Has all the winter preparation paid off ?..... Let's get on the grid and find out…..
The 2021 NG Road Racing season sees seven rounds staged between April and September at all of the UK’s premier circuits with Brands Hatch, Donington, Oulton Park, Cadwell, Pembrey, Castle Combe and Pembrey on the list. This great spread of venues means that the very best riders end up as class champions. At each meeting the season long championship runners are joined by wild cards that dip into the series for one off outings to spice things up nicely.
This meeting sees Brands Hatch returns to host the traditional NG season opener. Brands can be a daunting prospect if the temperatures are low. This will set the scene for the year, but as any rider will tell you a championship cannot be won at the first meeting for the year, but it certainly can be lost !!!..... So, after a devastating year for everyone in 2020, lets keep our fingers crossed for a full season of racing in 2021
The long winter months working away in the garages all over the country by the UK's hard-core club and national level riders is now done, the wait is over, it's time to get back out on track. The massed paddock of riders are keener than ever after last year’s COVID ravaged season to get back out on track. Luckily, we did manage to hold two meetings in 2020, totaling six championship rounds and Max Symonds ended up lifting the club’s premier open class on his new BMW……. well done Max, who emulated his dad Joe’s Premier class win from some twelve years ago back in 2008.
In preparation for this year the lucky ones may have been able to get down to France or Spain to test, the not so lucky ones will have been to Mallory Park or Pembrey for a finger freezing test session. Whatever your pre-season prep today you find out if all the work has paid dividends.
As at every NG Road Racing meeting, we have timed qualifying on Saturday morning with the first of the weekends three championship points scoring races in the afternoon. Two more championship races for each class will take us through Sunday straight after the riders have had the regular morning warm-up sessions.
Each championship class carries twenty-five points for a win, going down the scale to one for fifteenth place and there are a total on twenty one rounds this year spread over the seven meetings. The range of classes take in the full gamut of machines, from Formula125 modified road bikes, all the way up to the tricked out 1000cc superbikes, with everything catered for in between from 600cc to Mini-Twins and Streetstocks to Suzuki Bandits.
The Brands Hatch Indy circuit is just 1.198 miles long but packs in six big corners. On a bike the machine is never actually upright as the “so-called” straight sections, like the Cooper straight are so short, and are linked by some big corners. Just take a look at the circuit map, and you will see what I mean. Brands has a great place in UK racing with a track that dates back to 1926, although a switch of direction in 1964 to the more recognisable layout proved a hit. It is one on the only venues in the world to hold WSB, F1, GT Car, WTCC, Indycar and Nascar, and was always rammed back in the late 1990's when Carl Fogarty was at his peak in World Supers pulling in over 80,000 punters for race day.
Josh Day is the NG Road Racing lap record holder here putting in a lap at 91.94mph that's a time of just 47.29sec, set back in March 2017 on his ZX10R Kawasaki when he was battling all weekend with Chrissie Rouse. However such is the nature of this circuit that Kyle Ryde got his RS GP Honda round in just 50.16 sec in 2011…that’s 86mph…..less than 3 seconds slower!. Any riders will tell you that half a second around Brands Indy is like the best part of two seconds at most circuits!
Adding extra interest to the weekend NG Road Racing are again running the British National series for 125cc and 250cc GP machinery. This is the only place in the UK that you will see these full-blown ex-GP machines racing for a full British Championship title backed by the ACU (The sport’s governing body). We also have the Ducati Desmo Due Series, Formula Prostocks runners and for fans sidecars we have the first round of the ever-popular ACU/FSRA British Formula 2 championships.