Clarke secures third spot in Supersport 600 series

Aaron Clarke.
Aaron Clarke.

Aaron Clarke secured third place in the British Superstock 600 series at Brands Hatch.

The Coningsby rider and Draper Racing teammate Tommy Philp were both in action this weekend.

Clarke finished in 11th place, while Philp rode to 12th and then ninth in in the British Supersport races to end his season in 15th place overall.

Clarke has been a revelation this year, recording three second places on his way to the final round.

Going into the race at Brands Hatch he was just six points away from the runner-up spot and had everything to race for.

But the weather was against him as it had been raining heavily prior to his race on Sunday.

There was a dry line beginning to form but it was still too wet for dry weather tyres and the track was very greasy.

Clarke began the race from the middle of the front row and held second place for a while before dropping back and he eventually crossed the finish line at the end of the 12 laps in 11th place.

But his rival for the runner-up spot, Joe Sheldon-Shaw, completed the race ahead of him and Clarke had to be content with third place in the championship.

“We gambled on a dry setting with the wet weather tyres but it turned out to be the wrong choice and I had no grip at all,” Clarke said.

“But although it was hard work I managed to keep it upright and finished the race.

“I am a bit disappointed I couldn’t get that runner-up spot but I managed to hang on to my third place in the championship which is good.

“It’s a nice way to end my time with Draper Racing with a top three finish in the championship.”

Philp, from East Kirkby, began his campaign in the British Supersport Sprint race on Saturday from the fifth row.

But after just two laps the race was red flagged and the restart was to run over the shortened distance of eight laps.

Philp began his move forward to 13th place and on the final lap passed Richard Kerr to take the chequered flag in 12th position.

Starting the final race of the 2018 championship from the sixth row in the wet on Sunday Philp was 14th on the opening lap but began to make progress through the field to 12th.

He was elevated to 10th when two of the front runners crashed and he crossed the finish line in 10th at the end of 18 grueling and difficult laps.

But one rider ahead was in the GP2 class and didn’t score points in the main championship so Philp was awarded the seven points for ninth place. He ends his season in 15th place on 78 points.