TEENAGER Liam Delves produced two strong points finishes in the third round of the 2016 Hel Performance British Motostar championship at Brands Hatch.
Racing in the moto3 standard class, the 15-year-old qualified in a strong eighth place and began his first race from a ninth row grid position.
The short Indy Brands Hatch track is notorious for not having many safe passing places with Paddock Hill and Graham Hill being the exceptions and on Saturday a shower of rain made the track even more difficult.
By the time the riders took their grid positions in the afternoon the rain had stopped but the track was still relatively wet which made tyre choice all the more important – be safe and go with wets or take a risk and use slicks.
Liam along with many others opted for full wets as it was a short race and even if the track dried the tyre should last to the end.
As the lights went out he did not get the best of starts and found himself down in ninth place on the first lap.
But Liam got his head down and began to pick off the riders ahead to take up fourth position on lap 11 of 16. He was demoted a place when Tasia Rodnik made a move on him but he was in a safe fifth place and crossed the finish line to pick up 11 championship points.
The Smiths Wood Sports college student said: “I had a good race and my times were on the pace of the leading group.
“Perhaps if I had opted for slicks I could have been further upfield but there again I could have crashed and gained nothing but injury and bike damage so I think in the end I made the right choice.”
The weather was dry and fine for the feature race on Sunday which Liam started from the middle of the tenth row.
With the race hardly started the pace car was out on track to slow the riders while a crash was cleared at Paddock Hill Bend.
Once the car left the track Liam settled into eighth place and on lap four made a move forward to seventh, but one lap later Thomas Strudwick retook the position leaving Liam to circulate just behind him in eighth position.
Unable to make a further move forward Liam had to be content with eighth place at the chequered flag to score a further eight championship points.
The 19 points picked up in the two races at Brands Hatch bring his total to 36 and place him eighth in the rider standings.
“It didn’t go quite to plan and I have to be content with eighth place,” Liam added. “But I really enjoyed racing at Brands Hatch and would like to thank my team and all my sponsors and supporters for they help again this weekend.”
The British Superbike championship takes a four week break now to allow for the TT races but Liam will be back on track in the next round at Knockhill in Scotland on June 26.