Round 1 review - Eugene off to a flyer at Donington
Round 1 of the Hel Performance Motostar British Championships at Donington Park, became a weekend to remember for Randlestown youngster, Eugene McManus Jnr.
After a fall in qualifying on Saturday morning, Eugene was placed 15th on the grid for race one. In sensational style the Wee Bull stormed through the pack and moved quickly into contention. With Richard Kerr crashing out of third position it was left to Eugene and Storm Stacey to fight for the podium. It was nip and tuck for the remaining 5 laps with Eugene sneaking third place on the line just 0.001 seconds ahead. This was Eugene's maiden podium at The British Championships, to the delight of his team.
When asked about the race a stunned Eugene Jnr added ;
"Buzzing, just buzzing!... I have to thank everyone involved with the team and those behind the scenes helping with my preparation, especially the sponsors, some were here today cheering me on, thanks everyone its just awesome"
With the podium secured McManus Jnr was elevated to 6th on the grid for race 2 on Sunday. Determined to repeat Saturday's performance Eugene got a great start to slip into 4th position by the end of lap 1. Tom Booth Amos and Richard Kerr had broken away from the pack leaving Eugene to battle between 3rd and 7th place, each lap the riders exchanging positions in some fantastic action for the spectators to enjoy.
Lap 9 saw the retirement of leader Booth Amos with McManus in 7th, fellow irishman Richard Kerr now leading with 3 laps remaining. In the final lap Eugene made his move clinching 4th position setting his best lap time of 1:39.994.
A third place podium and a 4th gave Eugene a 29 point haul and the overall lead in the Motostar Championship to the surprise and adoration of his father Eugene Snr;
" This was an incredible weekend and I am so proud of Eugene, He's worked hard through the winter, every day at the family business then training with Paddy (Spartan Fitness Belfast) and Glenn Irwin in the evening's, he deserves the podium for his desire and bravery (after tipping off on saturday morning) I have never seen a young man so determined to succeed, we are all so proud"
Eugene now moves onto the iconic Brands Hatch circuit for round 2 over the weekend 15th to 17th April 2017
words and images: Burnout Media UK