Difficult weekend for Anvil Hire TAG Racing at Silverstone

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R09 Silverstone TAG 09-09-18 053
It was a tough weekend for the Anvil Hire TAG Racing team at Silverstone with James Ellison struggling with rear grip issues on the shorter National Circuit in all three races, picking up solid points in race two and three on Sunday. Shaun Winfield was hampered by technical issues in Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, which set him back in all three races.
Following three strong free practice sessions, James and Shaun headed into an earlier qualifying session on Saturday morning.

Both ridersendured a difficult qualifying session with Ellison struggling with rear end grip, which saw him unable to push as hard as possible, leaving him in 25thon the grid for Saturday’s opening race.

Shaun qualified alongside his team mate after a technical problem forced the 25-year-old to retire from Q1, after improving his time following pitting for an intermediate rear tyre due to a drying track.

Saturday’s opening encounter saw Ellison and Winfield make great starts, with Ellison making up seven places on the opening lap therefore sitting in 18thwith Shaun 25th.

By lap 17 James had worked his way into 16th place after passing Sylvain Barrier. However, just two laps later James pushed hard into the penultimate corner and crashed out of the race.

After a strong start Shaun settled into a solid rhythm but he struggled with rear grip as he powered out of the corners, losing time down the straights to the group ahead. He rode a lonely race an eventually crossed the line 22nd.

Courtesy of their lap times in race one, James would start from 18th on the grid with Shaun starting from 25th.

In bright sunshine on Sunday afternoon both James and Shaun made contrasting starts, with James holding his place after the opening lap, however Winfield dropped back a place to 26thfollowing a difficult get off from the line.

The Cumbrian then became embroiled in a four-way battle with Dan Linfoot, Danny Buchan and Sylvian Barrier. They swapped places all race long, with Ellison struggling again with rear grip he rode hard to cross the line within the points in 13th place, picking up two points.

Shaun soon re-grouped after the start and quickly picked his way through past Aaron Zanotti ahead. However, after a change to a different specification of engine following the technical issue in Saturday’s qualifying Shaun struggled down the long Silverstone straights to make up ground.

He continued to chip away at his lap times riding a lonely race, eventually crossing the line in 22nd place.

By virtue of their lap times from race two, James and Shaun would start from 18thand 25threspectively for the final encounter on Sunday afternoon.

From the lights for the final race of the weekend both riders made strong starts, picking up places after the first lap. However, the race was then red flagged, and the restart was reduced to 26 laps.

Once again both James and Shaun made good starts, with James picking up four places on the first lap to sit 14th. He then started to pick his way forward through the pack, making up a further three places as the flag came out, picking up more solid points.

Shaun, down on power due to the engine specification change started strongly and began to battle with Aaron Zanotti for 20thplace. The pair exchanged places all race, with Shaun battling hard to keep ahead of the Kawasaki rider.

As they exited the final corner Shaun ran wide off the track, allowing Zanotti to beat him to the line, coming home in 21st.

James Ellison: “It’s been a frustrating weekend, I feel like I’m out riding everybody in front of me and behind me, I really do, and I don’t want to sound big headed. We should be at the front but we’re still lacking something, the team are working so hard to find the issue but we’re compromising, and we’re lacking drive grip which then turns into lack of speed.

“I’m over riding the bike but it’s good to get some solid points on the board and find a little bit of progress with the grip issue. We made a slight change which gave us an extra five mile an hour down the straight, but we’re still struggling. 

“We go straight to Oulton Park next weekend but I feel that the new link will help at Oulton Park, we haven’t finished a long way behind the leaders here and the lap times are good so I’m looking forward to Oulton because it’s frustrating for everyone involved.”

Shaun Winfield: “We’ve had an issue with the bike all weekend, which is not anyone’s fault it was just one of those things and the circumstances dictated that. We have to change our engine specification and we were down on top speed slightly, which on the straights really affected us. 

“But I pushed hard in both races on Sunday and to say I was down on speed, I battled hard with Zanotti who was faster down the straights. In race three we passed each other most of the race, and I had him on the last lap but I ran wide off the track and he passed me on the line. 

“I have to thank the whole team for their hard work this weekend, without them I wouldn’t have been able to race. I’m excited for Oulton now where I know I can be quick.”

Team owner Rob Winfield: “It’s been tough again, we’re working so hard to find the issue. Our backs have been against the wall this weekend with a few exterior issues that we can’t help, however I’m proud of how the whole team have reacted. 

“We only have a few days before we head to Oulton Park and it will be nice to write some wrongs there, so we can’t wait to get back racing.”

James Ellison currently sits in 16thof the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on 75 points, with Shaun sitting on 3 points.

The team now have a four-day turnaround before heading to Cheshire, and Oulton Park on September 14/15/16.