Team ILR had a two rider representation with Sam Laffins back in action in the Santander Consumer Finance KTM RC 390 British Junior Cup and Robert Kennedy in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship, as the British Superbike series headed north of the border for the annual visit to the Knockhill circuit in Scotland. 

Santander Consumer Finance KTM RC 390 British Junior Cup 
It promised to be an busy time for the British Junior Cup competitors with no fewer than four races over the course of the weekend. In the free practice session young Laffins was a brilliant third and was quickest through Sector 1 and second quickest in Sectors 2 and 3. 
He was at it again in qualifying where he was never out of the Top 3 in the three sectors and had the second best Perfect Lap, finishing fourth quickest just over half a second off pole and starting the race heading the second row of the grid. 

However Race One didn't exactly go to plan. 

After a good start in which he held his position, Sam dropped two places on the second lap and soon found himself involved in a three rider dice with Will Lathrope and Matthew Bower for sixth. It was a tussle that ended on the sixth lap with all three going down at Turn 2 after the rider in front of Sam left him with nowhere to go, bringing the race to a close with the introduction of a red flag. 
Thankfully Sam was unhurt but didn't go out in the second race which was held just over an hour later due to his bike being damaged. 

Sunday's third race saw Sam having to start from the back of the grid following his crash the previous day, despite this he rode brilliantly to steadily work his way through to finish 8th in a field of 20 riders, and had the fourth quickest lap of the race to push himself back up to head Row 2 for the fourth race. 
However Sam's bad luck struck again. 
He was running in 5th position when the race was red flagged which meant when it was restarted he started 5th on the grid. 
Within one lap of the restart he pulled back into 4th and run the rest of the race with the front 3 runners. But with two laps to go Sam lost the front and ended up crashing and at the end of the same lap the race was red flagged again with one rider coming off and another disqualified for putting him off, which meant Sam would have finished second but for his crash. 

After again being impressive through all three sectors he was in a safe 4th place when he crashed out. 
Although uninjured, he was nevertheless left to ponder on what might have been. 

Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship 
Team Sandown's Robert Kennedy, who has been working closely with Team ILR this season, arrived in Scotland after a string of bad luck and hoping to get his season back on track. 
As has been the case all season, Robert was well on the pace in practice and qualifying. 

Despite finishing 10th fastest for the race, Kennedy was only 0.42 seconds off pole with the top 17 riders all covered by less than a second. Again Robert's bad luck returned in the race though as he got pushed wide at Turn 1 and suddenly found himself down in 18th. 

From there it was a game of catch-up, not an easy task at Knockhill. 
But Robert knuckled down and did very well to claw himself back to 9th at the chequered flag. 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher
"The weather at Knockhill can be a little unpredictable to say the least, and once again it didn't disappoint. 
Thursday and Friday started so cold, but by the time Sunday arrived we were all getting sunburnt. 

RK had a mixed weekend, mainly due to a slight lack of confidence after failing to finish in the last two rounds when lying in the top five in both races. But he rode well but couldn't quite find the front end feel that he was looking for, so a ninth place finish at the Scottish track and now looking forward to Snetterton in two weeks time. 

As for Sam he had one of the hardest weekends that any 15 year old should ever have to stand. 
His qualifying was fantastic, riding well within himself and ended up 4th on the grid, only to get knocked off in one race which resulted in him missing the next one, however 8th in the third race from the back of the grid was great. 
But when lying in a safe 4th place with a lap to go he suffered an unexplained front end crash. 
So it was a great sight to see him being able to hang on to his pint sized rivals for most of race 4 and heart breaking to see the end result. 
But it's all a massive learning curve for the young Dromara rider, and I am quite sure he has the talent go on and be a great rider in the future." 

Sam Laffins
"It was a good weekend for me and Team ILR, only for the two crashes. 
I was doing good consistent lap times, one minute flat and the guys that were in front were doing 59.5's which meant I was only half a second off the pace. 
It did show that I can run at the front with the top three and after only three race meetings. 
Thanks to Ian and Team ILR for doing an excellent job with bike set up, and for mentoring and working hard with me." 

Robert Kennedy
"Disappointed with another poor weekend, both for the team and myself. 
I just didn't have the confidence to do what I needed to do on the bike. 
The team worked tremendously hard all weekend, to try and resolve the problems, but we simply ran out of time! 
We head to Snetterton in two weeks time where we tested a couple of weeks ago, so here's hoping for a good solid weekend. 
Thanks again to everyone for their help. 
And of course to Team ILR, Team Sandown and to all the team sponsors and my personal sponsors and family and friends, who I couldn't do this without."