Giles and Jen Stainton from Upton travelled to Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire for their first race of the new season where they completed race one without mishap but then suffered a couple of spins in the second encounter on Sunday and retired from the race.
Jen commented: “This was our first meeting of the year and it had to be the first round of the FSRA F2 British championship which meant a lot of pressure on us to perform. Also Croft circuit was where we had a pretty bad crash last year so we were also facing our demons which is a bit stressful in the first race of the season.”
Giles and Jen completed the test day on Friday to acclimatise themselves with the circuit prior to qualifying on Saturday but the weather took a turn for the worse and the heavens opened just as the teams went out for qualifying.
After a tentative session in the wet conditions Giles and Jen completed their qualifying in 19th place from 28 outfits in the mixed grid of riders. But something seemed to be missing, Jen explained: “Neither one of us was enjoying the racing and this had nothing to do with the changeable weather. The joy just simply wasn’t there – and we were starting to question why. There are some wonderful people in the paddock that are incredibly generous with their time and help and with a pep talk from a few and some advice about suspension settings for the wet we went into the 12 lap race with determination to come back in feeling slightly better.”
But everything went according to plan and they crossed the finish line in 21st place overall - 10th in their class.
With a few suspension changes the husband and wife pairing went out in dry conditions on Sunday for their second race. Following a busy start the outfits began to spread out but the Staintons continued to enjoy a battle for position with Millington/Deeley and Downes/Hainsworth
which ended in a spin for the Lincolnshire pair resulting in Jen tipping off the outfit. She was quick to jump up and return to the platform and they continued on their way.
But after a further four laps as they started to regain position in the race they spun again at Hawthorne Bend and once again Jen found herself on the tarmac!
This time they decided to call it a day as twice in one race was more than enough excitement.
Jen said: “We haven’t spun for ages and seemed to have got that out of our system but the changes that we made to the suspension obviously made a difference to our corner speed and the handling of the bike. Luckily no damage apart from a few bruises. All in all it wasn’t the most enjoyable weekend that we have had racing.
“We have been persuaded to go to Cadwell for the next round where we will take advantage of the club races as well as the test day so that we can try different suspension settings. The only goal for the next meeting is to get us smiling again and enjoying our racing. Thanks to our sponsors and loyal supporters/friends who stood in the rain all day and to Sid Diggins for the fantastic photos”
The next round is at Cadwell Park on April 28/29.