Opie Oils Sponsor Ben Harrisons Race Report of Round 1 & 2 at Brands Hatch

Opie Oils sponsored rider Ben Harrison had a fantastic start to his 2014 season, securing a 2nd and 1st in Formula 400 and his first ever win in the 500 Newcomer race/Minitwin Newcomer at Brands Hatch.

This is Ben’s race report of the weekend, enjoy!

Heading into the first round of the championship I had mixed feelings, my last experience at brands had not been a pleasant one at all and during preparation for this year’s race quite a few bike issues became apparent in the week leading up to the race.

But, these things had to be put out of my mind and I needed to focus on the racing ahead.  Saturday came around very quickly, the bike passed scrutineering and noise test with no issues, next was morning practice. I went out worrying whether I was going to have clutch slip issues that had plagued me all of last season, luckily the clutch was perfect so I was able to focus on getting into a rhythm and finding some speed around the track.

Saturday

Formula 400 qualifier:

I started the race from 7th on the grid, front of the third row. Immediately the bike felt great and I was able to push from very early on and pick of riders ahead of me, I took the lead on lap 3 and stayed in front winning the race and setting the fastest lap. This put me in pole position for the Formula 400 final.

Formula 400 final:

I got a great start and started to get into a rhythm, but a few laps in I lost track of what gear I was in and lost concentration, this put me back to third where I had a 3 bike battle for the lead, eventually coming out in 2nd place, setting the fastest lap of the race and gaining my first ever trophy.

500 Newcomer race/Minitwin Newcomer:

Coming out of the last two races I had a lot of confidence in my speed and my bike, I started 8th on the grid making a good start, I lead my class into the first corner with only minitwins ahead. (Two classes are racing in one race and have separate results).

Knowing I had good pace I tried to get my head down and put a gap between me and Dan #95 on his VFR, while trying to put a gap in I got stuck behind one of the minitwins which unfortunately had slow mid corner speed but was faster down the straights, it took a good 3 laps of battling to eventually pass round the outside into the first corner.

From there I put my head down and tried to catch the minitwins ahead to give me something to aim for and hopefully pull a gap on Dan behind me. It worked and I got my first win and set the fastest lap of the race again.

BHarrison2

Sunday

Morning practice went very well, I was able to still run the same pace as I had done in Saturdays newcomer race, this gave me a lot of confidence in myself and the bike that I could challenge for the win again.

Formula 400 qualifier:

Unfortunately something had worked itself loose in the practice and only became apparent when tried to start the bike to warm it up. Missing this race meant I was down on track time and had to start the final from 7th, front of the third row.

Formula 400 final:

Due to not starting in the qualifier I was on the back foot in the final race. But I knew I had the pace to run at the front so it was a case of getting a good start and getting my head down. I got the best start I had all weekend and from 7th I was 2nd into the first corner. By the third corner I had gotten the lead and got my head down and tried my best to break away.

I ended up winning my first Formula 400 race and my second win of the day; I set the fastest lap of the race again ending up 10.93 seconds ahead of 2nd place.

The Team at Opie Oils would like to say a massive thank you to Ben for the Race Report and congratulate him on his fantastic start of the season, keep up the good work and good luck for the rest of the season.

Opie Oils

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