Challenging weekend for Anvil Hire TAG Racing at Oulton Park

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R10 Oulton Park TAG 16-09-18 117
It was a weekend of mixed emotions for the Anvil Hire TAG Racing outfit at Oulton Park, as the weather played its part with rain and sun all weekend. James Ellison picked up two strong finishes on Sunday, finishing race one in ninth and race two in 10th. Team mate Shaun Winfield had an equally challenging weekend, crashing out of race one in tricky conditions, but picked up a 16th in race two.
Following a positive set of free practice sessions in mixed conditions with wet and dry track time, James and Shaun endured a difficult qualifying for Sunday’s races.

Mixed weather conditions played havoc with the set-up of their machines, although James progressed into Q2 where he would qualify in 16th, after going the wrong way with a suspension set-up change.

Shaun qualified in 22ndafter choosing the wrong tyre at the start of the session, he quickly pitted for slicks however he ran out time to put in a second flying lap leaving him on row seven for race one.

Prior to the opening encounter on Sunday the heavens opened, meaning Sunday’s first race would be run in wet conditions.

As the lights went out both James and Shaun made good starts, with the pair holding their grid positions after the opening lap. Ellison then started to pull his way through the field, picking up four places with six laps of the races remaining, sitting in 12th.

The Cumbrian quickly made easy work of the group ahead in tricky conditions, finding himself in ninth place, and began to chase down Showdown contender Peter Hickman.

Ellison continued to push hard, however he ran out of laps, crossing the line in a strong ninth place.

Shaun began the race in a battle with Mason Law and Dean Harrison, and quickly began to swap places with the duo.

Although, in tricky conditions with just five laps remaining as he pushed hard to catch the group ahead he crashed out heavily at the chicane, but thankfully walked away unhurt.

For the second outing James would start from seventh on the grid with Shaun holding his grid spot of 22nd,courtesy of their lap times in the opening race.

As the lights went out both riders made great starts on a dry track, with James and Shaun battling for positions from the opening lap.

James quickly became embroiled in a battle with four riders for eighth place, swapping places all race long, although he struggled with rear grip.
With just four laps to go, Ellison chased down Peter Hickman ahead while holding off Andrew Irwin, however on the final lap at the last corner he was passed by Irwin and lost out on the drag to the line, taking the flag in 10th.

The team worked around the clock to repair Shaun’s bike, and after a strong start he battled with Tom Neave, Mason Law and Gino Rea. But, after Neave crashed in front of Shaun, he was forced to shut off and dropped back off the group ahead.

The 25-year-old continued to post consistent lap times, although the bike didn’t feel the same following his earlier crash, he brought the bike home in a solid 16thplace.

James Ellison“It’s been really frustrating, I felt like we were getting somewhere and making headway, but we’ve hit that wall again. I think we had a great race in the first race, the track was greasy and loads of people were having moments. But once I got into my rhythm I picked through the group ahead and I finished ninth. I posted my fastest lap at the end of the race, so I was happy with that.

“Going into the second race I was quite confident because we had a great feeling in the final free practice, we basically put that setting back in the bike and I just struggled, something isn’t right, and I’m frustrated for everybody, it was tough race. 

“It doesn’t show our true potential, so we’ll keep working, assess the data and come back at Assen stronger.”

Shaun Winfield: “This weekend has been up and down, we had good pace on Friday in the wet and the dry which I was really happy about. We had a mishap in qualifying because we went the wrong way with the setting, then once I’d come in for a change of tyres I just didn’t have enough time to go back out and put in two flying laps and that didn’t go to plan. 

“I felt comfortable in the wet in race one and I had some good pace, but I made a mistake I had too much lean angle, gave it a big fist full of throttle and I had a massive high side. It knocked it out of me and I was a little bit battered about, the boys worked really hard and got me out for race two. 

“I felt comfortable, but Tom Neave crashed in front of me and we were forced to drop off the group because I didn’t want to hit him. It made it difficult for me because I couldn’t catch them back up, I could do a consistent pace, but the bike didn’t the same.

“I have to thank the team a lot, they worked around the clock to get me out and I can’t thank them enough.”

Team Owner Rob Winfield“It’s been a weekend of two halves really, it started good on Friday and it was looking promising, but we’ve hit a wall again, and we can’t seem to break it down. James has been as professional as ever and the results we’re getting aren’t showing the effort we are putting in.

“Shaun is a little battered and bruised but he rode well in the second race, and I’m extremely proud of him. Assen is a circuit for us, and we can’t wait to get there to get back racing.”