More points for Caolán Irwin in difficult Donington conditions
Caolán Irwin endured a tough weekend in very difficult conditions to take another strong points scoring finish in the latest round of the British Superstock 600 championship at Donington Park today, Sunday October 4th. The Donegal racer came home fifth in the weekends’ only race, on a wet but drying track, to consolidate his fourth place in the championship standings.
Having started the weekend well, with third place in the dry opening practice session, Caolán was looking forward to another strong run at the track where he had finished second at the opening race of the year. The weather took a turn for the worse for Friday’s second session, which took place in very wet conditions and with no one improving their times, the Irish rider finished the day third fastest overall.
Conditions would severely deteriorate for Saturday, and with the track becoming unsafe due to standing water, the Superstock 600 qualifying session was cancelled, meaning the grid for Sunday’s race would be set by Friday’s times. Despite being disappointed by the reduction in track time Caolán was still satisfied to be starting on the front row for Sunday’s single race.
Having not ridden his Astro JJR, Principal Insurance Kawasaki in the mixed wet and dry conditions that greeted Sunday’s race, Caolán had to gamble with his set up. Initially running second, the Donegal racer soon began to struggle as his set up gamble failed to pay off and he began to drop places. By half distance the track had dried to the extent that Caolán recovered some of his speed enabling him to recover from seventh place to finish a strong fifth and make his fourth place in the championship standings more secure.
“That was a really difficult weekend, with the lack of track time and the changing conditions, but I’m happy to have brought my Astro JJR Kawasaki home fifth”, was Caolán’s reaction after the race. “It was great to be on the front row again, alongside my brother Rhys, and it would have been good to get another podium but the way the race went I’m happy enough with fifth. It dried up just before our race so it was hard to know which way to go on set up. By mid race the conditions began to suit my bike but by then I was out of the fight so I settled for bringing it home safely. As always massive thanks have to go to Astro Van Centre, Astro JJR, RK Racing, Principal Insurance and all my supporters. Even with the time off yesterday my team, Dad, Wes and Arnie, still had a tough weekend as it takes a lot of hard work to compete at this level, so thanks also go to them for all of their efforts.”
The final event of the season takes place at Brands Hatch in two weeks time where Caolán Irwin will finish off his British Superstock 600 Championship campaign with two more races.