ten finishes over the two days.
The Knight Road Racing team and rider Rik Ballerini had the luxury of a back-up bike over the weekend, which came in useful after the lead bike encountered issues early on during the weekend. Riding in the GP1 class, Rik was using the new ContiTrack Slicks for the first time on the Sunday, using the same tyre in both 16 lap races and reporting no drop off in performance.
Finally Team MTR’s Michael Tustin had his best ever start to a season competing in the GP1 Sportsman class, recording three 2nd placed finishes and plenty of valuable points, again being impressed by the performance of our new slick racing tyre despite the low temperatures.
Congratulations to all the riders involved over the weekend, and thanks to everyone who came to see us in the paddock!
We look forward to seeing you all in action again at Donington at the end of the month.
Find out more about our race tyre range here.