The picturesque circuit of Oulton Park in the heart of Cheshire was to be the setting for the Pirelli National Superstock 1000’s; penultimate round and we were in for a treat as Luke Hedger had a double header.
The EHA Racing rider has raced like an absolute pro all year long with determination, longing for a podium; so this was the one thing on his mind for the weekend. The top 5 have dominated the top spots for the whole of 2017, so it was up to Hedger to be clever and learn exactly where they were weak and to overtake at the right time.
Other factors come into play like being plagued by rain in free practice and in qualifying like at the previous round meaning Hedger was not able to use the track to his full potential but it was an even keel so they all had to bare slippery service.
He brought the Aprilia home after only 9 laps to qualify in 10th position with his fastest lap being on the last which he and the team were delighted with. Pulling back in to the pits he said he found more momentum as the time went on gaining more pace and he was happy with the settings and the tyre choice was ideal for the conditions.
There was hardly time for him to change out of his One X leathers before he had to get back in them again for the 1st race which was Saturday afternoon. Hedger pulled up at the end of pit lane ready for the 14 laps ahead of him and eagerly went off on his warm up lap.
The start of the race was intense and the spray from the bikes in front caused Hedgers vision to be massively impaired but this did not stop an already determined rider. After a great start he was up at the business end overtaking James Rispoli and Alex Olsen with ease.
He then battled hard with off track friend, Fraser Rogers eventually lost against Hedger who had fire in his eyes leaving him behind. He then went on to overtake Mason Law before taking the chequered flag in 7th place. He let his hand off the throttle where it had been firmly planted for the past 30 minutes or so and waved to a very happy crowd around the 2.6mile track.
Another Sunday came around and due to the local church being so close we could not start proceedings until midday so I think its safe to say some of the riders had a well, deserved lay in. Race 2 he was to start on row 3, 8th place where he stormed off the line from and managed to get round the outside of Adam Jenkinson very early on. After a great race and overtaking one of his heroes, Michael Rutter he steamed over the line in 4th place. A great way to end the day, it may not of been a podium that he so desperately wanted but it was close enough and he gained valuable points from it placing him 8th in the overall championship only 6 points behind Fraser Rogers with the final only 4 weeks time.
“The weekend started off slow, but we kept building throughout every session. We got faster, which of course is the plan, and I was happy with the two race positions. P7 and P4; which gives me solid points and is good for my overall championship position. Now we look ahead to Brands, where I know we will carry on our good pace. I couldn't do it without the whole EHA Racing team, Ian, my Dad, family, and all my sponsors SRS and Swindon Karting who have stuck by me.”
SRS international (Simon Whatley), Swindon Karting (James and Matt Cox),IN Aprilia(Ian Newton),EHA RACING,One-X Leathers(John McQueen), Lids365.com,J.C.Cook Cycles(Andrew Jones),HJC Helmets,Daytona Boots, Knox gloves,full throttle racing, Cami pix Photography and Dave Siney.