BMCRC AT BRANDS HATCH
I was due to meet Nick Cooper of Skint Racing in the Brands Hatch paddock on Saturday morning to compile a brief profile, snap some pictures, and watch him race at the opening British Motorcycle Racing Club (BMCRC) of the season (Wemoto is lending him some parts support this season). On Friday evening, I received an email from his partner, Sadie, telling me that Nick had an off on his road bike, had sustained a broken collarbone and would be out of racing for about eight weeks. Good wishes from Wemoto News for a complete recovery Nick.
The months that "bookend" the racing season, March and October, are even more of a weather lottery than the rest of the spring and summer months, but on this weekend early spring sunshine bathed the paddock and circuit. Even though the temperature was only just nudging double figures, the mood among the competitors and their entourages were sunny too. Nick and Sadie had sent me an entrance ticket, so it had seemed daft not to take advantage.
For those riders who run at the front end of the various classes, the BMCRC races and championship can be just a step away from the British Superbike race programme. This programme includes classes from where those who can both afford it and handle the performance can run Yamaha R1s, Ducati Panigales, ZX10s and BWM S1000s. Then there are the "budget" classes of Mini Twins, where the Suzuki SV650 predominates, and the 250MZ class: one of the few where you still see and smell stroker.
Humans like to congregate among their own. The MZ riders were gathered at the bottom end of the paddock, obviously happy with each other's company and their leftfield machines. The programme listed a healthy entry of 37 bikes...long may they run.
It's always interesting mooching around a club race paddock, observing how different riders and their teams set up. A good opportunity for pictures too. I watched a few races from the Paddock Hill grandstand, one of the best spectator perches in the world in my opinion. When I first tried my hand at club racing, someone described the Paddock Bend experience as akin to 'riding off the end of the world'.
I trekked up to the inside of Druids Hairpin and elbowed in amongst the photography enthusiasts to get some close-up shots. I was impressed by the neat riding style (and speed) of Number 1, leading the Thunderbike Sport class on a Kawasaki ZXR400. Turns out to be Emma Jarman, who has been riding at Bemsee meetings for five years and was one of last year's champions; she finished second.
Enjoy the pics, and we hope to bring more club racing and Nick Cooper news when he is back on board his Aprilia RS250.
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