Last weekend Barnsley’s Wilson Racing were at Brands hatch in the sixth round of the Hel Performance Motostar British Standard class championship.
The three-rider team had two free practice sessions on the Friday. Max Cook finished second quickest in the morning session before ending the day at the top of the standard class timesheet. Charlie Atkins has historically struggled at this track but was sixth quickest at the end of the first day. Jake Clark had never ridden the Brands hatch GP circuit before and managed to reduce his lap time by 1.5 seconds over the two free practice sessions.
The Moto3 riders were up early on Saturday morning with qualifying starting at 9am. There had been heavy overnight rain so the track was still damp. As a result all the riders started the 30 minute qualifying session on wet tyres. With around ten minutes to go the team took the decision to bring the riders in and switch to dry tyres.
Cook finished qualifying second in his category. Whilst he was a little disappointed he had struggled to find a clear lap. Also he was ninth overall in the combined GP and standard class grid which was pretty impressive.
Charlie Atkins went on to set his best qualifying at this circuit finishing qualifying in fifth spot. Jake Clark withstood the mixed conditions on his first time here to qualify 13th.
Race one was on Saturday afternoon. Having remained dry throughout the morning large dark clouds began to loom and heavy rain began to fall. It soon became an unrelenting downpour. This meant the Moto3 race had to be rescheduled for late on Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday morning the Wilson Racing team riders of Cook, Atkins and Clarke were invited to the BSB Radio studio. The riders were asked about their motorcycle racing careers so far and it was good publicity for the team.
Later on Sunday there was the serious business of two races. The first was the 14 lap feature race mid-afternoon. Max Cook stormed away at the start and went on to win the race by more than 17 seconds. Charlie Atkins was involved in a race long duel with another rider but despite the pressure he took his best ever race result at this circuit, a fifth place. Jake Clark had started in 13th position and finished the race in the points again in the same position.
Race two was the one carried forward from Saturday and was just ten laps. The forecast rain didn’t materialise meaning a dry race. Max Cook again made a fantastic start and continued to open up a gap of over a second a lap finishing 13 seconds ahead of the second placed rider. Charlie Atkins bettered his result in race one standing on the podium for the first time this season with a fantastic third place. Jake Clark also finished the weekend on a high as he crossed the line in 9th place, his best result since joining the team at Snetterton.
Gary Wilson said,” Max’s double was fantastic. He dominated both races from start to finish and make a great step forward in the championship race. Charlie has never really enjoyed the Brands Hatch track before but this time he put those problems behind him with a fifth and a third. Our new rider Jake Clark also had a successful weekend with a 13TH and ninth place finish which means he continues to score points in ever race. I’m so proud of all three of them and can’t wait to round seven at Thruxton at the beginning of August.”