09 August 2009
Tunstall Takes Triple Podium
Hardinge Doodson Motorsport racer Tom Tunstall had a weekend to remember taking three podium finishes as the British Superbike Championship made history holding three races over a weekend for the first time.
The legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit staged the eighth round of this year’s British Superbike Championship and for the first time in the championships illustrious history three races were scheduled for the Superbike class.
With free practice, qualifying and race one all held on the Saturday it was a hectic time for the teams. The Huddersfield based Hardinge Doodson Motorsport outfit performed well qualifying 17th on the grid, 3rd of the Superbike Cup contenders, right behind series leaders Gary Mason & Peter Hickman.
Taking place in the late afternoon sun, the 18-lap race proved to be a successful foray for Tunstall as he followed Gary Mason and Martin Jessop home in third place to claim his 5th podium of the season.
Sunshine baked the 2.3mile Kent track once again on Sunday, as the 28 riders took to the grid for the second outing.
In an eventful 20-lap race, which included the safety car being deployed on lap five, Tunstall sliced through to third on the final lap after passing Peter Hickman on the brakes into the ultra fast Hawthorne Bend.
“It's great to be on the podium again... As the race went on the bike was vibrating more and more but I was determined to get third. It’s my first double podium of the year and I’ll be trying hard to make it three in a row!” – The vibration was later traced to the rear tyre which had spun on the wheel rim.
Race three saw Tunstall put in another strong performance. Scything past Hickman on lap six, and sweeping past both Atsushi Wantanabe and Chris Burns on lap 10 - setting the fastest lap on the way.
Tunstall latched onto the back of second placed Jessop but was unable to find a way past crossing the line only half a second behind the fellow Honda rider, and only a handful of seconds behind Cup winner Mason.
After climbing off the podium Tunstall commented: “I worked very hard for that one... It's frustrating not to have got 2nd as it was so close and I proved I had the pace with the fastest lap. But I’m really pleased to have got three rostrums, I love the track – I’d be happy to have four races here!"
“It has been a busy weekend though and the team have worked really hard, done a great job and they deserve this champagne too”
The next rounds of the British Superbike Championships take place in just under three weeks time at Cadwell Park over the August Bank Holiday weekend 29th-31st.