CADWELL Park hustler Phil Crowe brought the fight to his home circuit this weekend and led the club racing wildcards in the British Superbike Support ranks.
Among a handful of one-off racers at the Lincolnshire circuit, the local rider qualified in 15th after rain prematurely halted his ever-improving charge in the National Superstock 1000 qualifying session.
Crowe’s less than perfect start hampered his progress as the race got underway and he was passed early by Barry Teasdale and Sam Coventry, dropping back to 17th. But the former Thundersport GP1 champ managed to pass Rob McNealy on the last lap and avoid Sam Clarke’s late crash ahead of him to finish 15th with a championship point to boot.
“That wasn’t so bad considering I had only 25 laps on Pirelli tyres before we raced,” Crowe said. “On the upside I did my fasted lap ever on Pirelli tyres and was running eighth in free practice.”
“We went into the race with some fairly big changes to the chassis and unfortunately we went in the wrong direction. We gained rear grip and lost the steering, for Cadwell I would have preferred the opposite…given a few more sessions we would have sorted the job and the story would be different. Again a big thanks to all my sponsors and crew who all help make it happen.”
Kaine Sheriff, Satchwell Racing’s Richard Molnar and Shirleys Transportation Ltd / Fabrication Station rider Aaron King were all out for wildcard appearances in the National Superstock 600 ranks, making their debuts in the British Superbike Championship support series.
Fresh off a home club win at the Lincolnshire circuit just a week ago with Auto 66, Sheriff qualified on the 10th row in 28th. But leading the charge was CRMC’s Classic 350cc European and Classic 500cc Grand Prix points leader Molnar, who put his R6 23rd on the grid in his first ever 600cc race, just ahead of current No Limits Club 600 runner-up King in 24th who missed Friday’s practice sessions.
When the race got underway Sunday morning, the three club musketeers jostled for position until they locked out P23-P25 on lap four. Running nose to tail, they diced amongst one another, with Sheriff levering Molnar aside on lap five before going after King on lap six.
But disaster struck for Molnar four laps from the finish, as he lost the front at the Gooseneck attempting to up his pace and further advance his position. With another handful of retirements before the chequered flag, Sheriff led King across the line as the pair took 21st and 22nd in their first National-level appearances.
*UPDATE: Crowe was later promoted to 14th.
*Main image: Dave Yeomans
*Side image: Kaine Sheriff Racing