Round 1 Review - Donny 31-02 April 18
Round 1 of The British GP2 Championship became a weekend of smiles, trials and tribulations for Eugene McManus Junior and E15 Racing.
In 2018 the young Irish man is riding under the RS Racing banner and this weekend gave The Wee Bull an opportunity to try out the Kalex Moto2 in the British GP2 Cup. Stable mates Josh Owens and Jorel Boerboom were also riding competitively for the first time in this new category which runs adjacent to the established British Supersport Championship.
FP1 on Saturday morning saw McManus Junior complete just two laps, setting the bike up for FP2 later in the day. During FP2 he recorded a fastest lap time of 1:52.950 during a full 13 lap session.
The experienced Supersport riders of Jack Kennedy and Ben Currie topped the session and were 8.4 seconds faster over the 2.48 mile Circuit.
Eugene went quicker again during Qualifying on Easter Sunday setting a 1:37.744 lap time, just 5 seconds adrift of pole sitter Jack Kennedy. Team mate Josh Owens impressed with a 1:34.575 time only 2.1 seconds off top spot. Race 1 was scheduled to start at 17.20pm, in a revised programme to take advantage of more favourable weather conditions.
Race 1 proved disastrous for RS Racing and The Wee Bull. During the warm up lap team mates McManus and Owens collided on track ruling them out of the race start. Both riders thankfully were uninjured but left the team mechanics with extensive repairs to complete overnight.
Race 2 gave The Wee Bull a chance to make amends for the previous days error and he took the opportunity with both hands claiming his first British GP2 win in fine style. All 3 RS Racing riders completed the 16 lap race and finished 1,2,3 in the GP2 standings.
" A massive thanks to the team and all my sponsors for being so patient this weekend, it didn't all go to plan but that's racing sometimes. After a big mistake that I made in race one I was able to repay the team a wee bit with a decent finish. I apologised for my mistakes which caused lots of work for the team and for putting josh out of race one too. I have lots of work to do in this class as not only do I want to be the first GP2 bike home I want to be the first bike home soon. I am still learning the 600 so it’s gonna take time. 'Im back on the moto3 in a fortnight's time at Brands and I'm really looking forward to challenging for the Motostar title in 2018."
Eugene's qualifying lap time would have been good enough for a top 8 place in the stock 600 series so a lot of positives can be taken away from Donington. Moving onto the Kalex was always going to be a work in progress and the team as always were delighted with Eugene's attitude after a difficult start on Friday and Saturday. It's onto Brands now for The British Motostar Championship Round 1 over the weekend 13-15 April 2018.