HE’S had a few years out, but this season Graeme Banfield has his eye on NEMCRC Supertwin honours.
The Morpeth rider is currently lying second in the points table, just 15 behind leader Richard Charlton, and is hoping he can close that gap at East Fortune this weekend.
This year he plans to contest all rounds of the North East championship after only making a few last season in the year he made his racing return.
He began his racing career back in 2006, honing his skills racing against fellow Northumberland rider Graeme Gowland, and spent the next few years racing all kinds of machinery.
Racing 600s and 1000s in various club racing paddocks, he was a regular NEMCRC and Derby Phoenix frontrunner, but then decided to take a few years out to concentrate on his career and raising his family.
But a couple of years ago the thrill of racing and passion for bikes got too much, and Graeme decided to build himself a Kawasaki ER6 from scratch.
Arming himself with a welding machine and several other pieces of kit, he transformed a damaged shell into a race bike, while also helping David McConnachy build his own ER6 to race on the roads.
After racing it in a couple of NEMCRC rounds last year, he then grafted over the winter to fabricate, engineer and finely tune parts for his own and other riders’ bikes -including another ER6 for McConnachy, who plans to make his Manx GP debut this summer.
And he came back well as the season opened at Croft last month, with a string of quick laps proving his hand built bike was a decent match for his rivals as he took a nice haul of podiums.
Now he’s looking forward to East Fortune this weekend, where he plans to improve his times and his results and boost his championship challenge.
*Images: Supplied by David McConnachy