Pirelli UK GP45 race report from Pembrey
With summer apparently cancelled for 2012 the NG Road Racing paddock splashed through a test day afternoon with yet more rain falling on South Wales’ premier race track. Pembrey Circuit in Carmarthenshire has hosted many NG race meetings, usually offering a mix of conditions but is renowned for it’s grippy surface when the weather turns wet. However, after the disappointment of a cancelled Mallory Park meeting back in April all riders where champing at the bit to get their season back on track.
Saturday 19th May, round four qualifier
Although blowy, come midday the weather was dry and cloudy allowing the GP45and mini-twin riders a chance to show what they can do around the 1.456 mile circuit. After an exciting Super Single debut at Brands Hatch Peter Carr was keen to bring the race to 2011 GP45 Champion Matt Andrew. Two new challengers have joined the party in the form of novice riders Nick Beere on the ARK Racing Ltd Yamaha WR450 and Somerset’s Jonathan Grover on his Kawasaki KX450. Carr’s Pistolracing.co.uk Kawasaki KX450 made excellent progress from the start pushing forward every lap and taking the flag in an impressive on-the-road 3rd position and top step for the GP45s. Just 2.45 seconds in his wake came James Stacey having one of his best ever results on the Bluebell Lakes Honda clinching 2nd GP45 spot and 5th overall. Andrew rounded out the top three GP45 positions in 6th on-the-road but was shown to be losing transponder signal. Peter Carr threw down the gauntlet by putting in a best lap of 1:05.55 – the quickest of the entire field including the mini-twin riders.
Bluebell Lakes’ team leader Tony Bridgefoot held his grid slot of 11th overall and claimed 4th GP45. Beere and Grover set about getting to grips with the little Super Single machines both enjoying a successful opening round and making good progress.
Saturday 19th May, round four final
With six rows of mini-twins and Super Singles ready and waiting Peter Carr was eager for a repeat performance of his earlier qualifying race and score a healthy crop of points in the final. Stacey and Andrew sat one row back both with their eye on Carr. This time around the racing proved faster with a best mini-twin lap in the 1:03s, pistolracing.co.uk’s rider Carr improved his PB a little further achieving a 1:05.44 and again quickest GP45 and crossing the line in 4th on-the-road, only fractionally tailing the 3rd mini-twin. Just 0.25 behind Carr arrived a rejuvenated Matt Andrew on board the ADP/Machine Tool Sales online Suzuki improving on his time from the qualifier considerably and scrapping hard with his rival. James Stacey again presented another impressive ride to collect 3rd GP45 and 7th overall.
Missing from the qualifier Liam Murtagh joined the race astride the Corby Kawasaki 450 Super Single but had to make his way from the back of the grid. As another newcomer to the series Murtagh showed excellent promise, making up nine places to clinch 5th GP45 spot behind series regular Tony Bridgefoot on the other Bluebell Lakes Honda 450.
Sunday 20th May, round five qualifier
Sunday presented another dry but cloudy race, Matt Andrew had it all to do from way back on the grid with Carr and Stacey comfortably placed on the front two rows. However, by the end of the first timed lap Andrew was up to 6th position on-the-road and had the green Kawasaki and distinctive riding style of Carr in his sights. The pair dualled race-long producing one of the most enthralling battles of the weekend. After 11.648 miles of heated exchange, Peter Carr crossed the line the GP45 victor, 4th overall and a new class lap record in the bag at 1:05.27 – averaging over 80mph. However, it was literally neck-and-neck at the line with Andrew’s ADP/Machine Tool Sales Online RMZ450 a mere 0.16 behind! Within 2.65 seconds James Stacey of team Bluebell Lakes also took the flag for an excellent 3rd GP45 and 6th on-the-road demonstrating how competitive these 450cc Super Singles can be amongst the 650cc mini-twins.
Liam Murtagh, Saturday’s pilot on board the Corby Kawasaki 450, handed over the reins to Mark Carkeek who was returning to the Super Singles following an impressive class debut at Brands Hatch in March. Carkeek took 4th GP45 with Bluebell Lakes’ Tony Bridgefoot in 5th, Nick Beere on the ARK Racing Ltd WR450 in 6th and Jonathan Grover in 7th on his KX450 – both novice riders making commendable lap time gains from the previous day.
Sunday 20th May, round five final
Having secured the front row Peter Carr was keen to snatch the Championship lead from Matt Andrew, however James Stacey was now looking like a real contender for the rest of the season and was on the hunt for his first GP45 victory. Once again Matt Andrew took flight after Carr and they pair locked into another tough battle, in the closing laps Andrew got the better of Carr getting his head down and gunning for the big points. Sadly all was lost for Andrew with a crash at the hairpin, Carr collected an excellent 3rd on-the-road and the final [url="http://www.gp45.co.uk"]GP45[/url] win of the weekend.
James Stacey also crashed out at the first corner shortly to be joined on the DNF list by Bluebell Lakes team mate Tony Bridgefoot who suffered a blown engine. Despite this bad luck Bridgefoot was delighted to have reduced his previous best lap time by three seconds over the course of the weekend.
After the full 10 laps Corby Kawasaki celebrated a 2nd place GP45 finish and 5th overall for Mark Carkeek, Nick Beere collected 3rd GP45 with Jonathan Grover in 4th – a great result for his first ever race meeting.
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