November 19, 2018
British Talent Cup
From the very first day Max jumped on the British Talent Cup bike there was never a question he was going to challenge for the title. Six weekends, 23 riders and identical equipment has produced some fantastic racing and although the season has had it’s ups and downs Max’s raw pace has seen him come through to take a championship podium.
The ups and downs have been quite dramatic this season. If he has finished a race it has been on the podium with two wins coming into the final round, but the remaining four results have been DNF’s with Max running into terminal problems. Those non-scores left Max a huge task to take the title from Rory Skinner and even taking 2nd would require Max to add to his win tally and for Thomas Strudwick to have problems of his own.
Away from the championship table this was going to be a big weekend for Max as the British Talent Cup would be one of the support races for the MotoGP season finale at the Valencia circuit. It was a chance to impress and catch the eye of future employers on the World’s biggest stage in Motorcycle racing.
The riders would be greeted with a wet track for the first race of the weekend and taking no chances into turn one Max would briefly drop to 7th at turn one before going straight back up to 5th place. As others fell Max quickly capitalised going up to 3rd, but he now had a gap to chase to the top two with 15 laps remaining.
As conditions continued to catch riders out Max was up to 2nd with crucially Strudwick the driver to fall helping his chances of becoming Vice Champion! As we approached half race distance Max had completed the chase to Skinner and with seven laps to go he cruised by into the lead at turn one.
With the pace he had it was unsurprising that would be the last anyone saw of him as Max charged off to take a dominant victory by over four seconds! It was a masterclass performance in tough conditions from Max who was greeted by the Oncu twins on his return to the pits.
His win meant the title would go down to the wire with Max inheriting 2nd place and if something were to happen to Skinner there was a chance he could become champion.
The final race of the season would produce dry conditions albeit with damp patches offline. Once again Max would start from 4th but this time on an untested dry set up around a track Max was still familiarising himself with.
The first half of the race would be all about Max trying to understand the bike and it’s setup and ride around the problems that had presented themselves. Unfortunately, that process took him out of contention for the lead battle and after a long hard fought fight for 3rd Max would eventually break away towards the end of the race and secure both a race and championship podium.
Overall it would be 3rd in the championship for Max having just missed out on 3rd by one point with Strudwick up ahead winning the race by 0.003 seconds. But all three riders on the podium put on a brilliant show this season and the whole paddock were in agreement that they all have a big future ahead of them on theMotoGP circuit.
At this stage in his career titles are great, but developing your skills is more important. The British Talent Cup has seen Max fight for victories on a World stage and sometimes the risks he has taken along the way have been rewarded and sometimes they haven’t. It’s been a journey he will learn from and should help him go on to win an even bigger championship in the future.
Despite only being a handful of races into his car racing career Tommy Foster has quickly adapted the tricky Formula Ford car and proved that in a racing situation taking victory in the BRSCC Formula Ford Winter Series at Anglesey.
Tommy got the day off to a perfect start qualifying on pole position for both races with a 1:11.424. It was a very close session with just under two tenths between the top four making Tommy’s job of converting that into a win very tough.
A difficult start to the race left Tommy in 2nd around a second off the race leader Jake Byrne. It took a few laps for Tommy to find his feet but after five laps had been completed he began to close the gap and put pressure on Byrne before eventually taking the lead on lap nine.
From there Tommy quickly opened a gap of half a second which would be enough to go on and take his first ever victory in car racing! It was astonishing how he was able to keep cool under pressure and control a race in such fashion so early into his career and it was a huge step forward in what is certainly a big career ahead for Tommy.
The second race would see Tommy get off to an even more difficult start this time dropping to 4th place with the leader 2.4 seconds ahead. Tommy’s comeback through the field would take a big knock on lap four when he dropped down to 5th with over three seconds now to the leader.
From there he put on a stellar performance to come back through to 3rd and was only half a second away from victory by the flag. With another lap or two he may have just taken the win but it was the start of the race that was where the damage was done and if not for that it could have been a double victory for Tommy.
However, a win and 3rd place is a brilliant result in what was a momentous weekend and is all great preparation for 2019!
Vinnie Phillips – 18th
Josh Irfan – 25th