Solid Start for TCG’s Stewart Willetts at Brands Hatch

March 19, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
BMCRC Clubman 1000 Championship rounds 1& 2
Brands Hatch 11th & 12th March

Report by Jon Tanner

Two excellent 4th places in the BMCRC Clubman 1000 class were ample reward for TCG Motorsports after a hectic weekend in the Brands Hatch pit garage. Brake problems in Friday testing and a broken chain sustained in an earlier race on Saturday almost derailed Stewart Willetts’ championship challenge before it had even started!

Routine checks carried out on the TCG Suzuki GSXR-1000 during Friday testing revealed a hairline crack in one of the front brake caliper brackets, and after much phoning around the team managed to obtain a pair of stock replacement calipers on Saturday morning. After some rapid spanner work by the pit crew, Willetts made it to the starting grid of the first Open 1300 race with only seconds to spare! The race was stopped after 6 laps but Willetts had passed in excess of 15 other competitors to finish in a creditable 14th place. During the second of Saturday’s Open 1300 races, however, the final drive chain broke, damaging the water pump and engine casings. This left the team with a lot of work to do if they were to make the first round of Willetts’ main target for 2006, the BMCRC Clubman 1000 series. Fortunately the first Clubman race was delayed until Sunday morning due to poor light conditions and snow flurries! This gave the team the time they needed to repair the bike.

Starting from pole position but still wary of unfamiliar brakes on his TCG GSXR-1000, Stewart rode to a safe fourth place in Clubman race 1. In the second clubman race he finished 6th on the road and 4th in class after a mistake cost a couple of places on the last lap. Overall Stewart and the team can be well satisfied with two solid points scoring finishes which should guarantee a front row start for the next round. TCG Motorsport Team Principal Gavin Wheeler was also happy, saying,

“After the dramas of Friday and Saturday there was a possibility we could leave here having not started either of the races, so to score this many points is definitely a great result. The team worked really well together under pressure and we’re going forward to the next round in a strong position.”

Willetts lies in 4th position in the Clubman 1000 championship, with 26 points.

“I really wanted to win some silverware for the team after all their efforts this weekend, so I was a little disappointed not to get a top three finish after two front row starts. The good news is that we know what we’ve got to do to challenge for wins at the next round,” said the 34-year-old from Southend, who was full of praise for his team. “I wouldn’t have been able to race at all without TCG’s support - they sorted the bike out and all I’ve had to do is concentrate on the riding!”

The next round takes place at Snetterton in Norfolk on the 25th and 26th March.

About TCG Motorsport

TCG Motorsport was established in 2005 to identify and maximise the potential of young and talented motorcycle racers, with the ultimate goal of competing at National or International level.

In 2005, TCG helped Tom Gazzard to achieve 3rd place in the BMCRC Rookie 600 championship, and Stewart Willetts to 7th place in the BMCRC Clubman 1000 series.

This year, TCG Motorsport, in association with BanditMania and PJT Photography are also delighted to welcome new rider David Hallett into the team. He will be racing the BMCRC MiniTwins class, after a successful 2005 season when he finished 2nd in the popular Yamaha Past Masters championship. The MiniTwins Championship begins at Snetterton on March 25th.

If you’re attending a BMCRC race meeting in 2006 please visit the TCG Motorsport awning for a cup of tea and a chat; they’re a friendly bunch (except after a crash!). You’ll be especially welcome if you’ve got any sponsorship money to spend!

© TCG Motorsport 2006