Raceday frustrations for Linfoot and Winfield at Cadwell Park
It was a frustrating raceday for the Santander Salt TAG Racing team, who experienced bad luck in both Bennetts British Superbike races, with Dan Linfoot crashing out of race one and finishing race two in 15th, with Shaun Winfield also experiencing a challenging weekend on track, just missing out on the top 20 in both outings.
The duo had just three dry sessions on track before Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, with Thursday evening’s test helping both Dan and Shaun who chose to sit out of FP2 due to heavy rain over the Lincolnshire track.
The three-tier qualifying session got underway beneath sunny skies, with Linfoot progressing straight away in to Q2, but it wasn’t without drama as he tipped off at Barn corner, his first fall of 2019.
After hard work from the team to repair Dan’s machine, he posted his fastest time of the weekend to progress in the final stage of qualifying, in which he finished in seventh place, qualifying at the head of the third row for race one.
Shaun was unfortunately knocked out at the first phase, but he was just three tenths of a second off his fastest time from Thursday evening’s private test, meaning he would qualify for Sunday’s opening race in 27th.
Under sunny skies on Sunday afternoon the opening race got underway with both riders making great starts, with ‘Linny’ sixth after the opening lap and Shaun 24th, making up three places.
Dan sat comfortably behind Christian Iddon and they slowly started to chase the leading group down, but as he pushed harder the Yorkshireman crashed out of the race, tucking the front at Mansfield on the third lap.
Shaun enjoyed a solid opening lap and began to battle with David Allingham, Dean Hipwell and Fraser Rodgers, with the 26-year-old looking in a strong position by lap six.
He then found himself in 22nd and started to chase down Joe Francis and Allingham who sat just ahead, and by half-race distance he started to reel the pair in. But with six laps to go he started to lose grip with his rear tyre and dropped back to 23rd.
He then began to battle with the Northern Irishman but just couldn’t hold him off in the dying laps, crossing the line 24th.
By virtue of their lap times obtained in race one, Dan would start race two once again from seventh on the grid, with Shaun 25th.
From the lights the pair made great starts with Dan holding sixth place and Shaunholding his grid spot of 25th after the opening lap.
‘Linny’ looked settled in sixth and was keeping up with Peter Hickman who lay ahead and who was chasing the leading group, but on the seventh lap he hit neutral as he entered the Hairpin, dropping him back to 19th.
The Yorkshireman then started to battle his way back through the field, and at the flag he took 15th, collecting one Championship point.
After holding his grid spot of 25th Shaun then started to work his way forward, but after making a slight mistake mid-race he lost the tow to the group ahead, which left him to ride a lonely race eventually crossing the line in 21st, just missing out on a top 20 finish.
The team’s sidecar pairing of Chris ‘Stalker’ Walker and Ashley Hawes enjoyed a solid weekend in Lincolnshire, after qualifying fifth for the opening race the duo held their grid spot in Saturday’s opening race. But unfortunately, they failed to finish in Sunday’s final outing after suffering a technical fault on the third lap of the race.
Dan Linfoot: “I’m leaving here wondering what could have been really, all weekend I’ve felt good on the bike, even though I tipped off in Q1, but I felt strong and comfortable.
“Starting seventh I gave myself a chance and in race one I simply clipped the curb and lost the front, that was my first crash in a race this year and to do that when I was in such a strong position is disappointing.
“Then race two I have hit neutral as I headed in to the hairpin, it’s nobody’s fault, but that caused me to drop back to 19th. I was angry with the situation and I was motivated to have a strong end to the race, which I did I suppose, but 15th isn’t good enough, it really isn’t.
“There is something about Sunday’s that doesn’t like us at the minute, we don’t seem to have any luck but I’m focussing now on Oulton Park, I want to be on the podium and I will be pushing hard for that.”
Shaun Winfield: “It’s been a strange weekend really, we started off strongly on Thursday in the private test but then we couldn’t seem to better that, which for me is really frustrating.
“I qualified ok but again I was disappointed with my time, we have tried everything but for some reason it hasn’t clicked which is strange because I like it here. Both races I felt strong, but I made a couple of key mistakes which cost me.
“I’m already focussing on the next round now, my aim is to get in the points before the end of the season and that is my goal. I like Oulton Park and I want to put in performance there so that is my sole focus.”
Team manager Gary Winfield: “It’s been an up and down weekend for us, we started the weekend fairly strongly on Thursday and both Dan and Shaun felt confident. Friday afternoon was a wash out, but we felt confident enough that our pace was strong for qualifying.
“Dan qualified well for race one, but Shaun was disappointed with his position, purely because he didn’t improve in time. Race one was unfortunate, Dan clipped the curb at Mansfield and crashed out, which was a shame, but he was looking strong.
“On the whole I feel disappointed, we just don’t seem to have any luck at the minute which is frustrating but we’ll re-focus ahead of Oulton Park and aim for much better results there.”
Dan Linfoot now sits 12th in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on 74 points, just 27 points behind the top 10.
The team now have a two-week gap before heading to Oulton Park for the final round of the regular season on September 6/7/8.