Donington Park in the United Kingdom hosted the penultimate round of the British Superstock 1000 Championships at the weekend (October 4-5), with Kiwi hero Damon Rees again in the thick of the action.
With torrential rain and high winds forecast for the weekend, Bay of Plenty man Rees took advantage of the dry track in free practice 1, completing 13 laps in total. Rees set a lap time of 1.33.170, which would be good enough for 12th position.
Free practice 2 took place in wet and windy conditions, Rees completing six laps, ending the session in 26th position.
The Saturday morning qualifying session was cancelled and replaced with a 10-minute warm up session. With weather conditions continuing to worsen, the organisers decided to postpone race one until Sunday.
The starting grid was determined by the combined times of free practice 1 and free practice 2, meaning Rees would start from 12th position on the grid.
The opening race of the weekend for the British Superstock 1000 class got underway on a drying track and Danny Kent grabbed the advantage as the pack stormed into Redgate off the start.
Rees held onto his starting position of 12th, before making a mistake at the end of lap one which dropped him to 27th position.
Approaching mid-race distance, with improving track conditions, Rees started making progress, moving up to 24th.
Going into the final lap, Rees had moved up to 19th which he would hold until the finish.
Billy McConnell was the race winner after making a last-lap pass to beat long-time race leader Lewis Rollo.
The second race of the weekend was held later in the afternoon on a dry track.
Rees started the race from 22nd position on the grid.
Race one winner McConnell made the best start as he led Chrissy Rouse off the line. Rees held onto his starting position as all the riders jostled for position going into Redgate. As the riders approached the end of the opening lap, Rees was looking comfortable, pushing hard to make up positions, but, going into the Melbourne Loop for the first time, he crashed, ending his race early.
“Unfortunately today didn’t go as planned,” said Rees.
“After a P19 in race one, I was confident I could improve in race two. I got off to an awesome start, but it was short-lived as I crashed into the Melbourne hairpin on the opening lap, unfortunately injuring my Right AC joint. … I’ve already done my left, so now I’m even on both sides,” he laughed.
“If there’s a way for me to be on the grid at Brands Hatch, I’ll do my best to make it happen.
“I’m so sorry to let my Carl Cox Motorsport supported Astro JJR Racing team down, as well as all my sponsors, but I refuse to give up.”
Words and photo by Michael Wincott
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