D Shaw #33, FML Motorsport, Round Two Ducati TriOptions Cup.
Brands Indy circuit is a stand out round in the TriOptions Cup calendar as it is both a technically challenging circuit and the shortest by some margin at just 1.2 miles long. The nature of the track means that bike setup is inevitably a compromise and 1/10ths of seconds count for a lot more than in other races. The weather forecast initially predicted wet weather which would improve over the weekend, but this wasn’t quite accurate in the end.
Friday practice highlighted some issues with the bike setup which we worked on throughout the weekend with help and advice from Andy at KAIS Ohlins suspension. Conditions were dry but overcast, Danny’s time was 13th fastest despite the setup issues. Qualifying brought similar results putting us 14th on the grid for race one with the bike still not handling as we would have liked.
Saturday delivered glorious sunshine and Danny lined up in the middle of row five of the grid. Corner one at Brands is dramatic and can be a real scrum on the first lap, unfortunately Danny got boxed in at both Paddock Hill bend and Druids and finished lap one in 19th place. The rest of the race was spent clawing back positions and through sheer determination Danny finished back in 14th place. A hard race to finish where we started but finishing in the points is always good for the championship.
Danny’s lap time from race one positioned him 13th on the grid for race two, being on the outside of the grid reduces the danger of getting boxed in so we were more optimistic for a good start. A rain dance paid off and right on cue the heavens opened half way through the race before ours. The team worked together and delivered a fully setup wet bike to the grid within minutes, with Danny now eager to leverage his wet weather skills to maximise points. A great start and Danny was making positions from the off, pushing through the pack lap after lap to finish six places up in 8th position. Track conditions were acknowledged by all as being very challenging with the rain making grip levels exceptionally low, so to push through to finish 8th was an excellent achievement.
Taking 10 points home from both the first and second rounds puts us in tenth place in the championship, given the incredible depth of talent in this series this is no mean feat for a team in its second season. As always it was great to catch up with sponsors and friends over the weekend, the only disappointment was that our friend Jack Wills had to follow the race from hospital but we look forward to seeing him again soon.
Thanks to the kind support from all our sponsors Freelance Mechanics clutch and gearbox specialists and mot centre, Knightsbridge Cars, Furness Fluid Power Ltd, Graphixsigns LTD, Harry Barker Properties Ltd, Emlyn Street Tyre Services, Infinity Fitness & Nutrition, IRVS VW Restorations, Putoline UK, MBR Motorsports ltd, KAIS Suspension Services LTD, Custom Fit Guards.
Photo Credits to Neil Pidduck.