Tom Weeden was out at the Aberdare Park road race last weekend riding with the Trickbits FBM Performance team. The historicAberdareParkroad races inWalesare a great insight into racing on the roads. It is a challenging 1 mile road circuit around park, surrounded by trees opposed to the large stretches of gravel traps and air bags that Weeden is used to at the British Superbike meetings riding in the Triumph Triple Challenge.
Tom was entered into the main Welsh Open and 600 Park Challenge race aboard his Triumph 675. Prior to the first session Tom was slightly nervous to go out on the fast and narrow track surrounded by trees with just a bale of straw around them for protection; however once he got out there he immediately loved the circuit and any thoughts about the risk of crashing at such a circuit immediately disappeared. He went 7th fastest in his heat in the first timed practice session of the Welsh Open and was 5th in his heat in the 600 Park Challenge. Tom got off to a slow start in the qualifying heat race of the Welsh Open, dropping down to 8th after the first lap. However once he found a rhythm he managed to pass two riders and was up into 6th on lap two. He then managed to pass another rider on lap 4 moving him up into 5th where he remained until the chequered flag. In his qualifying heat race for the 600 Park Challenge Weeden got off to a good start and slotted into 5th in the first corner. He was pretty evenly matched with the rider in front and despite several efforts to get close enough to make a move past; Tom couldn’t find a way through on the narrow circuit. He crossed the line in 5th place and was happy with the two results in the qualifying heats and felt he push harder and go faster in the main races.
Tom started from 10th in the main race of the Welsh Open and 9th in the 600 Park Challenge after the qualifying heats merged the two sets of qualified riders. Tom made a good start in the 600 Park Challenge moving up to 7th into the first corner, he quickly made his way past another rider and moved into 6th. For the remainder of the race Tom desperately tried to find a way past the rider in front to move into 5th, however simply could not find a way through and crossed the line in 6th position. Tom was extremely pleased with the result considering his start position and what with it being his first time at the challenging little circuit. Next up was the main race of the day, the Welsh Open. Weeden made another great start and was up into 7th early on in the race. He pushed harder and found his way into 6th. Tom could see the pack ahead of him battling for 3rd position and he carried on pushing in order to catch them up and make an assault for the final podium position. By the last lap Tom had closed the gap to riders ahead of him but could not find a way to overtake. He took the chequered flag in 6th position and was again extremely pleased with result in the main race and happy to see that his fastest lap time would have put him in second position if he had not been held up due to his low start position.
Tom definitely enjoyed his insight into road racing and will definitely be looking to return in 2013 and beyond.