Leon Haslam and Jason O’Halloran are among the style and race favourites
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s just 26 Bennetts British Superbikes flying over ‘The Mountain’ at Cadwell Park. Round eight of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship heads to Lincolnshire, and one of the most exciting circuits on the calendar.
We are slowly creeping towards crunch time as the ‘Showdown’ looms in just two rounds, and five races left, two this weekend at Cadwell and three at the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, but who exactly needs what to secure their space in the all-important top six.
Championship leader Leon Haslam is set to secure his place in the Showdown at Cadwell, with one more win all it takes to make him the first rider to become a title fighter. The ‘pocket rocket’ is a Cadwell specialist, so you can bet your last fiver he’ll secure his place this weekend.
And then there were five, Dixon, Brookes, Glenn Irwin, Ray and Buchan occupy the remaining showdown spots. Dixon and Brookes are in great form, with 12 podiums between them from the last 10 races, both are quickly becoming shoe-in’s for the top six, which Dixon could secure if he picks up both wins.
Outsiders like Peter Hickman are hitting form at just the right time, after defying the odds at Thruxton picking up two podiums just hours after laying in a Winchester hospital bed with a kidney infection. The world’s fastest road racer sits in seventh place of the standings, seven points shy of sixth placed Danny Buchan.
Cadwell is Hickman’s home race and with the crowd behind him, riders like Buchan and Ray will need to keep their eyes on the prize and pick up where they left off earlier in the season to remain in the Showdown.
Lap record holder, Lee Jackson
Looking back at 2017
Let’s now take a look at 2017, a weekend any Bennetts British Superbike race fan will never forget. Leon Haslam and James Ellison picked up the victories in two closely contested affairs, but it was a home town hero who grabbed the headlines.
Haslam took the flag just 0.131 seconds ahead of Jake Dixon in the opening encounter, and Ellison battling through the pack to nick the victory from Lee Jackson with just two laps to go, destroying the Lincolnshire man’s dream of a home victory.
Records would be broken that famous day as Lee Jackson onboard the Smiths Racing BMW smashed the 11-year lap record, previously held by Haslam from 2006. A 1’26.478 is the now the benchmark. Peter Hickman joined his team mate on the podium in race two, with Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne rounding out the box in the opening encounter.
Based in the beautiful rolling hillsides of the Lincolnshire wolds, Cadwell Park, 2.1 miles in length with more ups and down than a roller-coaster, is one circuit on the calendar every fan likes.
Where to watch from?
It’s the perfect spectator circuit, with fantastic vantage points all around the track, however there is just one spot you MUST watch from. The Mountain.
The Mountain is the only piece of track in short circuit racing where you can see 200 mile-an-hour superbike fly through the air like motocross machines. Stars such as Josh Brookes, Danny Buchan, Mason Law and Peter Hickman are the highest jumpers in pursuit of the fastest lap time.
The beauty of Cadwell is the small, but accessible, paddock where spectators can get close to their hero’s and see exactly what goes on behind the scenes in a race team.
Although the top superbike teams are based across the track, riders will be easy to catch as they cross the circuit to head back to their motorhomes, perfect for all you autograph hunters and selfie goers.
If it’s been raining and you’re riding, bring a parking puck
For the newcomers to Bennetts British Superbikes this season, and fans who have never travelled to Cadwell the main entrance is the only entrance. Car parks are situated to the left of the main circuit gates and fields behind turn one and two. Bike parks are situated in the infield of the circuit, which you will be directed to on arrival.
There’s even a helmet and leather park run by the local rotary club. £2.50 for a helmet, £7 for a large clothing bag or £8 for helmet and clothing bag.
If you’re wanting to plan your day at Cadwell in advance, then check out the weekend timetable below!
When you start to feel peckish there will be plenty of food stores to choose from at the bottom of ‘The Mountain’, in the paddock and in the trade zone area at the top of the circuit, near to the ‘Gooseneck.’ Or, you can find your favourite meal in the Clubhouse, situated in the paddock, by the ‘Hall Bends’ section of the circuit.
And this is the perfect place to stand and watch from if the weather takes a turn for the worst, with tree’s covering the spectator areas. But hopefully this will be a last resort, as we don’t plan on any rain affecting the action.
Supersport championship leader, Jack Kennedy
It’s not just the Bennetts British Superbike Championship who are ready to entertain you this weekend, the support classes are also there for your enjoyment.
The Dickies British Superpsort Championship is always one to keep your eye on. Leading the way is Irishman Jack Kennedy, who continues to recover from a nasty broken hand, which failed to stop him from taking the feature race victory at Thruxton, following a podium finish in the sprint race the day before. Ben Currie is his nearest challenger and you be rest assured that the two will be battling it out for the victory.
Keith Farmer leads the way in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 series, with Aussie Billy McConnell and Joe Collier snapping at his heels and ready to do battle. One man not racing at Cadwell Park is Taylor Mackenzie due to his team’s involvemen in the Classic TT while Lee Jackson, the outright BSB lap record holder is another man to watch.
Ryan Vickers will be the man to watch this weekend as he looks to extend his Championship lead in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class.
Ryan Vickers, Superstock 600 series leader
The Hel Performance British Motostar Championship is not to be missed at Cadwell, with Jake Archer out to take maximum points before he heads out to the British Grand Prix as a wildcard. Also, in action will be the Ducati Tri-Options Cup and the Hyundai Construction Equipment British Sidecars.
Tickets availability and prices
Tickets for the event can be bought from https://cadwellpark.msv.com/CP-18-BSB-1, with weekend passes available for just £37 for adults and £22 for teenagers aged between 13-15. Admission for race day Sunday is £28 online for adults, £34 on the day, senior citizens are £26 with teen’s £17 online and £20 on the day.
Seats are available but limited from £20 for race day at the three grandstands situated around the track at the exit to ‘Charlie’s’ corner, ‘Club’ chicane and ‘The Mountain.’