Checking the weather forecast in the run up to Thundersport’s second trip of the year to Cadwell Park, you’d have expected the Sunday to be a complete washout, but thankfully the anticipated heavy rains never materialised.
With just two rounds to go to the end of the season, points were at a premium for all riders looking to make a title challenge heading into Snetterton next month, including GP1 Classic rider Ryan Strafford.
After leading the championship in the early part of the season, a double DNF at Mallory in June had cost Ryan dearly, and despite five podiums in the two following rounds, title rival Sam Cox had slowly been edging away at the top of the points table. Both riders would start on the front row of the grid at Cadwell in the opening race, and at the finish line they were separated by just 0.025s as Strafford tried in vain to get the upper hand. Another second and third place would follow, but in the final contest of the weekend, Ryan really got his head down as a real dog-fight ensued at the front between the pair. It truly was the race of the weekend, and the lead changed hands on several occasions, before the West Yorkshire rider hit the front to take his first win in four months by less than 0.8s at the chequered flag. Also running on the same grid was Andy Denyer in the Golden Era SBK class, where our former ‘Rider of the Meeting’ winner would go on to take an impressive win on the Sunday morning.
The Golden Era Supersport grid was packed out at Cadwell, as Richie Harrison looked to put an end to Andrew Windsor’s domination of the class this year. Harrison would take four impressive podium finishes on the RAP Racing R6, with Andrew Batner, Ian Lawton, Rob Vickerman and Liam Vella also inside the top ten over the course of the weekend. However, no one seemed to be able to find a way past Windsor, who edged a little closer to the title.
For Golden Era Steelsport protagonist Dave Langley, there was an opportunity to sew up the title with a round to spare in Lincolnshire. However, despite his three 2nd places and one win over the weekend, the Tyres 4 Bikes supported rider left Cadwell just one point short, although he remains odds on favourite next month in Norfolk.
Langley would also go on to take a win in the Combined Services RAF race, followed over the line by Rob Vickerman in 2nd and Andrew Castle unlucky not to make the final spot on the podium.
Chris Lavisher made the most of the damp qualifying conditions to start on the second row in the ultra competitive Pre-National Sport 600 class, and he put in a fantastic performance in his opening race to climb to 2nd place. He was unlucky not to make the podium again later that day, as he took 4th in the second of Saturday’s contests.
After almost a year out of racing, it was a successful return for Ryan Redman in the Stocktwin class, as he grabbed a win in the final race on Sunday. There was also a trio of podiums for Alberto Solera, as Rob Kirk, Andrew Castle and Tom Foster also grabbed some solid points by finishing inside the top ten.
At Snetterton it’s everything to play for next month, with double points up for grabs guaranteed to attract a healthy crowd both in the paddock and around the track, and we’ll be there as always.
Photo credit – Ian Boldy Superbike Photography.
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