A dream race for Philip Atkinson became a nightmare in last weekend’s Triumph Triple Challenge (TTC) when he was forced to take a ride through penalty on lap eight, causing him to cross the line in ninth. The three frontrunners, Atkinson, Rob Guiver and James Egan, were all penalised for overtaking under the safety car.
Off the line Atkinson was ahead, only to be caught out by Chrissy Rouse on the first corner. Rouse stormed into the lead, but was caught out by some debris on lap two and ended up in the middle of the track as all the other riders narrowly avoided him. In the same lap Valter Patronen flipped his bike meaning the safety car was sent out. Atkinson was given a ride through penalty for overtaking James Egan under the safety car, even though he was in the lead. The rider then rejoined the pack in 16th, crushing any hopes of stepping on the podium.
After Atkinson’s penalty, Rob Guiver was given the perfect opportunity to pass Egan and take the lead. Off the line, Guiver had struggled with a slipping clutch and fell behind Rouse, Atkinson and Egan after starting on pole.
Once Guiver found some clear air, he was back to his usual self and storming home with only two laps to go.
“We’d planned to put a new slip clutch in before the race”, Guiver told us, “but as we didn’t get a warm up it was too risky. It was slipping so much off the line and then during the race it was locking up too much! The first couple of laps I just didn’t seem to have any grip, I was running wide and everyone seemed to be in the same boat – everyone was cutting each other up.”
However, Egan and Guiver also both received a penalty post race for overtaking under the safety car. Both were awarded 21 second penalties putting Egan behind Atkinson in ninth and Guiver just ahead in seventh. Guiver had come first overall and Egan stepped on the podium as second in the Elite class and first in the Premier class.
This became the dream result for Tom Ward who has now been named winner of the race in both Elite and Premier classes. Ward had a fantastic race, after a front row start became a non-start in Saturday’s race due to a water leak, for Race two he qualified in 13th but was able to get straight up to eighth off the line and by the end of lap two was in fourth.
Ward commented: “I got a pretty good start in the race, I didn’t really have the pressure of being on the front row. I rode round the outside of loads of people and I just tried to be really aggressive through the first couple of corners and outbreak as many people. I was sliding all over the place though, I had my qualifying tyres on still and I think I was the only person with part-worns on. It was a good race but I need to hit the gym a bit more because I was absolutely knackered afterwards!”
It was also a great result for both David Sellers and Tom Hayward. Sellers received third in the Premier class and because of Egan’s penalty will now be promoted to second, all despite having surgery on his knee only two weeks ago. Hayward, another to have just finished recovering, in his first round back after his accident at Thruxton, has been awarded third place.
Sellers commented: “Because I fell off yesterday after a stupid mistake and I could hardly walk before I got on the bike this has made my weekend, I’m really happy with the result.”
It was a disappointing race for seven riders who did not finish, meaning only fourteen riders crossed the line in Sunday’s race.