Draper duo picking up vital race points

Tommy Philp. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Tommy Philp. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

The two Draper Racing riders Aaron Clarke and Tommy Philp endured some dire weather conditions at Oulton Park at the weekend, but both riders managed to overcome the wet conditions to bring home points for the team.

Philp, from East Kirkby, struggled through free practice and qualifying with engine problems in the British Supersport class and got through three engines before reverting to a standard engine to contest his two races.

Qualifying down in 20th place, he began his first race on Saturday from the seventh row but got away well at the start to gradually make his move forward.

He was running in 20th place with two laps remaining but made a concerted effort on the penultimate lap to pass Matthew Wigley, Richard Kerr and Robert Kennedy to take up 17th position which he held to the chequered flag.

Two riders ahead were in the GP2 class and did not score points, which resulted in Philp being awarded 15th place and one championship point.

Starting race two from the seventh row once again, Philp got a cracking start making up three places on the opening lap.

But it was raining and he relishes racing in the wet and rode well through the midfielders to complete the 15 laps in 14th place to pick up a further two championship points, which bring his total to 66 with two rounds with four races remaining.

The penultimate round of the British Supersport championship is at Assen in the Netherlands over the weekend of September 29-30.

Kirton’s Clarke began his race in the Superstock 600 class from a third-row grid position.

He was unlucky to get the worst of the weather for his race as it was raining heavily.

He needed to finish the 12 lap race ahead of Joe Sheldon-Shaw if he was to overtake him in the rider standings.

He was only one point behind him and a good result at Oulton could have seen him move up into the runner-spot.

The question was, did he risk a crash in the slippery conditions in an effort to finish ahead of his rival?

Clarke opted to go out and ride as safely as he could and hope to catch Sheldon-Shaw.

He took it steady on the first lap as, being in the middle of the pack, the spray affected vision, but as the field began to spread out Clarke made his move on the riders ahead and completed the race in 12th position.

However, his rival finished a few places ahead of him to extend his lead in the race for the runner-up spot to six points with one race remaining.

The Superstock 600 championship does not go to Assen at the end of September and it will go down to the wire at Brands Hatch on October 14, where Clarke will be hoping to beat his rival and take the runner up spot in the series.