The infamous Wigan microclimate had some tricks in store for around five the British Superlite championship at Three Sisters race circuit. It turned out to be a weekend of two halves, with Saturdays testing in the rain, and the main championship race action fought in glorious sunshine with full slicks out in force. A long flowing circuit layout was selected from the many options at this versatile venue, which meant that only a small mistake could cost multiple track positions with the racing being so close at the Midway stage of the Championship.
The British Superlite 600 drivers were the first out for their qualifying session in the morning. Gordon Knox in car 47 was showing a return to form securing fourth place on lap nine. One hundredths ahead and onto the front row we had Phil Redfearn in third position. Turner and Swann battled hard for Pole position but in the end Swann No.110 secured the front spot.
Onto race one and Swann capitalised on his Pole position to get the Holeshot, followed closely by Turner and Knox. Redfearn dropped back to 4th off he start but by lap 4 had got himself in to 2nd position. Meanwhile Biswell No. 113 was following him through the pack, a quality display of overtaking. This new order at the front looked set to stay until on the last lap Swann got caught overtaking a back-marker which opened the door for the chasing pack to jump through, Biswell who started in fifth, taking best advantage of this, was able to take home the checkered flag.
A quality second race for the 600cc two-stroke Superlites, the two drivers at the lead of the championship, Swann and Turner, starting in the mid-pack with lots of work to do. Biswell got away clean with Redfearn on his tail, Turner not far behind them after a great start. As the battle ensued at the front, Swann tussled with Paul Smythe No.33 who held his cool with some excellent driving, however Swann getting the upper hand on the 3rd lap and made chase for the leaders. Biswell held on to take victory despite heavy pressure from Turner who finished a close second. Swann made a pass stick on lap 8 to take 3rd position from the black and gold machine No.50 of Redfearn.
The third and final race of the day started as the last ended on lap one but this soon changed as Swann got past a seemingly off the boil Turner and took the fight to Biswell at the sharp end. This left an intense 5 way battle for 3rd place, Gordon Knox who had dropped one place earlier in the race gained a second wind to make an incredible jump from 6th to 3rd into lap 6. During this tussle Willie Mac no.555 who is still in his first few meetings showed his potential to secure 4th place. However he came under heavy pressure from the experience of Phil Redfearn who took 4th place before the flag. Knox held onto a well deserved 3rd place while Biswell despite the best efforts of Swann kept it clean and tidy to secure the race win and overall victory for the meeting.
Overall Top 5 Results: 1st Ian Biswell No.113 2nd Jake Swann No.110 3rd Phil Redfearn No.50 4th Tony Turner No.84 5th Gordon Knox No.47
The mighty Honda Fireblade powered Superlites were blessed with a full line up of all the potential pace setters for Round 5 and the fans were expectant of some fierce action. Qualifying was thoroughly exciting with the fastest times swapping almost all through the session on the live timing feed. Mark Rushton was straight on the pace, having a close battle on times with Bren Simpson No.11. The ultra smooth Phil Lee posted a hot time at the midway stage to secure a front row spot in 3rd place. Pole position came to a battle between Richardson and Swann No.210, however when Richardson threw a chain halfway it looked like he had lost his chance but Swann didn’t quite manage to better his time so it ended with No.17 just clinching Pole.
With their grid position battle over and paddock tweaks made they lined up for the first Championship race of the day at 1pm. Richardson No.17 made a clean getaway for the holeshot with fast starting Macbeth on his heels from fourth on the grid. Swann had some issues off the mark and left himself with work to do. Macbeth spent the next 9 laps filling the leaders mirrors trying all the tricks in his book, while Swann passed Lee and took up the chase. Rushton and Lee on almost identical lap times had a fantastic battle in 4th and 5th, while just behind them the senior of team Macbeth No.52 was trying to hold off heavy pressure from the immaculate machine of Simpson and Morgan No.119. The order looked set at the front until Macbeth tried a move just a tad too ambitious and this was enough for Swann to gain two places and take the lead. Richardson held onto second place but Macbeth was unable to get restarted and third place went to Phil Lee after a soil drive.
Even before they set off for Race two it was set for action, the reigning champion at the back of the grid and the winner from the last race having issues with launch. The lights went out to another great start from Richardson, but an even more impressive blast from Rushton No.22 to tuck in behind him for second place. Swann settled into third place with Matthew Morgan on form in 4th. Rushton couldn’t withstand the pressure from Swann on lap 2 who then set his sights on the leader. Wayne harris who starred at the last round was just getting back onto the pace was the next to challenge for a podium spot after passing Morgan, lap after lap Rushton held him at bay before a smart move on lap 9 earnt him 3rd place. The leading duo managed to break away a little which allowed Swann the chance to use wide lines and somehow he made the car stick round the outside of turn one to take the lead which he held to the flag. Rushton was able to regain 3rd position to take the final podium spot.
With all the Supermoto classes showing strong entries, the final race of the day was on track just before 5pm for a showdown to determine the overall results for the meeting. Mr Rocket powered Rushton made a blinding start from the outside front row to take the holeshot from Richardson and then Swann. No.1 Macbeth regaining some composure to tuck in behind them. With immense pressure on the Monster themed No.22 Superlite it was just into lap 2 that both his chasing rivals were able to slip through with No.17 still ahead of No.210. Macbeth simply wasn’t showing his A game after another mistake demoted him to the back again where he stayed to the finish. During the fray Lee took great advantage of reading the situation and jumped from 7th to 4th into lap 3, keeping Rushton honest. For the final chance at Victory Richardson kept his cool head and smooth lines meant he took the win after twelve laps of intense racing. Swann finished just a few hundredths behind him and Rushton held firm the advances of Lee to earn third on the race podium.
Overall Top 5 Results: 1st Mark Richardon No.17 2nd Jake Swann No.210 3rd Mark Rushton No.22 4th Phil Lee No.10 5th Bren Simpson No.11
The British Championship moves on to Teesside Autodrome, Middlesborough for Round 6 of the series on the 20/21 August. Hope to see you there!