RSF Racing’s rider, Richard Spencer-Fleet writes: With this being the first race weekend since a bad crash in April 2017, when I broke my neck, there was a lot of apprehension, nerves and thoughts of the unknown in my head this weekend. Having built the bike over the past year, I knew it was ready. I Just had to get my head up to speed and back in the game as quickly as possible. The weather forecast for the weekend was not good with heavy rainfall and potentially snow on the Monday, not the best conditions, but we had to just get on with it.
Practice – Having never ridden the bike in the wet, practice was a massive confidence inspiring ride. The bike felt like it was on rails and I didn’t have any moments. With a river at the old hairpin and a soaking wet track, I was happy to just get around and benefit from some bike time. My lap times weren’t great but I knew I could build on it.
Qualifying – Qualifying arrived and the rain had stopped. I made the decision to go out on full wets as the track was still damp. I set off out on track and tagged onto a few guys to find out where there was grip and where there wasn’t. Throughout the session a dry line was starting to appear so I made the call to come back in and see how much time was left. With 6 mins to go we were sitting in 22nd place. Lots of teams had already made the call to come in and put on dry tyres. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time, so after a few suspension changes, I went out for the final few mins to get a flying lap in on wets. The Out-lap was going well, setting fastest sectors of the session. Then on the flying lap, 2 riders came off in separate incidents and I had to slow. The guys that got dry rears in managed some flying laps in and I finished qualifying in 27th.
Race 1 – What a baptism of fire! It was unlike any race I’ve ever been in. With this being the first time out on dry tyres all weekend, settings were a best guess. The race didn’t go too well. I ended up going backwards at the start and I struggled to gain the time back and get with the group in front. I finished the race 31st but I learned lots to take forward and prepare for race 2.
Race 2 – Yet another wet session, this was wet wet wet! The start was better and knew I had to fight hard on the start to hold my position. By turn 2 I’d already managed to take 2 places and I was gaining speed. This race was going to be about survival. I managed to get in a good position and I knew I just had to hold it there, despite seeing the next place just a few seconds in front. Racing round the track I kept seeing more and more incidents, and the laps were going down. To come over the finish line in 25th, I was happy with that.
This weekend has been a real eye opener. Everyone on that grid is fast. I’m really glad to be here and to be racing again. It’s been a massive learning curve this weekend and I’m now chomping at the bit to get back out on the bike at Brands Hatch in few weeks time. I’m Really hoping for some dry, warmer weather so I can push on some and get the results I really want.