Words: Michael Wincott
The third round of the British National Superstock 1000 Championship took place at the iconic Silverstone Circuit 5-6 September with Whakatane local Damon Rees having another successful weekend on an unfamiliar circuit.
Rees, who is sits in 3rd position in the championship after two rounds commented before the race, “It’s been an awesome start so far for the Carl Cox Motorsport supported Astro JJR racing Team, and I’m looking forward to continue the momentum into Round 3 here at Silverstone.”
With limited testing time due to Covid-19, free practice one was Rees’s first time to ride the circuit, going into the practice session Rees felt confident that with every lap he would be getting more experienced and quicker. Completing a total of twenty-four laps within the thirty minutes session, Rees ended the session in 16th position, 1.273 seconds off the fastest time set by Danny Kent.
Free Practice two was held later in the day, with Rees now more familiar with the circuit, as well as making adjustments to his BMW S1000RR. With the changes in place, Rees dramatically improved his lap time and finished the session in 6th positon, just 0.216 off the fastest time set by Rouse. The top seventeen in the session were covered by one second demonstrating how competitive the British Superstock 1000 championship is.
With the free practice times being close it was vitally important for Rees to get a good starting position for race one of the weekend. After making a few setup changes during the qualifying session, Rees managed to improve his lap times on each circulation eventually posting a lap time of 54.394 seconds which was good enough for second position on the grid, only 0.218 off Danny Kent’s pole position time.
Speaking after qualifying, Rees said, “I was feeling really confident going into qualifying, I knew what I needed do”
Fellow New Zealander, Shane Richardson would start from ninth on the grid 0.628 off pole.
Race one of the weekend was held over 24 laps. Rees, who was starting from his best qualifying position of the year, got off to a fantastic start managing to get the holeshot and lead into the first corner. By the end of the opening lap Rees was leading Tim Neave and Chrissy Rouse, by 0.297 seconds.
Rees would hold onto the lead of the race until the end of lap 7 when he was passed Tim Neave. By mid-race Rees encountered an issue with his quickshifter and dropped back into fourth position behind his championship rivals, Tom Neave, Danny Kent and Chrissy Rouse. For the remaining five laps of the race, Rees battled with Kent and Rollo for third position, eventually just missing out on the final step of the podium by 1 second.
After the race, Rees commented, “I’m really happy with the race. Of course I would of loved to have been on the podium, but a P4 finish is great toward overall championship points.”
Rees’s teammate Shane Richardson had a strong race finishing in eighth position to claim some valuable championship points.
The second 24 lap race took place on the Sunday afternoon in warm sunny conditions. Rees started from 6th position on the grid, which was determined by the riders’ fastest lap time in race one.
The race got off to a frantic start with Lewis Rollo taking the lead on the opening lap while Damon held on to his starting position of sixth. By lap eight the leading six which included Rees had pulled away from the rest of the field. After conserving his tyres for later in the race, Rees with two laps remaining passed Rollo for fifth position which he would hold until the finish. Rees finished 1.827 seconds off the race winner Tim Neave.
Shane Richardson continued his strong weekend and finished in thirteenth position.
After three rounds of the championship and scoring points in each race, Rees is in 3rd position in the National British Superstock 1000 Championship on 66pts, now 36pts behind championship leader Tom Neave.
Round four of the British Superstock 1000 Championship will take place at the picturesque Oulton Park Circuit over the weekend of 18th and 19th September. Live timing and coverage can be found on the BSB Website.