PHIL Atkinson was back to his dominating best at the weekend as he continued his race-winning return to the Dymag 250GP ACU National Championship.
After taking two wins at Anglesey last month, the two-time champ boosted his series lead as he banked three wins at Cadwell Park.
Aboard the Declans Racing TZ250, Atkinson took command from the start of the weekend, grabbing pole by 1.452secs over Bruce Dunn as John Lea rounded out the top three and the front row.
Taking a lights-to-flag victory in Saturday afternoon’s race, he beat the PG & J Lea Plumbing machine of Lea by more than four seconds, as James Hind took third.
Sunday’s morning’s sprint race brought more of the same for the South African, as he once again controlled the race from the front, building up a steady lead to take the win by 6.205secs.
This time, it was Dunn’s SGT Plant & HGV Services TZ that crossed the line second, as Lea banked another podium in third.
But the afternoon’s race wasn’t quite so easy. Despite grabbing an early lead and stretching a gap at the front, the race was red flagged and after the race was delayed before a re-start over four laps was announced, Atkinson was anxious about tyres.
“With one warm up lap and a four lap race, I was a little concerned about the lack of heat in the tyres so I figured I would take it a bit easier and keep behind the leaders for a couple laps until I was confident that my tyres were back up to temperature, then make the moves back to the lead,” he told UK Clubsport.
“But those four laps went very quickly and I found myself in second place on the last lap behind Bruce Dunn. I tried to pass him a couple of times but he was defending really well, so it was all down to the little chicane before the mountain.
“I was committed and went for the pass, Bruce again defended very well and there wasn’t really any room.
“I went past him, and I tried my best to make the chicane, I made the first part, but went in way to hot and ended up on the grass. Somehow I stayed upright and managed to keep the lead and got the win.”
Atkinson beat Dunn over the line by just 0.077secs as Hind took third on his Chris Barrat Transport/BTS machine.
His Cadwell hat-trick has helped him extend his championship points tally to 145, with Dunn sitting second on 100 and Thomas Lawlor third on 90.
“It was a great weekend, it went really well,” added Atkinson. Bruce was so close at the line in that last one, it was great racing.
“The Declan’s racing TZ250 is running perfectly at the moment and we just need to keep this momentum going now. Roll on Snet.”
*Main and Bruce Dunn images: JTW Motorsport Photography
*Phil Atkinson side image: Steve Snelling