Donington Park disaster for Satander Salt TAG Racing
It was disastrous weekend for the Santander Salt TAG Racing duo of Dan Linfoot and Shaun Winfield with technical issues blighting their progression. Linfoot failed to finish all three races with brake issues and technical trouble, with Winfield struggling to achieve his goal of collecting points, taking a 22nd and 21st place finish in race one and two, failing to finish race three due to technical issues.
The team endured an eventful set of free practice sessions, with Dan and Shaun working
However, in the final free practice session Winfield crashed heavily at Craner Curve, causing a lot of damage to his machine, forcing him out of the out the three-tier qualifying session.
Dan would qualify in ninth place after posting his fastest lap of the weekend in Q2, which saw him progress into the final stage, although he couldn’t improve in time after using his final tyre in the second session.
As the lights went out for Saturday’s opening race both Dan and Shaun made great leaps from the line, although as Linfoot exited the opening corner, he almost crashed with the bike sending him out of the seat, dropping to 14th.
On the ensuing 11 laps Linfoot continued to struggle with grip issues as it progressively worsened, and the Yorkshireman was forced to retire from the race on lap 12.
Shaun started the race strongly and battled hard with Dean Hipwell and Sylvain Barrier, however he made a slight mistake mid-race which saw him drop back in the pack.
The 25-year-old continued to post solid times throughout the race, gaining vital laps following the issues he had in free practice three.
For Sunday’s opening race Dan Linfoot would start 19thand Shaun 26th by virtue of their lap times set in Saturday’s first race.
As the lights went out both Dan and Shaun made great leaps again and looked to work their forward through the pack.
After the opening lap Dan have moved up seven places to 12th, and began to swap places with Danny Buchan and Andrew Irwin.
Although, with just nine laps remaining he began to experience issues with his Yamaha YZF-R1 and was forced to pull in with brake issues.
Shaun fought hard and started to battle with Dean Hipwell and Sylvain Barrier, with the trio swapping places for the first half of the race. However, with 12 laps to go Winfield dropped back from the pack as light spots of rain began to fall.
With just five laps to go the race was cut short as the rain began to fall heavier, meaning that Shaun would finish the race just marginally outside the top 20 in 21st.
For the third and final race of the weekend Dan would start 13th with Shaun 23rd due to their lap times posted in the second race.
Under sunny skies at the Derbyshire track the pair made strong starts with both moving forwards in the pack after the opening lap.
Linfoot battled hard with Buchan and Andrew Irwin once again, but dropped back in to the pack mid-race, battling for 15th place.
After a change in set-up, Linfoot and the team seemed to had found the cure to the issues that plagued them all weekend long, however on the final lap he was forced to retire from the race with a technical issue, leaving him with no points to show for him and his side of the garage.
Winfield battled hard with Barrier and Hipwell once again for 20th place at the start of the race, swapping places with the French and Yorkshireman. However, with ten laps to go, the 25-year-old developed a brake issue and was forced to pull in to the pits.
Dan Linfoot: “I’m really frustrated with this weekend, I’m devastated to be walking away from three races with no points to show for all the hard work we’ve put in. We we’re really strong in free practice and our qualifying performance was fantastic, but in the races we had a string of issues with the front end of the bike.
“Like I say I’m disappointed, in race three I wanted to get some points at least and I actually felt good with the front end but then we had a different technical issue and I couldn’t carry on.
“It’s upsetting for everyone because we know how strong this package can be, the good thing is we have a good chunk of time to get it right and we have a test planned before we go to Brands Hatch. I’m confident we’ll get it right, everyone has faith but we have to write this weekend off.”
Shaun Winfield: “I’m really frustrated with this weekend, I had my eyes set on points so to walk away without any is tough to take, it really is. My crash in FP3 didn’t help at all, it put everyone on the back foot and I must say thanks to everyone who helped to rebuild my bike.
“All three races we’re tough for me but I have walked away with some great data to work on. We have a test before Brands Hatch and I have my eyes set on improving a lot there, we have a lot on but I’m sure we’ll get it right and kick on at Brands Hatch.”
Team manager Gary Winfield: “It’s been an extremely tough weekend for us all, we had a good Friday and qualifying so to walk away with no points is really upsetting, but it gives us an extra motivation to get this right.
We all have confidence we’ll get this right, we’ve already got plans to move forward, and the test we have planned will make that even better. Dan hasn’t got his head down which is what I want to see.
“Shaun has struggled slightly this weekend, and his crash in FP3 put him on the back foot. I’m very proud of how him and the team rallied around and got him out for the first race and he rode hard.
“We’re ready to come back from this, we all have faith and I know we’ll come out of the other side stronger as a team.”
Dan Linfoot now sits 18th on 16 points in the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
The team now have a two week break before heading south to the Brands Hatch GP circuit on June 14/15/16.