Crowe lands a podium finish

Phil Crowe.
Phil Crowe.

Market Rasen racer Phil Crowe got his season off to a good start by scoring a podium finish in the opening round of the Thundersport GB GP1 class at Brands Hatch.

He also recorded a brace of fourth places on Sunday.

Qualifying was held in the wet and Crowe led the session for a while, but dropped to third in the closing stages.

He said: “I had loads of pace in hand but after seeing so many riders crash I made the educated decision to not worry about pole and bring it home safe for the race this afternoon.”

Due to the many crashes in the session, yellow flags were out at most sectors and Crowe was unfortunate to be seen to overtake under a yellow flag.

This saw him put back three places to start the first race on Saturday from the second row of the grid in sixth place.

Along with a number of other riders, Crowe was caught out in the treacherous conditions which caused a stoppage in Saturday’s race.

But he managed to get out for the re-start and crossed the finish line in fourth place.

He explained: “Well that was an eventful first race with so many crashes and near misses.

“I crashed on the first lap along with a handful of other folk.

“Luckily I was only doing about 20mph so rushed back and got the bike back out in the re-start.

“I was cautious at the start and circulating in 10th, but once I realised the bike was ok I got my head down and managed to claw my way back to fourth place.”

Crowe started the first race on Sunday from the second row, but didn’t get the best of starts and he was left fighting midfield which allowed the leaders to get away.

As the race unfolded he made headway up to fourth place, but in the fight for third he was held up with backmarkers and a small rear end traction problem.

Once again was forced to settle for fourth place.

The final race of the weekend saw Crowe stay with the leading two riders throughout the 16 laps, and he crossed the finish line in third place for his first podium finish of the season.

He said: “That’s the first round completed with three Ok-ish results.

“The New BMW is awesome and the potential is massive, but she is still a work in progress.

“We are not too far off a good base now.

“I was looking for a bit more accuracy on corner entry and mid corner.

“I found that I was struggling a little bit with rear feel on the initial pick up of the throttle then it was fairly loose driving out.

“All in all we are in good shape and feeling fitter and stronger then ever and the weight loss has given me a bit here and there, but can’t we can’t truly see that until the bike is how I want it.

“Big thanks to my dedicated crew who graft all weekend - Adam Marshall, Nicola Thompson, Arran Macleod.

“And a big thanks to all my sponsors, John Chapman Racing, HandTrans Haulage, Mel Hand, Des Fleetwood, Holbeach Motorcycle tyres, Dunlop, Silkolene Oils, Sheffield Pac Export Packing, Lorraine Royles, BMA Carbon, B&C Express.”

The next round is at Donington Park in Leicestershire over the Easter weekend of March 27-28.