|Croix en Ternois 11th & 12th June 2005|
- Barry Lukehurst - Minitwins
I had been looking forward to this weekend all season. Croix en Ternois and Lydden Hill are my two best circuits. Where i always get my best results. I feel so comfortable riding these two circuits.
William, (Retired Gostar racer) my girlfriend Pauline, and myself drove my van loaded with both race bikes and caravan down to Folkestone from Ashford on Thursday 9th of June. We boarded the 7.00am train to France. Our journey to the circuit was trouble free. Just went like clock work with no traffic problems. We arrived by 11am and set up camp. We spent the rest of the day chilling out, having a few beers, and enjoying the good weather. Later on we have a nice BBQ, followed by a few more drinks. William joined Rob Elsmere and a few others for a game of football in the evening.
Friday 10th of June was practice day, starting at 9am. The day went really good until late in the afternoon. As i return back to the paddock, having just finished my practice session. The rear tyre went down very quickly. Mmmmmm, nice big hole right in the middle of the tyre. So i removed both wheels and took them over to the tyre man to exchange for a new set. For the remaining sessions i took my spare bike out. (Last years race bike) So i did not lose any track time. Once i had finished my practice sessions William took both bikes to have their technical checks done. So i would be allowed to race them during the race weekend. Having both bikes passed, leathers checks. I was ready for the weekend ahead.
In the evening Pauline made all three of us all a lovely meal and we settled down to watch a dvd in the caravan. Afterwards, William joined the lads in the paddock for a game of football. Pauline and myself decided to take it easy and watched from the comfort of our chairs with a drink in our hands.
Saturday 11th of June was the first race day. I went out in the morning practice to scub in my new tyres. Had a good practice and felt really good for my first race.
Race one, Minitwins. I really enjoyed this race. I had a big battle for 6th, 7th, and 8th place. Every lap the three of us were changing places. I held 6th for the last two laps right up until the last corner. I knew i had two minitwins nipping at my heels. I gassed it too hard coming out of the last hair pin. Did a second gear wheelie, lost ground trying to regain control of my bike. Finished 7th, lost 6th place by 0.041. 8th place finished behind me by 0.281. It was a great race. I returned back to the paddock with a big smile from ear to ear. William told me it was the best he had ever seen me race. Which was very good of him to say and yes, i think i would have to agreed with him. A great result all round.
Race two was the Clubman 400-650 shootout. Sadly on the warm up lap the Championship leader lost control of his bike and crashed. We all had to reform on the starting grid while the fallen riden was given medical attention.
After a long period of time the race was restarted. We had to do two warm up laps as our tyres were cold. On the first warm up lap a fellow racer crashed on a simular part of the track to the earlier cash. I felt unsettled, as i think most of the grid did too. The first few laps were at a slower pace until everyone settled into the race. I finished 10th.
Afterwards i was informed the 1st fallen rider had lost his live. Racing was stopped for a while. Until the Police had view the spot where the accident had happen and had taken all the details.
Race three was the minitwin final. I was still feeling unsettled from the earlier race. My mind kept wondering when i should have been focusing on the race itself. On lap 5 i crashed going too fast into chain snappers curve. I was in 15th place chasing 14th. I was very lucky and managed to get away with very little damage. A quick wash down for the bike and myself. Adjustments/repairs to the bike and i was ready for the next race. A big thankyou to William and Pauline for their quick thinking and help.
Race four was the second Clubman 400-650 shootout. During this race i had to work on my confidence and focus more in my riding. I finished 12th.
In the evening Pauline cooked all three of us a lovely meal. We have a few drinks and watched a dvd. William later on played football with Rob and other racers in the paddock. The mood in the paddock was very different to the evening before. Sunday 12th of June. I went out for my morning practice session. All seem ok.
Race one was Minitwins. I was more settled and focused better on my riding. I had a excellent start and found myself in 4th place going into the second corner. However, i braked to early on the corner where i had my crash the day before. Lost 4 places in one corner. The race panned out ok. I had a few good battles during the race and finished 9th.
Race two was the Minitwins final. This was the last race of the weekend. It was a right ding dong race. With no one giving any room to anyone. I finished 14th.
I came away with 18 points for the Minitwins championship and 10 points for the Clubmans 400-650 shootout.
The next meeting is Pembrey 24th, 25th &25th of June. This will be a new track to me. As i have never been to Pembrey. So will have to wait and see what happens.
Barry Minitwins #96