The second round of the Inter-Service Road Race Championship was held at Snetterton Circuit. Cpl Celvin Heaver won the Inter-Services Race for the Army, and strong results from the rest of the Team ensured the Army stayed at the top of the Championship with a commendable 257 points. The Navy and RAF pushed hard all weekend, so the Team must work hard to stay at the top in the next round at Cadwell Park.
#78 Maj John Miller
Maj Miller arrived at Snetterton feeling confident; the circuit is one of his favourites, with fast sweeping corners and long straights. Qualifying went well, and Maj Miller qualified P5 on the second row for the Inter-Service race. He got a good start and entered the first corner in 4th place behind fellow Army rider Capt Small. In front of her was an RAF rider, and Maj Miller set his sights on catching and overtaking him. The pace was fast, and Maj Miller could not put a clean pass on Capt Small and did not want to risk anything on his teammate. Whilst concentrating in front, he was passed by an RAF rider in the final corner to put him into 5th. The next lap saw the pack encounter some backmarkers, which allowed another RAF rider to get past, putting him into 6th. Despite pushing hard, he was unable to re-pass the rider in front; he finished in 6th place, scoring valuable points for the Team.’
#87 Maj Stuart Keenan
Snetterton was a rookie rollercoaster for Maj Keenan as his second race weekend. He came with three clear goals: A reference lap time to target, close the gap to the pack and keep things shiny side up. It was safe to say that he smashed two of those goals… Building pace and confidence during testing, when it was time for qualifying, he finished 9th of 13 in class with a comfortable gap backwards and only a tiny margin to jump further up the grid. Race one and two in-class saw him smash a PB and finish 8th in class in both. This built confidence for the military race at the end of the day. After a great start, he was in the battle with some of the more high-powered machines until half race distance, tipping into the hairpin, he lost the front resulting in a DNF! Another DNF would follow the next day at the same corner, hitting the confidence hard. He bounced back to finish the weekend with a steady race finishing 9th in class, leaving plenty of positives to take to the next round.
#54 Capt Lara Small
This was a 4 race weekend for Capt Small at Snetterton with some strong results; 2nd in class in the Army team, 5th overall in the Military race and 6th in class in the fastest 600 grid in the paddock. But have I mentioned how unreal the first corner is? Head tucked in 6th gear approaching the limiter, about 140mph, then ramming on the brakes just past the 30m marker, rapid downshift two gears and then dropping into the fastest right-hander I know, trying; to get your whole body over the apex… it’s exhilarating and like threading a needle at high speed. Plus, if you get it wrong, you get to visit Norwich and help the local farmer plough their field. Another new experience was introducing a ‘Doctor Dangle’ to my late braking! I did some proper fishtailing into the hairpin and some super late-braking under the back straight bridge… turns out my inside leg makes an appearance in panic mode 😉 My goal was a sub 1:20 lap; I got down to a 1.19:3 and was pleased with that, but I still have lots to work on in slow speed corners and quickly get on the power. Every time I ride the R6, I get to know it a little better and how I can get my body in the right place for a corner, loving my little track weapon.
#62 Sgt Sam Cartwright
Qualifying on Sunday morning for Sgt Cartwright went well. He went out with a target time in mind to beat, which he did. He qualified 24th out of 38 riders; for the Inter-Services race, he was 12th out of 20 riders.
The first race on Sunday went well; Sgt Cartwright progressed up the field, finishing in 18th place. For the second race of the day, Sgt Cartwright qualified in 24th; however, his progression through the race meant he finished in 15th whilst finishing 14th in class. The military race is the third and final race of the day, Sgt Cartwright started in 12th, and the duration of the race saw Sgt Cartwright’s slick performance put him further up the field and ultimately allowed him to finish the race in 7th place.
On Monday, the racing saw Sgt Cartwright qualify in 23rd. However, he had some technical issues that hindered his performance, putting him in a final position of 21st and 17th in class. In the second race of the day, Sgt Cartwright started in 23rd place; with a strong performance, he made his way up to 17th place with a position of 15th in class.
Overall, a good weekend; Sgt Cartwright is thoroughly looking forward to Cadwell Park.
#18 Sgt Richard Spencer-Fleet
Coming into this round, Sgt Spencer-Fleet knew he would have a proper fight on his hands to win.
Not having raced at the Snetterton circuit nor raced the 200 layout. Test day was used to get the bike and rider up to speed. Having found a Suspension setup that worked, he was confident for qualifying and the race. Qualifying didn’t go as planned, and he got caught up with a group of fast bikes, fast in straight lines and slow corners. It took the majority of the session to get through the pack, and he only get three laps on his own to build into a lap time. Spencer-Fleet qualified 0.5seconds behind LCpl Heaver on his Kawasaki ZX10R, a commendable performance on heavily used tyres. Using GP1 class race for a bit of warm-up, confidence built, and some PBs were beaten.
The Interservice race started well, chasing down LCpl Heaver. Over the race, places were swapped, and backmarkers were used to advantage. Unfortunately, on lap 8 of 10, Sgt Spencer lost the front going into a 4th gear corner and crashed out.
Sgt Spencer-Fleet has sustained multiple injuries and now looks out for the majority of the season. He would like to thank the medical staff on the scene and the suppliers of his safety equipment, the Team and supporters, RST, X-Lite Helmets and TCX boots.
#42 Cpl Dove
Cpl Dove started the weekend slowly, having only had two outings since winter testing in Spain. An ongoing issue with the bike that couldn’t be fixed at the race track prevented him from getting at the time, so he did not have as much time in the saddle as he wanted. However, positives came from the race meeting and slowly, everything started to go in the right direction; times were getting quicker each race myself, slowly finding the correct braking markers and tip in points for each race. Excellent progression throughout the weekend initially with a 31st place starting position and finish at the end of the weekend of 16th.
Overall, a great weekend with some good teamwork from the Sprint Team.
#159 Cpl Tyler Viveiros
After borrowing a loan bike for the first round of the season, Cpl Viveiros was excited to be able to throw his leg over his bike at a sunny Snetterton for Round 2 of the inter-service Championship with Thundersport GB.
Testing went well, with the rider utilising the time to learn the machine for a new class for him in 2022. There was plenty of close, clean racing that saw Cpl Viveiros return three 4ths and a 5th in class over the four Stock-Twin races, scoring a healthy points haul and placing himself into the top 3 of the Championship early stage of the season.
Viveiros was excited to line up on the military grid with slightly more power last year, allowing greater opportunities to upset higher capacity bikes. Unfortunately, the race was spent battling with two thousand CC bikes. No matter how many times Viveiros would place his bike ahead through the corners, the straights at Snetterton were just too fast and too long, and it was so frustrating to get passed again. However, Cadwell is up next, and the sweeping, flowing nature of the track favours the lower capacity machines and somewhat evens the playing field – a race Viveiros is undoubtedly excited about! (Watch out Sgt Cartright)
#133 Lcpl Heaver
An excellent event for Lcpl Heaver at the Norfolk Circuit started with some early changes to suspension during testing as the machine didn’t seem to hold the line.
Sunday morning qualifying, he set a good pace, qualifying 3rd in class for the GP1 race and on Pole position for the Inter-services. However, the bike was running hot on track and overheating when back in the pits, so it was necessary to strip and flush the radiator before going out again.
He had another excellent start in the Inter-services Race, allowing him to hold P1 into the first corner. Battling with fellow army team rider, Sgt Spencer-Fleet saw some very close racing throughout the race. After 10 laps, he crossed the line in the first place.
There were fantastic results for Lcpl Heaver with two 2nd and a 3rd Place finishes in the GP1 class and a convincing win in the Inter-Services Race.
A quick turnaround will be needed as he competes at Donington Park for the 700km Endurance Race with No Limits Racing later this week.
Having never had the opportunity to ride the Snetterton 200 circuit Pte Evenden was keen to learn the smaller layout Snetterton has to offer. Treating the whole day as a learning experience trying different lines, he felt positive by the end of the day of the improvements I had made.
Qualifying placed 29th on the grid for the GP1 Cup and 17th for the Military race.
The Inter-Services race was enjoyable, allowing Pt Evenden to ride with some much quicker and more experienced riders; excellent racing with Keenan, Dove, Viveiros and Rathbone provided superb entertainment. Pte Evenden finished P11, and although disappointing much progress was made.
But finishing 10th in class to round out the weekend with 4 top 10 finishes was a good result and looking forward to riding again at Cadwell Park in May.