BSSO 2011: Round 1 – Mallory Park
May 3rd, 2011
Things feel very different for us this year with us having two new riders, one being Joe Ravenscroft who raced last year and is very experienced on the track. And the other rider being Sam Schofield whose had no real racing experience. Last year’s winner Josh Brown is back for a chance to win the title for possibly the third year running. With these three riders in place we didn’t know what to expect at Mallory. As per usual everything was very last minute with getting the Zips ready and the new colour scheme panels not arriving meant two of the bikes were looking a little on the tatty side.
Scrutineering was due to begin at 8am so the early morning drive to Leicestershire was a bit of a killer for everyone. All three bikes and riders passed with no issues which meant it was time for a practice run. Josh and Joe were, as expected, the two fastest Zips out there. Sam on the other hand was a bit uneasy due to the number of riders on the track all fighting for the perfect line, however it was his first meeting so he can only get more confident in traffic.
Race 1: The sighting lap took place then everyone was sat on the grid waiting anxiously, the lights went out and away 16 auto scooters screamed off the line. Before they reached the end of the first lap out came the red flag due to Phil Bevis having an unfortunate off which resulted in a broken collarbone and head injuries. A fifteen minute wait or so took place before the race was back in progress. Up at the front Josh and Joe were battling it out for first place which was a bit nerve-wracking to watch as the last thing we wanted was our team mates wiping each other out on the first race of the season. Luckily this didn’t happen and it was Josh who took first with the fastest lap of 1 minute 09.07 seconds, Joe came second with a fastest lap of 1 minute 10.79 seconds. Sam finished in eighth position which isn’t the best but for his first race he was extremely nervous and a little too polite within traffic.
After the intermission for dinner Joe realised he had some sort of fuelling or possibly ignition problems as the bike was hesitating on the throttle then bogging. After swapping the carb and having no luck his dad Pete decided to do an engine change. This was completed just in time for the second race. Josh’s bike had the usual checks and a fresh belt was all that was needed.
Race 2: Everyone got a good start off the line in race two with the odd rider maybe jumping the gun a little bit. Josh and Joe were again the front runners along with a surprisingly quick Craig Bewey. Joe and Josh were battling it out from the start with some extremely close racing and in lap four Josh set a new lap record of 1 minute 08.43 seconds (top speed of 73.13 mph). The frantic pace continued and in lap five Joe pushed it a little bit too much resulting in an off at Shaw’s Hairpin. Josh crashed into Joe’s bike but luckily managed to stay on. This gave Craig the lead that he needed and he went on to win the race leaving Josh in second. Sam was a lot more confident in race two and came a respectable fifth due to holding his line during traffic and generally being more confident among other riders.
All in all it was an interesting start to the 2011 Championship. It gave us all an insight into what we should expect to see: Josh and Joe constantly pushing each other will make for some very interesting lap times and seeing Sam progress in confidence through the year to hopefully being somewhere near the front.
Words: Adrenalin Pedstop
Photos & Videos: Paul Robinson