British F1: Bitterly cold Snetterton banishes winter blues
The two-day test session organised by Roger Body and RKB-F1 Motorsport at the Snetterton 300 circuit attracted a good following from the Molson Group F1 Championship with fifteen outfits signing on Saturday morning.
There was also a fair gathering of club and classic machinery, whilst the F2 outfits were conspicuously absent.
At around six degrees with a strong breeze, conditions were far from ideal, although by its very nature, many teams shook out the cobwebs of the closed season and came away with positive results.
Saturday morning started dramatically, with Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde tipping the Hannafin outfit on its roof. Because the engine ran for several seconds upside down, Rupert called it a day and cut his losses.
Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz had their Santander Salt Yamaha on its side too but continued to spend valuable track time settling in with the new team.
Robert Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz
Kevin Cable had the luxury of two passengers available for his L&W Contractors outfit, with Lee Watson making a welcome return to the paddock sharing track time alongside Kyle Masters Kevin’s regular sidekick.
Kevin Cable and Lee Watson
The plan is for Lee to slot in should Kyle have issues with work commitments, as this crew intends to take in FIM World rounds as well as those British which do not clash.
Former Champions and World hopefuls Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson were bang on form, looking strong on their Santander Salt bike. The new team livery for Biggs and Ellis is indeed striking. A recent episode at the Val de Vienne test in France saw Ellis upside down as well, so there was another new fairing in evidence at Snetterton.
Newcomers George Holden and Oscar Lawrence were well pleased with their Saturday outing, appearing to have gained speed and smoothness since their 2020 debut.
George Holden and Oscar Lawrence
Andy Peach and Ken Edwards, ever jovial and consistent, were going well, looking forward to a full season, and happy to be back on the bike.
Unassuming as ever, Sam and Adam Christie simply got on with the job and reeled of many laps. They will be a force once again in whichever Championship they choose to contest.
Serious British contenders Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney were sporting a plain white fairing with the final livery obviously work in progress, with Ben Holland/Tom Christie looking good together. This latter pairing, given the finance and opportunity to compete at all rounds, have the proven ability to run at the front.
Ben Holland and Tom Christie
Scott Lawrie was out with Shellie Smithies doing the honours, Simon Gilbert looked consistent and obviously happy to be having a family trip out.
All in all, despite the lack of F2 machinery, those who made the trip were very satisfied with the outcome, with all eyes now on June when proceedings get underway.
Phil Bell and James Connell
Photos courtesy of: Jenny ‘Triker’ Wells