Tank slapper costs Clarke positions

Aaron Clarke. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Aaron Clarke. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

The draperRACING riders Tommy Philp and Aaron Clarke were at Brands Hatch for a round of their respective championships over the weekend.

Clarke, from Kirton, recorded 17th position in his Superstock 600 race and East Kirkby’s Philp was 16th and 17th in his two British Supersport races.

Clarke was struggling with set up throughout free practice and qualifying but battled on to begin his race from the seventh row of the grid.

Starting the Stock 600 race from the seventh row, Clarke got away to a good start, making up places to 17th on the first lap.

He made progress through the field on every lap and was running in a strong 10th place with two laps remaining.

But as he exited the Cooper straight and over the hill he had a massive tank slapper and did well to save the crash.

As he went to apply the brakes at the next bend he realised the pads had chattered and was forced to pump the brakes before they decided to work.

By this time he had lost a lot of ground and was down in 16th position and was relegated to 17th on the final lap.

“I was doing around 130mph when I had my tank slapper and believe me I thought I would crash for sure,” he said.

“But we saved it and I managed to finish the race.

“I am disappointed with 17th but pleased I could run with the fast boys at the front of the field in 10th place.”

Philp qualified in 22nd place (18th in class) for his first race on Saturday.

The race was delayed because of torrential rain in a previous race and it was still drizzling when the Supersport riders took their grid positions.

Because of the previous delays, the race was to be run over 10 laps instead of the original 12 and, as the lights went out, Philp made a fantastic start moving through to 14th place on the first lap.

But as the track dried it became apparent that Philp had encountered a problem with the bike and he began to drop back.

He became embroiled in a three way battle for position but was unable to build on this and crossed the finish line in 19th position.

But three riders ahead were in a different class resulting in Philp being awarded 16th place, just missing out on a point scoring position.

Starting the Feature race on Sunday from the middle of the seventh row, Philp didn’t get the best of starts and lost places.

But he got his head down and began to make up ground to Sam Cox and Richard Steadman and the three spent the majority of the race batting it out for places.

Philp finally passed Steadman on lap 11 and went on to get the better of Cox four laps later.

He began to pull clear but it was too late in the race to make any impression on the riders ahead and he crossed the finish line in 19th place overall.

But the two guest riders who finished ahead were excluded from the results and Philp was awarded 17th place.

He said: “I was held up trying to get past Sam and Richard, if I could have got past earlier I could have got myself up into the points.

“I had a really bad start and went down the straight with my front wheel off the track.

“That lost me a lot of places so I was on the back foot before we really got going.

“But I had a good race and am happy with 17th in the circumstances.”

The next round is at Thruxton over the weekend of August 4-6.