16-year old motorcycle racer Elliot Pinson claimed three consecutive wins in a bravura display of race-craft during Round 7 of the Dickies British Junior Supersport series at the Donington Park GP circuit (4-6th October).
Mounted on the SymCirrus Motorsport Ninja 400, Elliot’s weekend started badly with a break-down in free practice. Water in the fuel tank was found and fixed in time for qualifying, with Elliot placing P2 in 1m46.674s, +0.440s from pole-sitter and fellow EBC-equipped rider, Luke Verwey.
All three race heats saw Elliot pulling out and maintaining a solid lead despite some credible efforts to reel him in. In Race 1, Elliot finished P1 with a best lap of 1m45.482s, followed by Kade Verwey in P2 and Adon Davie completing the podium in P3, having set a lap record of 1m45.410s.
Race 2 brought Elliot another P1, with his weekend’s fastest lap of 1m45.340s. He missed out on a lap record, however, as Kade Verwey (yet another EBC rider) set a new time-to-beat of 1m44.972s on his way to a second P2 finish. Davie finished Race 2 in P3. Race 3 gave Elliot his hat-trick of P1s and saw Trystan Finocchiaro in P2 and Kade Verwey in P3.
Having competed in five out of seven rounds this season, Elliot has stormed the field. His 75-point tally from Nottinghamshire means that he now tops the leader-board with 278 points; six points ahead of second-place Kade Verwey’s tally of 272. The season finale is thus set to be a two-horse race as third-place Trystan Finocchiaro is far adrift with 207 points.
“In free practice, the bike died and wouldn’t start,” said Elliot. “We stripped it, found water in the fuel tank and got it sorted in time for qualifying. I’ve ridden at Donington Park twice this year in the British Talent Cup, but I’ve only had one track day on the 400.
“This meant that qualifying became a practice session. I took half the session to learn my marks and the other half to build on them. The track was also still greasy from earlier. Qualifying P2 was not bad in the circumstances. I’ve always liked Donington Park since my first time here in 2016.
“Race 1 was close during the first half – some riders were very aggressive – but once I got to the front I kept running at my own pace. The pack behind were busy fighting each other so I could eventually gap at 0.5s per lap.
“In Race 2, I got to the front ASAP and repeated the pattern from Race 1 – I broke away, put a gap in and kept it. Race 3 had a slower start. They got us out on the grid then held us there with our tyres getting cold while the BSB parade lap happened. When we started, it took two laps to find the grip levels. A few people crashed but I didn’t see it. After that, I built up slowly. Trystan was 0.5s behind for a while but after Lap 6 or 7, I broke away and raced my own race.
“There wasn’t much drama for me in my races, but less drama equals more speed. At the start of the season, I wasn’t focused on the championship, only on getting noticed. Once I kept winning and closing down the front-runners, I realised I had a shot – which was a bit unexpected.
“I’ve been comfortable in my racing. I’ve haven’t been pushing ridiculously hard, but that means I haven’t made silly mistakes. Getting points has been the priority. I’m hoping this season may open some doors. We’re at Brands Hatch for the season finale – it’s one of my favourite tracks. I’m confident going there. All I need to do is keep my composure and beat Kade.
“Thanks to SymCirrus for their hard work and support. Thanks also to Factory Agencies, Cool Milk, Forma Boots, Doing It For Dan, Macna Leathers, Nexx Helmets and EBC Brakes.”
Elliot will next take to the track for the series finale at Kent’s Brands Hatch GP circuit from 18th to 20th October.
Photo courtesy of Elliot Pinson #76 Racing & O.H. Photography