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Interserve Racing Season Opener Brands Hatch GP

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Interserve Racing Season Opener

Last weekend Ross Walter and all at Interserve racing headed to Brands Hatch in Kent for the first round of the 2008 British Supersport season.
Friday practise saw Ross firmly place his authority on the rest of the club pack pushing his Triumph Daytona 675 from the first lap. In fantastic conditions Ross quickly got into the flow and made improvement upon improvement on his lap times. On lap 21 of his 22 he put in a fantastic 1.33.7 placing him 22nd of 44 runners but more importantly 2nd in the cup competition for privateers.
In debutant mode the team prepared the bike and rider for the second session. With the weather conditions remaining fine and dry Ross was despatched for another 20lap session. Again Ross continued to improve throughout the full length of the run, taking his personal best lap on the last circuit, taking a massive 0.7seconds off his previous time putting in a 1.33.0 placing him 4th in the cup competition.
Over night the weather turned with wind and rain. With the track still wet as time for the session came round the team took the decision to send Ross out on wet tyres. Ross kept it steady lap after lap maintaining a mid 20's grid spot. With 10mins remaining after discussion with the team the fateful decision was made to remain on wet tyres due to standing water despite the fact the rain had stopped. In just these ten minutes the track dried rapidly. Ross struggled to fight the bike around the drying track with the rear wet tyre moving around every time he asked anything of it. While he faught the tyres other riders who had taken the risk with dry tyres put in consistently faster laps pushing Ross down the field. He eventually placed a disappointing 36th overall 11th in the cup.
With this mistake put behind them it was soon time for the second qualifying session. With the weather vastly improved and the track now dry it was all to play for. Ross set off strong, but felt he was struggling compared to the competition at a number of points on the long, fast GP section. On lap 17 as he powered out of Surtees up the hill he heard a load bang and lost all power, he instantly pulled off the racing line and slowed the bike with no idea of what had gone wrong. Placing the bike against the tyre wall he could see the oil filter was sat in the belly pan with a large section of engine casing still attached. Due to the oil set down the session was red flagged giving Ross time to run back to camp to pick up the second bike while the officials cleared the oil from the circuit.

Heading back out the famous red mist descended and Ross put in a fantastic lap 0.5 seconds faster than anything else this session. Unfortunately in the rush to get back to the pits he had not removed his timing transponder from the damaged bike, with no official timing his fast lap could not count towards his qualifying effort.
Ross' 1.34.3 lap stood placing him 37th on the grid for Sundays race. The teams mood was markedly mute compared to just 24hours before. Ross knew he was going to have to fight hard in the race to resurrect the disappointment felt all round.
Sunday morning greeted the team with snow covering the ground. As preparations continued for the warm up session the snow continued to fall heavily. The brands hatch team fought the snow fall but after a couple of hours of work the team at MSVR had to take the decision to abandon the round as it would be unsafe to attempt to run as the conditions continued to worsen.
Team Principle Ross Walter snr described the conditions as
"Awful, just terrible. Stuart Higgs (race director) has made 100% the right decision there is no way that we could race safely here today."
The Brands GP Race will take place the weekend of 11-2th May along side some for the BMCRC events originally scheduled for that weekend.
Interserve racing will next be in action at Thruxton 19-20th April.
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