Donington Park Race Report
Eugene McManus enjoyed an excellent weekend at Donington Park last time out in the British Supersport Championship. He took two fourth-place finishes over the weekend narrowly missing out on a podium in both races. James McManus also had a very positive weekend despite just missing out on a points-scoring finish with two 16th-place results.
On Friday, the first free practice session was damp but the conditions improved for FP2. Having completed the two sessions Eugene McManus ended the day a very positive 5th quickest and James was 17th.
Both riders had done enough to head straight into the second qualifying session on Saturday morning. Eugene was pushing hard for a front-row start from the off. With around five minutes of the session completed a red flag came out but the number 15 was already hovering around the front row positions. It didn’t take long for the race marshals to quickly get the track cleared and the session was underway once again.
James went on to finish 22nd on the grid for the Feature Race whilst Eugene put down another quick lap time to confirm his front row start with third position.
Feature Race (18 laps)
This weekend to accommodate a revised schedule the Feature Race was on Saturday rather than Sunday. Under an overcast sky, Eugene McManus made an excellent start turning into Redgate in second position. He was under constant pressure from the Championship leader in the early laps. Just before the halfway stage he was passed at the Melbourne loop and slipped to third position.
He then managed to stay with the leading two riders for a large part of the remainder of the race. In the latter stages, he was caught by another group of riders and managed to fend most of them off. On the last lap, he was overtaken by one missing out on the podium by just 0.049 seconds. Although narrowly missing out on the podium it was a hard-fought and well-deserved fourth-place finish.
James McManus also made a solid start. He moved into 19th spot at the beginning of the race and 17th in the British Supersport Class. The number 14 then continued to progress moving up to 16th by the middle of the race. He managed to rise to 15th at one stage but had to be content with 16th at the flag, just missing out on the points positions.
Sprint Race (12 laps)
Late morning the rain began to fall. Although the British Supersport race was mid-afternoon the precipitation continued throughout the race. Eugene made a second successful race start of the weekend. He launched his Triumph into second place before ending the first lap where he started in third.
Mid-race Eugene came under attack from a group of riders and slipped to fourth. Despite the continued pressure from three other competitors he held them off to the flag to collect a second fourth-place finish of the weekend.
James started from 15th on the grid and made a solid start as he rode through a wall of spray kicked up by the riders in front. Initially losing a couple of positions he regained those by the end of the second lap.
On lap nine a small error in difficult conditions saw him run on at Coppice and he fell back to 16th position and a good eight seconds behind the rider in front. James pushed on to recover as much time as possible ending the race in 16th just four-tenths behind a points-scoring finish.
Eugene McManus said, “We have had a really positive weekend. Two strong races and within touching distance of a podium. A big thank you to the team and our sponsors”
James said, ”A bit of an up-and-down weekend with me. I felt like I had good pace all weekend but a few mistakes stopped us from getting the results we were looking for. I am looking forward to Brands [Hatch] now to finish the season strongly.”