06 April 2008
Opening Round Snowed Off!
Tom Tunstall and the Hardinge Ice Valley Motorsport Team were ready and raring to kick-start their 2008 British Superbike Cup campaign at the weekend but heavy snowfall meant the opening round of this year’s British Superbike Championship was abandoned.
Starting his second season in the Daily Star backed Superbike Cup Championship, and with the continued loyal support of both Hardinge Machine Tools and Ice Valley Natural Mineral Water, Huddersfield racer Tom Tunstall had completed test sessions in Spain and Britain in preparation.
With new control tyre and engine tuning rules for 2008 the team had chosen to start the year with upgraded 2007 model Honda CBR1000RR Fireblabe machines - and plan to make the transition to the all new 08 model later in the season.
The season opener was staged on the fast and challenging Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit and during the free practice and qualifying session Tunstall showed the strong pace which secured him 15 podiums and third place in his debut season.
Having qualified in 4th only 0.4seconds from pole, despite a few technical issues, Tunstall commented:
“I’ve had a big problem shifting gear, and on virtually every up shift I have to take two or three goes at changing gear. Which not only loses me speed and time it’s making it hard to get into a rhythm and get the times down – we think it’s a quick shifter issue and although the team fitted some new parts for qualifying the problem is still there. Even with the issue I’m on the pace so if we can resolve it the race looks good”
However it was the good old British weather that was to have the final say as the teams awoke on Sunday morning to a snow covered Kent track.
With heavy snow continuing to fall the organisers took the logical discussion and “postponed” the event until the weekend on the 10th/11th May – with the grid positions taken from this weekend’s qualifying.
The teams now look toward the next round at Thruxton in Hampshire 18-20th April.