Damon Rees will join Lee Johnston in the Ashcourt Racing setup for 2021. Rees, who hails from Whakatāne made his debut in the highly competitive British Superstock 1000 Championship this year, impressing with podium finishes in his first appearances at Donington Park as well as regular top ten finishes Rees eventually finished eighth overall in the championship during his rookie season despite missing the last round at Brands hatch due to injury, commenting on how competitive the British Championship is Rees says ”the field is so deep with talent you could be half a second off and be in 15th so it’s extremely difficult and you need to always bring you’re A-game”.
Rees made the decision to leave New Zealand at the start of this year, despite holding the lead of the NZ-SBK series to take up the challenge in British Championship, thanks to Carl Cox Motorsport, who will again be backing him in 2021.
“I’m extremely excited that I’ll be racing for Ashcourt Racing in the 2021 season along with Carl Cox Motorsport’s support,” said Rees.
“The team’s ambitions and goals perfectly align with what I’m looking for next year, which is race wins and podiums and hopefully a championship challenge. I just want to say a massive thank you to the team for this amazing opportunity.”
Team-mate for 2021, Lee Johnston, said: “We were looking to expand the team and run someone in Superstock, and Damon fits our ‘team personality’ perfectly. He’s talented and motivated but also a nice lad and will fit in well within the Ashcourt Racing set-up. He showed this season that he can run at the front of the National 1000 Superstock class, which is packed with talent, so he’s a welcome addition to our team and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Team principal Phil Reed concluded: “Damon is a grounded lad and a quality rider who has already shown glimpses of what he is capable of in British Championship. He will fit in well here and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Returning to New Zealand for the summer Rees says “ I will be doing as much riding and training in New Zealand over the summer as I can to get a head start on the competition in the uk”.
Rees will be competing in the popular New Zealand road-race Suzuki Series, which is held over three rounds, round will take place on the 5th December at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, before round two from Manfeild, 12th December, with the season decider taking place on the streets of Whanganui on Boxing Day.
This will be Rees’s first opportunity to showcase what he has learned while riding in the UK, though he will be up against some of New Zealands top rider, this will be his first opportunity to tested his injured shoulder since the accident at Donington Park.
The start of the new 11 round season is set to start at Oulton Park in Cheshire on the 2-3 May 2021 before climaxing at the final round at Brands Hatch 15-17 October 2021.
Words: Michael Wincott