Drayton in the points twice as Cadwell hosted "Party in the Park"
Round eight of the Pirelli National 600 Superstock Championship paid its annual visit to Cadwell Park, one of the most challenging and technical circuits in the UK
With very little experience of this circuit on the 600, Dan described it as one of his weakest circuits as he was finding the approach to the mountain section tricky to master
Cadwell had suffered mixed weather conditions on Friday, despite this Dan put in his fastest times on the final lap of each of his free practice sessions, with Crew Chief Neil working to constantly to adjust the settings in response to Dan's improvements on the track. Although he was struggling with the third sector of the circuit, Dan was feeling confident he could improve them again in qualifying.
Saturday had a bright and sunny start to the day but as Dan set off to the holding area on a dry set up; the circuit experienced a heavy downpour.
From the holding area at the top of the mountain he headed straight to the pits for wheel changes and was one of very few riders to take to the wet track, setting some respectable lap times despite the mixed conditions around the circuit. As the team were debating signalling him in, he returned to the pit for another tyre change to suit the drying track. Back out again with only seven minutes left of the session Dan hit traffic immediately. With only four laps completed in the dry, he once again set his fastest lap as the session concluded leaving him 17th on the grid; having improved his final sector yet again and shaved 2 seconds a lap off his free practice times with a qualifying lap time of 1:33.191
Dan had a good start in the race and at the end of the first lap he had progressed to 14th position, he held this position and was edging closer to the two riders in front. In the penultimate lap just before the woodlands section, he took advantage of the battle between Ward and Keyes; slipping through to claim twelfth position over the line his second best position of this season. This finishing position gave him the option to enter the Supersport feature race later in the day, the bike would need some further work on the suspension as Dan would need to push harder and faster to keep with the riders in this class.
Dan was pleased of the opportunity to run in the Supersport feature race and gain even more valuable experience. Despite starting in 23rd place he quickly progressed to 16th position in the first two laps, and moved up to 14th position by lap 4 when the safety car was deployed; managing to keep his composure whilst retaining consistent speed he followed the pack in front as the safety car remained on circuit until lap seven. Dan took another valuable position as the safety car left the circuit and would come over the line once again in the points in a very respectable 13th position, yet again claiming his personal best lap time of the weekend recording 1:32.042 on the 10th lap of the race.
‘’I struggled with a few demons over the mountain, but worked really hard to improve my entry lines knowing that improvements in my lap times would follow, and that came good in the race with the final sector being my strongest. I had the opportunity post race to be invited for a chat live on air in the commentary tower, which was followed by an interview with a rider who is famously associated with the circuit - Roger Marshall.
Having the opportunity to start the Supersport race was fantastic, and I never thought I would be able to keep the pace on a stock bike but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, once again, I can’t thank Neil and my dad enough for setting up the bike…
I would also like to congratulate Tim and Tom Neave and Lee Jackson on their podium finishes today" and Pete Hickman on his outstanding achievements this month.
Dan will be now preparing for another Endurance race at Snetterton, prior to the next BSB championship round at Silverstone in September
If you would like to follow Dan why not visit his website: www.dandrayton.com
Image credits: Ian Hopwood Photography and Mitch DuCran