Damage limitation for Anvil Hire TAG Racing in Scotland

R05 Knockhill 06-07-18 TAG 082
It was a challenging weekend for the Anvil Hire TAG Racing team North of the border at Knockhill, with James Ellison working hard all weekend, battling setup issues picking up a 13th and eighth place finish across both races. Shaun Winfield worked hard, posting his personal best lap time in qualifying, but endured a bitter sweet race day, pulling out of race one due to brake issues and coming home in 18th after race two

After hard work throughout the free practice sessions, James would qualify on Saturday afternoon in 10th after posting his fastest lap of the weekend, with Shaun equally posting his personal best lap time around the 1.2-mile Knockhill track, a 48.571, which would line him up in 21st for the first outing.

From the lights in Sunday’s first 30 lap race both riders made solid starts and completed the first lap, with Jamescrossing the line in eleventh and Shaun 21st. Due to brake issues, Winfield was forced to pull out of the race on lap five, leaving James to fly the sole flag for the team.

By mid-race Ellison had worked his way into the top ten and looked to chase down Josh Brookes, who sat ahead of him in ninth. But just four laps later he lost grip with his softer rear tyre and began to lose sight of the group ahead, and eventually crossed the line in 13th.

By virtue of their lap times, James would start race two from 14th on the grid, with Shaun six places behind in 20th.

Both James and Shaun made great leaps as the lights went out for race two, with Ellison moving into 12th and Shaun 19th. James quickly became embroiled in a battled with Andrew Irwin and the pair quickly made their way forward to the battle for tenth. With just four laps to go, the Cumbrian had moved into ninth place, but just couldn’t get the better of the Be Wiser Ducati rider, and crossed the line inside the top ten.

Shaun began to battle with a group of four riders for 17th, swapping and changing places all race long. However, with just five laps remaining, the 24-year-old developed brakes issues, meaning he couldn’t push as hard as he could in the opening half of the race, leaving him to cross the line in 18th and just outside of the points.

James Ellison: “This weekend has been tough, we’ve tried a lot of different things but unfortunately it just hasn’t happened for us. Both races for us have been difficult but we have pushed as hard as possible and come away with points.

“The bike isn’t a million miles away, I know that and so do the team but we have to stick together and find the little bit extra that we need. I know it will happen and it will come soon, because we aren’t far away at all. The team have been fantastic as always, I can’t knock their effort and we will bounce back stronger at Brands.”

Shaun Winfield: “It’s been a tough weekend really, we worked hard in all the free practices to improve on our feel from what we began with after our test here and each session we improved in time. I managed to improve again in qualifying, and I was only two tenths away from the lap record, so I was confident heading into the races.

“Race one I got a great start, probably the best I’ve ever had, but after the fifth lap I developed a brake issue and I couldn’t ride around it, so that cut my race short. Race two I got a good start again, and I battled with Barrier. I started to push on, and my pace was strong but then half way through my tyre started to lose grip and the brake issue came back. I have to say a massive thank you to my boys, they’ve worked incredibly hard and I can’t wait to get back out at Brands.”

Team Owner Rob Winfield: “It’s been a difficult weekend again, but the team have continued to work tirelessly and I can’t thank them enough for that. We have tried everything for James this weekend, and it just hasn’t worked, but at least we have picked up some points towards the Championship. It’s time to go back to the drawing board now and refocus.

“I’m really proud of Shaun, again he hasn’t stopped working all weekend with Chris and his boys, and it’s has paid off for him by posting his personal best lap time in qualifying. Unfortunately, he hasn’t picked up any points this weekend, but he’s heading in the right direction and I know we’ll bounce back at Brands. I need to say thanks to all the team, they’ve not given in and I expect better results next time out.”

James Ellison now sits in 12th of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings on 48 points with Shaun Winfield remaining on two points.

The team now have a two-week gap in action before heading South to Brands Hatch on July 20/21/22.