HARRY Leigh got his Thundersport Superteen campaign off to a flying start, bagging three wins from four at Donington Park as Cameron Dawson took the other.
The Hopkins Racing rider, who now has 600 ace Luke Hopkins as a team-mate, made the switch from an Aprilia 450 to Luke’s Kawasaki 300 this year as he aims to take the title.
But tricky conditions and his lack of wet experience on the new bike made qualifying a struggle for the local lad, and he could only manage fifth.
Instead it was series newcomer Dawson, aboard a Ryan Farquhar-supported KMR Yamaha R3, who pipped last year’s Superteen championship runner-up Matthew Bower to pole in the wet by just 0.054 seconds as Adam Phipps completed the front row.
And when the lights went out for race one, Dawson was off like a scalded cat. Putting his mixed-conditions experience in Ireland to good use on the damp circuit, the 13-year-old destroyed the rest of the pack as he crossed the line a whopping 21 seconds clear of trouble – even with a 10-second jump-start penalty applied.
Louis Rendell brought his Rendell Racing Aprilia home in a comfortable second place, 13sec ahead of the KTM of Phipps.
After crashing out of the first race while recovering from a less-than-perfect start, Leigh made up for his DNF by leading lights-to-flag in race two, beating Rendell and Bower to the win by 3.8 and 4.9sec, respectively.
And it was another lights-to-flag victory in Sunday’s first race as Rendell and Bower once again completed the podium. But Rendell was ready for a fight as they entered the final race of the day.
The top four finishers in race three had already broken Rory Skinner’s 1:23.971s lap record, but Leigh and Rendell made sure to obliterate it in the final Superteen scrap of the event, both skimming the 1:22.3 mark as the latter now holds the new record at 1:22.336sec.
The two broke away from the pack early and entered into their own lone fight for the lead, but it was eventually Leigh who made it a hat-trick of wins as he beat Rendell over the line by no more than a fairing – just 0.043sec – while Bower took another third.
“Louis and me broke the pack early and were able to pull away,” Leigh said. “Our battle was epic swapping, place a couple of times a lap…it was fast, we both smashed the lap record fighting for position until the line.
“Three wins feels good. The standard of riding is high, with BSB [Junior Supersport] riders in there too. I’m now looking forward to the next round at Oulton Park as I like it there too.”
*Main image: Paul Soulby
*Dawson image: Ian Boldy
*Trophy image: Louis Rendell #101