Unfortunately work commitments meant that the team couldn't take part in the testing on the Friday which saw some of the weekends competitors gaining some valuable track time on the new circuit and the general buzz around the paddock on Friday evening about the new infield section on served to wet Ben and Lee's appetite further; who have been dying to get back on track since their successful end to the 2010 season.
Saturday morning arrived and the pair ventured out on to the circuit for qualifying, after a "sighting lap" the pair headed the timesheets early in the session quickly getting to grips with the new circuits tricky new technical challenges. At the end of the session the pair had dropped to third place, however that meant a front row start for the first race and given that there were four other permanent British Championship teams supplementing a number of other quality up and coming teams Ben and Lee were happy.
The first race of 2011 was eventually called and after some small tweaks to the set up Ben and Lee pulled up to the line... lights on... Lights off and Go!! The pair got a fairly good start and hit the first corner at Riches in the lead, the 5 lap race went without any mishap and the pair lead the chasing pack for the whole race, on the last lap Ben pulled into the pits as the team were not racing for points this weekend. However this meant the pair would now start the second race from further down the field as the results of the previous race dictate start positions.
The second race was more interesting, starting in the middle of the pack Ben and Lee picked up a number of places through the first few corners and by the time the pair reached the back straight they were into 3rd place dicing for 2nd. A race long battle with Simon Gilbert and Shelly Smithies ensued and eventually in a daring move Ben dived up the inside of the pairing through the newly formed left hand Palmer curve in front of many of the circuits onlookers. Ben and Lee held this position to take the chequered flag in 2nd place.
Sunday morning warm up came and went with a quick blast around the 3 mile circuit and despite the ever deteriorating rear tyre grip the pair went 2 seconds a lap quicker in the 1st race of the day however had to pull in after some "scary" moments coming out of the tight left hand turns. Ben and Lee again were hampered in the second race of the day by the poor rear which by now had done well in advance of 70 racing miles over 10 different sessions over a 6 month period. Despite this the pair gained an average start climbing up to 4th place before again retiring to the pits.
So the first weekend of 2011 for Team JH Racing was relatively successful, Ben and Lee seemed comfortable on the bike from the off and the pair can now go into the first round of the British Championship over Easter weekend fully confident of a good performance.
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