Mixed emotions for Anvil Hire TAG Racing at Cadwell Park

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R08 Cadwell 18-08-18 TAG 078
It was a positive weekend for the Anvil Hire TAG Racing team at Cadwell Park with James Ellison making progress with the rear grip issues that has plagued him in the recent rounds, taking a ninth-place finish in race one, however he failed to start race two due to a technical issue. Shaun Winfield once again impressed, posting a new personal best around the Lincolnshire track, collecting a 19thand 15thplace finish in Sunday’s races
After the free practice sessions, where Ellison made a break through with the rear grip issues that have plagued him, he headed into qualifying on Saturday afternoon with his team mate, both high in confidence.James and Shaun would qualify 13thand 23rdrespectively after a tricky but positive session on track. James progressed quickly in to Q2, however on his second flying lap after pitting for new rear tyre following setting a new personal best around Cadwell, Shaun crashed as he chased down James ahead of him with just minutes remaining, leaving him 23rdon the grid.

An injection of new parts for Ellison prior to the weekend helped the 37-year-old who posted a lap in Q2 seven tenths faster than his time set in Q1. Although he lost time in the final sector of the circuit, James posted a time strong enough to line him up at the head of the fifth row.

After the team rebuilt Shaun’s stricken machine and James’ team made the positive changes to help him in the final sector of the track, both riders would make tough starts off the line in race one.

James dropped to 17thafter lap one, but he soon started to pick his way back through the field. On the fifth lap the safety car was deployed which bunched the pack back up, and four laps later the car came into the pits allowing the race to begin once again.

Ellison quickly started to move his way forward and found himself in 12th, he then passed Brookes, Mossey and O’Halloran to work his way into the top 10.

Running in ninth with three laps to go the 37-year-old started to close the gap ahead to MacKenzie. After he posted his fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap he just couldn’t pick off eighth placed Tarran, taking the flag in ninth.

After being pushed wide on the opening lap, dropping him back in the pack, following the safety car Shaun worked his way into 19thplace, and started to battle his way forward as he hunted down Sylvain Barrier.

With just five laps to go the 25-year-old lost grip with his softer option rear tyre and dropped off the back of the Smiths BMW man, forcing him to cross the line in 19th.

By virtue of their lap times for the second outing later in the afternoon James would start 10th, and at the head of row four. Shaun would move up two places to 21st.

As the grid readied for the start of the race, disaster struck for Ellison, as he developed a technical issue, which saw him pull off the grid, and forced to retire from the race.

Shaun made a great start to the race, and after the opening lap he worked his way into 19thplace, and began to battle with Fraser Rodgers and Sylvain Barrier. By mid-race he had worked his way into 17thplace swapping places with the Frenchman.

With just four laps remaining Shaun lost grip with his rear tyre and dropped off the back of the Smiths BMW man, taking the flag in 15thplace, adding another point to his Championship tally.

James Ellison: “I have mixed emotions about this weekend, it seems we have made progress with the rear of the bike and that showed in race one. My pace was strong and consistent all race long, and I posted my fastest lap at the end of the race, which I was pleased with. 

“Race two was nobody’s fault, it’s a part of racing but I can’t say I’m not disappointed, the team worked so hard again this weekend and I can’t thank them, and everyone involved enough because they’re putting in so much effort. We now have to focus on the rest of the season and finish off strongly, which I believe we can.

Shaun Winfield: “I’m pleased with how this weekend has gone, the only blip for me was the crash in qualifying but I was pushing hard, and I was faster than before so I can’t have too many complaints. Race one was good for me, I got pushed slightly wide on the opening lap and that dropped me back, but after the safety I pushed as hard as I could, but I knew there was more to come out of bike and me. 

“Race two was much better, I battled hard with Fraser and Sylvain and I’ve bettered my personal best lap time once again, which I’m really happy with. We do need to work hard on tyre life for the remainder of the season, but we’ve already got a plan to combat that, and I can’t wait to race again at Silverstone now.”

Team owner Rob Winfield: “Apart from the second race this weekend has been positive for the whole team. James has found a much stronger setting and is getting to where we, and he expects to be. I’m sure we would have seen a strong performance from him in the second race, however the technical issue was nobody’s fault, but the lack of luck is just hard to take. 

“Shaun has worked so hard this weekend, he’s gone from strength to strength, improved his personal best and has taken another point is perfect for him. I want to put on record my thanks to K-Tech Suspension, the updates they have brought worked and have proved to make the difference, so we can now move forward and have a strong end to the season.”

James Ellison now sits in 15thplace of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on 67 points, with Shaun Winfield sitting on three points.

The team now have a two week break before heading to the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, on September 7/8/9.