Sunday, 15 April 2012

Great weekend for Team PFR (Pension Fund Racing) at Thruxton

We've had an awesome weekend of racing here at the fast, bumpy Thruxton circuit. Tricky weather for practice and qualifying, then familiar territory for the races saw us take two 2nd place finishes and a double win in the premier (rookie) class.

New ruling had been made with regard to classing. They divided us into two classes - Elite and Premier. Elite being the main class, with the fully sponsored British Supersport ride with Triumph being the main prize, and Premier, with a fully supported ride in the Triumph Triple Challenge again the next year being the prize. I had chosen to be Elite as I am aiming for the Supersport ride, but now they've found I am eligable for both as I have no experience in British racing and have not finished higher than 3rd in any other national championship. Elite is for the more experienced, and premier for less experienced riders.

This morning we woke to clear skies and sunshine, which, uncharacteristically, held all day for a great day's racing. The crowds arrived by the tens of thousands!

We had no morning warm up today and went straight into race 2 with just one warm-up lap. I took up my 2nd position on the grid, based on our fastest laps from race 1, and waited for the lights go out. I got off the line well and dived into turn 1 behind fellow countryman, Phil Atkinson, who got the holeshot from 3rd. Rob Guiver, race 1 winner was behind us in 3rd, and in hot pursuit. Phil upped the pace and the three of us broke away and a hectic race of swapping of paint and positions ensued!

Nearly every lap saw the lead change with all three of us taking it multiple times during the 12 lap race. With Thruxton's long sweeps lending themselves to slipstreaming and dive-bomb passing, the fight was on and at very high speed! The pace got very fast with all our laptimes covered by less than 0,1sec! The lead swapping continued the entire 12 laps until 2 to go, when Rob and Phil passed me for the lead. I got Phil back and had Rob right where I wanted him - just in front of me coming onto the final lap. Unfortunately he found a turn of pace in the last few fast sweeps before the final straight and, setting the fastest lap, leaving me just out of reach of his slipstream. I braked as late as I dared but it was only just not enough! We went through the final chicane and over the line with Rob 1st, me 2nd and Phil 3rd. What a race!

We were back on the podium! I pulled into the podium box and was once again greeted by my over-joyed dad. And many cameras! The BSB series really know how to make you feel professional. We made our way to the interview box, did all the Eurosport interviews, then collect our trophies at the podium.

First up was the premier class, and I got to stand on the top step of the podium to collect our 1st place trophy! Then the main class, the Elite class - We took up our positions in front of the crowds, collected our trophies and let loose with the champagne!

We did our last two interviews with other motorsport channels and headed back to the pits. All the time thinking to myself what a professional series the Brits run.

We are now sitting back in the caravan after watching the Superbikes and other spectacular bikes finishing their day's racing, planning to leave leisurely in the morning for home.

We are very pleased with our results this weekend and I had a great time racing against the likes of Rob Guiver and Phil Atkinson and all the others in this closely fought championship.

Thank you to everybody who was backing us this weekend, at home in SA and abroad!

I will post more photos during the week. If you want to be added to our mailing list, please send me your email address on Facebook, Twitter, on here or directly to me at

Thanks, again!

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1 comment:

  1. wow James, if you only knew how much excitement you are causing... poor Evie might not make it through many more races. I was getting minute by minute updates via bbm. It is strange to see you and Phil racing as I have known you both since babies. I keep thinking of your mom and how she must be feeling. Keep up the good work. btw I phoned Mrs Clayton at sbs to tell her the news, she was going to let Mr Hill know as he is now retired. She said to tell you they are proud of you. be good and look after your old man ;)