This Easter weekend marked the beginning of the 2013 campaign for the LABMAN supported road race team.
The team consists of Labman employee Gerry Johnson and his son Richard, riding Honda CB500’s in the Thundersport 500 national championship.
Labman Automation are providing some much needed funding towards the team’s efforts this year and the bikes are very professionally turned out in Labman livery.
Saturday was a test day at the circuit, but the team couldn’t participate so the first day of racing on the Sunday was the debut to racing at the Donington Park track for rookie novice Gerry; son Richard having raced there last season.
The entry was a massive 38 in number, and Sunday morning was qualifying followed by 2 races throughout the day. Temperatures were very low and cold tyres a worry with lots of riders going down in qualifying. In a very competitive class Richy managed to qualify a very creditable 11th with (much older) partner Gerry in 35th position.
Race 1 had Richy finishing well up in 9th place with Gerry doing well in 31st place. This race saw Gerry “T boned” by a stray rider at the esses but managed to stay on to finish. Some fettling to straighten bent exhaust before race 2 with Richy in 10th and the old man in 32nd but chipping away at his lap times.
Monday unfortunately saw a crash down the very fast Craner Curves in the morning warm up for Richy on cold tyres but was OK but did mean a lot of repairs to the bike before race 1.
With minutes to spare, we were back on the grid with Richy taking it a bit steadier in a manic race that saw him finish 12th with Dad in 32nd (again!)
Last race of the weekend saw Richy holding a strong 7th place when the rider in front of him went down hard at the Esses. Richy tried to take avoiding action but ended up running the rider over! Richy pulled up in the gravel trap to see if he was OK and fortunately no one was hurt but left Richy unable to rejoin the race.
All in all a very eventful but thoroughly enjoyable weekend! A terrifying but steady debut for Gerry with all qualifying and races finished and as usual with Richy, some great racing and results interspersed with bad luck and crashes!
The racing from Monday will be televised at some point in the next couple of weeks on ”Motors TV” and will also be available on the “I Player” of www.thundersportgb.co.uk so check it out!
Next meeting Snetterton on 27th April
Gerry and Richy Johnson.
RBRacing gratefully supported by Labman Automation.