The Hel Motostar British Championship paid its second visit to Brands Hatch this season for the latest round of the series on the longer GP circuit, and for Team ILR's Vasco van der Valk and Joe Thomas it was a solid weekend's work with both again in the points for what has become one of the most consistent teams in the championship to date. 

Van der Valk went quickest of the two in qualifying to place him on Row 4 of the grid with Thomas just under a second slower and one row back. 

Both riders would perform well in the weekend's two races with Vasco's two ninth places only telling half the story, and on another occasion the 15 year old Dutch rider could have found himself with two top six finishes. 

He was very much part of a seven rider group that battled for virtually the entire first race for 5th place, and only lost out when among back markers in the closing stages. 

Nevertheless he learned a lot, finishing as he did just behind Ed Rendell, one of the most experienced and quickest riders in the class. 

And it was a similar story in Race 2 with Vasco always in the mix in a group of five riders challenging for the higher placings. 

Joe also rode well at Brands Hatch. 

Comfortable in 14th in Race 1, he then came under a lot of pressure in the closing stages but with a lot of determination he held on to fend off his rivals. 

Buoyed by this, Thomas improved his lap times considerably in the second race to ride to a great 10th place finish behind his team-mate in ninth. 

Vasco has hit a rich vein of mid-season form with the action now moving to Thruxton in two weeks time, and it's a circuit which should suit him. 

With renewed confidence, Joe will also be looking to give a good account of himself at the fast flowing Hampshire venue. 

Ian Lougher Team ILR owner/manager: 

''It was a satisfying weekend for the team with both riders getting into the top ten once again. 

In Saturday's race it looked at one point that Vasco might get 5th as he was involved in a real dog-fight with seven other riders. 

He was at it again on Sunday in Race 2 gaining another ninth. 

Joe struggled a bit on Saturday with confidence but went two seconds a lap faster on Sunday getting a great 10th. 

As always I'd like to say a big thank-you to all our sponsors, and also the hard work put in by the team members this weekend as Brands is always logistically hard graft. So a big thank-you also to MattJackoRichardIwanAnitaAndrea and Asa." 

Vasco van der Valk: "And the weekend is over, both races 9th with nice battles and improvements all the time! Also my sponsor Amex Logistics BV and Gertjan came down to watch, thanks a lot for supporting me! Hope we can keep up this pace at Thruxton. Thanks to the team and all the sponsors!" 

Joe Thomas: "I am happy with the weekend. I had a good chat with my mechanic Jacko and I am feeling good about Thruxton. I am more confident in myself and wish to thank all my sponsors and all the team!"

Team ILR owner Ian Lougher: ''Well what an odd weekend that was.. very difficult, challenging and disappointing at times, but we plugged away to find a good set up on Vasco's bike, and repair Joe's bike after a huge crash in Q1, and got both riders in the points once again. 
A massive thank you must go out to Jacko, Matt, Alun and Mic Mac for working tirelessly on Joe's bike after a crazy move was put on Joe on only the 2nd lap of qualifying on the fastest part of the track by Joel Marklund who came past so close he took the handlebar out of Joe's hand.!!!!
I am so glad Joe wasn't seriously injured and at first the bike looked like it was a write off, but after using up just about all our spare parts we managed to get him out in the race and gain some points.''

Joe Thomas:
"Biggest thanks ever to the team for getting the bike ready after disappointingly being knocked off in Q1.
But I enjoyed the race after starting from 30th.

And thank-you to all the sponsors and to everyone who came for support!" 

Vasco van der Valk:  "Another great weekend with Team ILR! Oulton Park is an incredible track, but its not easy to go fast there. The wet practice and the dry one made it quite hard to get to learn the track better and set-up the bike for it, but in the race it all turned out great. The fight for the last points was all I could manage, in a group of four and only two places with points I had to make sure to be in the right place at the finish. I waited a bit in the rear in the last few rounds and overtook two riders in the last one. I wanted to pass Joe as well, but I was just too late to even try that. We both took points and had an amazing battle, so Im quite happy! Only downside to finishing this race is the next one is still 6 weeks away "


Satisfactory Weekend for Team ILR at Brands Hatch

Posted August 2015