8th Feb 2015: Hawkstone Park, Shropshire, UK
Former British and European Champion Paul Holmes arrived at this weekends British Championship opener as one of the strong favourites and he certainly proved that he is back and looking for another Championship victory!
Hosted at the annual Hawkstone International event, the deep, sandy based circuit of Hawkstone Park set the scene for a perfect day of racing to start the 2015 Championship.
Qualifying: In the short 15 minute timed qualification session Holmes blasted his way to the top of the board showing great speed and as he wanted to preserve energy for the remainder of the day he chose not to go out later in the session. As the session ended Holmes was in a brilliant 3rd place which gave him a perfect gate selection for the 3 races.
Race 1: : Holmes rounded the first corner down in around 18th place and by avoiding a few incidents going down on the opening lap he eventually settled into a top 10 position. Despite struggling with arm pump he still managed to make his way towards the front and at the half way point in the 20mins + 2 lap race, Holmes was in a comfortable 4th place with the leaders in sight. However, the race was red flagged at lap 6 due to a fallen rider, needing urgent medical attention, which meant Holmes couldn’t improve on 4th place which is where he finished.
Race 2: Getting a better start and exiting the first turn up in the top 6, Holmes again used his head and experience to avoid all the tangles on the opening lap. Despite the extreme discomfort caused by another bout of arm pump he continued to ride hard and strong to bring home another 4th place.
Race 3: Holmes got off to a blistering start after making a few technical adjustments with his team and technical staff from PEP Vortex tuning and managed to pull off an incredible holeshot putting
him in the place he wanted to be to ride his own race out front. With confidence coming back to Holmes, and the pressure of the first two races easing off, heshowed fantastic form to gap the field of riders behind and put in an impressive start to finish victory taking the win by 9.8 seconds, And, being the only rider to get under the 2mins 27second lap time he claimed the fastest lap of the race.
4th – 4th – 1st was good enough to secure the 2nd step on the podium, Holmes missing out on the overall victory by just 1 point.
Round 1 result:
1st Stef Murphy 137 points 2nd Paul Holmes........................ 136
3rd Joe Maessen 127
4th Dean Colhoun 125
5th Sheldon Seal 117 6th George Callaway 115
Holmes commented after the day’s action: "I’m really pleased with how the day has turned out! To end the day on a win is great, I wasn’t expecting the holeshot but the technical guys from PEP Vortex tuning really got my Holmes Racing DWT Yamaha running sweet and it made it so much easier for me to race out front rather than ride mid pack in the opening laps. Today has been a good start to my year, I haven’t done as much riding as a lot of my competitors but my training off the quad has been good so all day I have felt good apart from the arm pump which I need to continue to work on. I need to take this chance to say thank you to all my team, family, friends and sponsors as without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing.