Triple podium for Appleyard Macadam at Brands Hatch
Team Appleyard Macadam Racing enjoyed their most successful weekend for some time over the Easter Bank Holiday at Brands Hatch. The Yorkshire outfit came away with three podium finishes courtesy of stand-in Supersport rider, Keith Farmer, and Superstock 600 challenger, Brad Jones.
Both men set themselves up for good weekends in their respective classes after qualifying on the front row for their scheduled races. Farmer missed out again on pole position, this time by 0.004 of a second, and Jones collected his first front row of the year in third.
The British Supersport Championship had the unusual prospect of three races across the bumper weekend, after a race cancelled at the opening round was slotted in at Brands Hatch.
The opening race saw Farmer get boxed in during the opening laps, allowing a leading duo to break clear. However, the Northern Irishman battled his way through to third place and fought off some close attention during the final laps to secure Appleyard Macadam Racing’s first podium finish since 2013.
Race two, later on Sunday afternoon, saw a slight bit of precipitation in the air and as the race began the precipitation quickly turned to rain. Farmer was one of three riders to get caught out by the rain on the opening lap and high sided at Surtees before the red flag came out. However, due to less than three laps being completed, a complete restart was decided and Farmer was fortunately able to retake his place on the grid.
He grabbed this opportunity with both hands, fighting through to second place and again fighting off pressure from behind to secure his second podium finish of the day.
Monday saw Jones, having waited patiently, finally given the chance to match his teammate’s success from the day previous. A good start saw him quickly settle into the battle for the race win. With a handful of laps remaining, the race leader began to break clear with Jones sat in third. He couldn’t get through to second in time to challenge for the lead, but was able to battle through with two laps remaining to grab his first podium of the year and the team’s third of the weekend.
The final action of the weekend was the Supersport feature race, with Farmer fronting the second row of the grid determined by the fastest laps of Sunday’s second race.
Farmer made his best start of the weekend, leaping straight into second place. Like the two races on Sunday, reigning champion Tarran Mackenzie was again breaking clear of the rest of the field but Farmer was determined to go with the number one plate holder.
He closed the gap to half a second before having a huge moment at Druids, tucking the front end of his Yamaha R6 and miraculously saving the near crash with his elbow and knee.
This dropped him backwards to seventh but he eventually recomposed himself and came back through to take a respectable fifth place finish.
Heading into Oulton Park in a fortnight’s time, Farmer sits fourth in the championship and Jones is second in the standings after rounds one and two.
Keith Farmer said:
“Sunday was a mega day getting third and second in the two sprint races. I woke up a bit stiff and sore after the little off in second race on Sunday but I was determined to try top them in the main race on Monday.“There are no words to explain how much I wanted to catch Taz [Mackenzie] and I found the limit in doing so. I’ve seen the pictures of the save and it was epic. I wasn’t going to let it slip from beneath me after the two podiums so to salvage fifth was nice. The team did a great job all weekend, on to Oulton now looking for that win.”
After the race happy Brad Jones commented:
“Getting the front row was important as I knew it would be a close. The race itself was good, hectic at times, but I’m really happy to come away with a second place and to move up to second in the championship too. “Massive thanks as always to Team Appleyard Macadam Racing for doing a mega job all weekend and to all my sponsors for making this possible.”