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Thundersport GB Championship Donington Park 26 March 2017

After nearly freezing to death at the BSB test day mid week, Sundays Thundersport GB event was a pleasant change with clear blue skies for most of the day. The racing didn't disappoint either and the program reported 394 riders competing over the weekend. Theres something about the atmosphere in the paddock (in a good way!) at a Thundersport GB meeting and the organisation looks spot on.
I watched the first race infield at Redgate and decided to move to the Craner Curves for Race 2 - Golden Era Supersport and Steelsport. The race was hardly underway when there was a spectacular accident as Adam Darnell lost the bikes rear - the way it went down looked a little odd . I quickly started firing as the accident unfolded and more riders got involved. Sparklight team-mate Chris Hellewell with nowhere to go took a nasty fall and the Yamaha of Karl Foster cartwheeled at some speed and distance, narrowly missing Adam Darnell. Fortunately and surprisingly no-one suffered any serious injury.


supersport crash chris hellewell and adam darnell

supersport crash adam darnell

supersport crash adam darnell

supersport crash karl foster adam darnell

supersport crash karl foster adam darnell

supersport crash karl foster

supersport crash karl foster

supersport crash karl foster

supersport crash

marshals react to supersport crash

marshals react to supersport crash

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BSB Official Pre Season Test Day Donington Park 22nd March 2017


BSB spectators

I'd been looking forward to this for some time but the weather forecasts got worse as the day approached and sure enough it was a bitterly cold overcast day, rain developing during the morning. Despite the weather there was a surprisingly high attendance.
The first Superbike practice was a little thin on the ground with many riders missing the session in which defending champion Shakey Byrne was fastest. A number of riders were missing in the remaining two sessions, preferring not to risk the tricky conditions. Christian Iddon and Josh Brookes were fastest in the 2nd and 3rd sessions respectively with Iddon fastest overall with a best time of 1.42.674.
Despite the conditions it was good to see the season get underway but it also meant the times were meaningless and I'm no wiser as to who this years title contenders are likely to be!


Leon Haslam JG Speedfit Kawasaki

Leon Haslam - JG Speedfit Kawasaki

Glen Irwin Be Wiser Ducati

Glen Irwin - Be Wiser Ducati

Shaun Winfield Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha

Shaun Winfield - Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha

Classic Yamaha Livery

Classic Yamaha Livery

Michael Dunlop Bennetts Suzuki

Michael Dunlop - Bennetts Suzuki


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British Superbike Pre Season Test Day 26/03/2015

I’d decided to take a hospitality tester at Donington Park in the Goddards suite for my first  outing of the year. A bargain at £35, it turned out to be a wise move, the wind was bitterly cold and it was good to have shelter and hot drinks on hand.  The external viewing areas were excellent for photography. Practising got off to a quiet start due to the damp conditions, a number of riders waiting for the track to dry out.
Conditions improved in the afternoon and it was no surprise to see both Kiyonari and Byrne looking the class of the field. Unfortunately Kiyo crashed near the end of the final session leaving Byrne to top the timing sheets with Danny Buchan on the Be Wiser Kawasaki taking second place. Kiyonari who was bruised but otherwise ok finished in third spot.

1 Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 1m:31.145
2 Danny Buchan (Be Wiser Kawasaki) +0.222s
3 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0230s
4 Jakub Smrz (Lloyds British Ducati) +0.243s
5 Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.284s
6 James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.303s
7 Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) +0.318s
8 Richard Cooper (Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki) +0.380s
9 Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.680s
10 Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) +0.890s


kiyonari Buildbase BMW

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW)


Ryuichi Kiyonari

Kiyo in the pit lane walkabout


spearmint-rhino-gridgirls

Over at the MV garage….


josh-brookes

Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha)

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Formula Ford Crash

While organising my files the other night I came across the following sequence of images which I shot in 1994 of a Formula Ford crash at Donington Park. They were taken on a Canon EOS 620 using Ektachrome 200 pushed to ISO 400. Consequently they are quite grainy and the original transparencies are slightly damaged as well.

Formula Ford crash


However while they capture the incident very well they also illustrate the weakness of film cameras for sports photography

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