SERIES chiefs at Thundersport GB have revealed an all new class structure that they hope will level the playing field for up-and-coming big bike racers.
The organisation’s flagship GP1 class runs some of the quickest times outside the British Superbike paddock, but previously riders have had to either contest a newcomer’s Cup (Freshman) class or jump into the deep end with the likes of John Ingram, Lee Williams, Phil Crowe and the rest of the heavy hitters in the combined Sportsman/Elite race.
Now, however, a new category has been carved out to reflect the four-tier structure of the 600 class with a level between the rookie and Sportsman ranks.
The new Crowe Performance-sponsored GP1 Sport class will cater to 1000cc racers on the same plane as the Pre-National Sport 600, and Thundersport chiefs believe the move will help improve both safety and rider progression.
“We held a review of the structure of the Thundersport GP1 classes this week due to the number of riders moving straight from their Novice year on lower capacity machinery directly onto a 1000cc machine,” said Marketing Director Syd Day.
“Under our 2018 rules, those riders were automatically classified as Thundersport GP1 Sportsman competitors, due to the three tier nature of that particular class structure. This meant joining the fastest and most competitive big bike grid in the country outside of the British paddock.
“That is a big ask for any rider, but more so for a rider with very limited experience. The structure we already have in place for our 600 classes is a four tier affair, which allows riders in that situation a breathing space between their first year of competition and then immediately being moved up to a much faster grid.
“The new Sport class will greatly reduce the speed differentials on the GP1 Sportsman/Elite grid and should ensure that safety is greatly enhanced for all.”
*Image: Colin Port