WNT UK Ltd
Team WNT/Burman Racing took on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit at the weekend and continued to show improvements in race pace, tainted slightly by some minor mechanical issues. However, Sam fought through to post improvements on her personal best times on this iconic circuit.
“Once again we had good pace from the outset and I was putting in lap times that were a big improvement from my own personal bests, lapping one second faster than I had ever been before in the first 30 minute practice session. This highlights how well I am getting on with this bike.” With the Brands Hatch GP circuit being one of Sam’s favourites it was little surprise that things continued to improve and, in the first qualifying session, further gains were made placing Sam in provisional 21st place on the exceptionally competitive grid of 36 riders.
Not wanting to be satisfied with that the team made a number of minor changes in order to make further progress up the grid and this paid off come Saturday mornings. The Motostar riders were first out on track and were met with terrific conditions at 9:00 in the morning. Half way through the session Sam dropped into the pits for a new rear soft tyre, a move that added even more feeling to the bike and allowed Sam to knock a further 0.5 seconds off her best time, moving her up to 18th on the grid for the first race of the weekend.
“I was full of confidence on the grid and knew if I could get off to a good start and get in a good group of riders I could improve my pace even more and really go with them. Unfortunately, once the race started I hit a problem with the clutch that that made it difficult to select lower gears on the down shift. In spite of this I was determined to do my utmost to set a good lap time, in order to secure a grid spot similar to my qualifying performance. With everyone else racing hard and me trying to ride around the problem this wasn’t to be, though, and for race two I found myself dropped to 23rd spot on the grid, two rows further back for race two on Sunday.”
Sunday morning saw Sam and the team bounce back from the disappointment and put in some solid times in the morning warm up session, equalling her qualifying time in the 10 minutes they were allowed on track. With confidence restored it was time for race two only for the clutch problem to re-emerge. In spite of this Sam pushed hard but the problem saw her run on three times due to lack of engine braking and the sensible decision was taken to retire from the race.
“There are a lot of positives to take from the weekend, even if we didn’t get the results that our pace deserved, as the lap times we were achieving could have lifted me to 12th place. We can take the positives that for the second weekend running the team has been more competitive than we ever have before and I really, really, enjoyed my weekend. I couldn’t achieve what I am doing without the support of my team and sponsors, so once again, a massive thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.”
Sam and Team WNT/Burman Racing now look forward to a weekend at their home track of Cadwell Park over the Bank Holiday weekend of 27th -29th August.