Beech straight on the pace as racing returns
Harris Beech put an unfortunate crash behind him to lay down a marker after finally returning to motorbike action.
The Alveley star, 16, will be splitting his time between Thundersport GB and the British Superbike (BSB) series this year, as he looks to keep improving.
Beech will be guesting as a wildcard this weekend with the Black Country-based Bathams Racing team, in the British Junior Supersport class, for round one of the BSB series.
However, this year he will also be competing in the Thundersport GP3 Superteens class and has big plans to try and win the championship.
Speaking after the first round at Donington Park, Harris' father, Richard, said: "We had a good set up and got in a good day's practice on the Friday.
"He had a decent qualification, with two classes in the one session – the GP3 Thundersport Superteens and GP2 Cup riders.
"The GP2 machines are mainly Kawasaki 300cc bikes, which are faster, especially on a straight line, than Harris' Yamaha, and win most of the British Junior Supoersport races.
"But in Thundersport, Harris races in the Superteen class on his R3, against KTMs and bikes like that, so it's better for us – basically, he's not just being passed by Kawasakis all the time."
After qualifying fifth on the grid, and fourth in class, he finished fifth in race one.
"It was a dry race so we didn't have to change the set up or anything like that on the bike heading into race two," said Richard.
"That race also started dry but after about four laps it started spitting, however, it wasn't deemed wet enough for the red flags to come out at first."
Eventually it really started coming down and it was stopped, restarting about 20 minutes later.
"He was leading the race after the restart and had a clear lead but thought the chasing pack was still behind him," said Richard.
"Pushing hard, he lost the front going into one of the corners and ended up crashing, so that was a DNF when it could have been a win. Another two riders also went down too.
"Race three was another dry one and he did really well, fighting for third place, but he got a 10-second penalty for accidentally overtaking on a yellow flag, going round one of the backmarkers.
"You can't be seen to get any advantage when a yellow flag comes out so that penalty pushed him back to sixth, unfortunately."
However, Harris again bounced back for race four and, following another close battle, he finished third.
"He had been sixth going into the final corner but managed to overtake fifth and fourth in one move, before snatching third," said Richard.
"The results could have been a lot worse but they could also have been even better, but that's racing for you.
"It was great to be out there again and Thundersport put on a brilliant show.
"Health and safety was key and it's only going back now you realise how often the team and riders are usually in such close contact with each other.
"Everyone wore a mask all the time and we even had to bring our own pens with us everywhere.
"The organisers did go to a lot of trouble and they did a great job, it's just a shame we've had to lose the social aspect of the race weekend because that's a big part of it all, especially during the evenings but everyone kept themselves to themselves.
"But it was good to be back and now we've got four more races at Mallory Park, Cadwell Park and Oulton Park – and we'll be pushing to try and win the championship."
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