Hebden Bridge based CN Racing endured a tough start to their 2012 Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend with only one points scoring ride to show for their effort as Cirencester's Josh Day finished in 14th place whilst team-mates Danny Buchan and Gavin Hunt crashed and retired respectively.
Former National Superstock 600 champion Day rode a sensible race in the difficult conditions as he made his way steadily through the field. Twentieth on the opening lap, he soon found his rhythm and picked off the riders in front as he advanced up the leaderboard and when team-mate Buchan crashed out, he found himself in 15th place. With one more overtaking manoeuvre, he was able to claim 14th place at the chequered flag and claim two hard-earned points.
It was Basildon rider Buchan that qualified the highest in sixth place and he consolidated that position in the opening stages of the race, which was held in heavy rain. Although he slipped back a little, he was looking good for a solid top ten finish and a decent haul of points but it all went wrong on lap nine when he crashed out at Graham Hill Bend fortunately without injury.
Hunt, meanwhile, was running in 16th place at the end of the opening lap but the Isle of Man rider slipped back down the order and suffering with a lack of grip in the slippery conditions, he pulled into the pits on lap seven rather than continue and risk a crash.
Josh Day: "After chasing a set up all weekend, we eventually got something that worked in the wet and I'm delighted to bring the bike home in the points for the team. Obviously, I want to be challenging much higher up than this so hopefully we'll be on the pace next weekend at my local round at Thruxton. A big thanks must go to the team for their hard work over the weekend and hopefully we can start getting the results we deserve from now on."
Danny Buchan: "It was so hard to get heat into the tyres and there was such little grip it was really challenging today. I was out of the seat so many times so I was literally tip-toeing round, happy to get a top ten finish. I was completely off the throttle when the bike came right round on me and there was nothing I could do. I'm uninjured though and will live to fight another day so I'm confident that we'll be back running at the front at Thruxton."
Gavin Hunt: "We had a really good set-up in the mixed conditions during practice and in qualifying but they just didn't work in the wet conditions and I've never experienced such a lack of grip in a race. I got a good start but I was pretty powerless to do anything as I dropped back and rather than risk a silly crash, I opted to pull in and prepare ourselves for Thruxton."
Dwayne McCracken, Crew Chief: "It was always going to be a race of attrition and, unfortunately, we were part of that so it's been a tough day at the office. Danny was riding well in the top ten, keeping out of trouble but the grip was very minimal and he went down, fortunately without injury, whilst Gavin was suffering with a severe lack of grip so rather than risk a crash he pulled in.
"Josh was behind the game all weekend, still encountering the set-up issues he had in testing, but he pulled a result out of the bag and it was fantastic to get into the points. The team have done a great job all weekend and have gelled together really well so it's onwards and upwards now and, with a few improvements to be made, we'll be looking for a strong showing next time out at Thruxton."
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship (22 laps)1 Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)2 Steve Brogan (BMW)3 Jason OHalloran (Honda)4 Adam Jenkinson (Honda)5 Jimmy Storrar (BMW)6 Gary Johnson (Honda)14 Josh Day (CN Racing Honda)DNF Danny Buchan (CN Racing Honda)DNF Gavin Hunt (CN Racing Honda)