Brands Hatch hosted the latest round of the 2018 British Superbike Championship season and, as in the previous outing at Knockhill, Team ILR had Sam Laffins in action in the Hel Performance British Motostar Championship (Standard Class) with Mark Conlin again being supported by the team in the Dickies British Supersport Championship, as regular Supersport campaigner Robert Kennedy continues to recover from his Snetterton crash in June. 

Hel British Motostar Championship 
On the popular GP circuit, Laffins struggled in practice and qualifying with his cause not helped by a crash in the first session, and as such he started the first of the weekend's two races towards the back of the grid. 
At the conclusion of the opening lap he was outside the points and with 6 of the 12 laps completed, Sam was in the thick of a three rider dice for 14th and the last championship point with a queue of riders forming behind him. 

However red flags were shown on the 10th lap to bring the race to an early conclusion with Laffins finishing in 15th. 

Race Two again saw Sam battling for the lower championship points and in a five rider scrap that went right to the flag, the Dromara rider eventually claimed three more championship points with a battling 13th, just 0.073s behind 12th place man Jack Hart. 

Dickies British Supersport Championship
On an unfamiliar circuit, Belfast rider Conlin also found practice and qualifying tough going on Stanley Watson's Magic Bullet R6 Yamaha, and he finished the sessions at the lower end of the timings. 
Saturday's Sprint race soon became a lonely affair for Mark, finishing 20th, two seconds clear of the next rider Robert Childs. 
Sunday's Feature race was a similar story for Conlin, although he had to work harder to fend off the challenge of Mark Clayton and Mark Piper on his way to claiming 17th place, a repeat of his best placing in the previous round at Knockhill. 

The action moves to Thruxton in two weeks time. 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher
"Brands started with a customary crash from Sam as he continues to learn his chosen sport, so it was once again a race against time for Team ILR to get the bike ready in time for Free Practice 2. 
Obviously the crash knocked his confidence but as the weekend went on he bettered his times and brought his Honda home in a fine 13th position in Race 2. 

Mark Conlin too hasn't seen any of the BSB tracks before so it's a case of track time and slowly improving, which he did bringing his R6 home in 17th position and knocking almost a second off his times." 

Sam Laffins

"We had a bad start to the weekend with my crash in the first session but the team did brilliantly to get the bike ready for the next session. 
Qualifying didn't go to plan and I ended up starting the first race well down the grid meaning I had a lot to do, I was disappointed with my first result but felt better after the second race where I felt I gave a better account of myself. 
This season has been another big learning curve for me but with Ian Lougher and the team behind me I am continuing to learn and grow as a rider. 
Thanks to everyone in the team, my mechanic Willie, and all my sponsors." 

Mark Conlin

"Brands Hatch was a new circuit for me, but with Ian and Team ILR I picked up valuable tips not only on the circuit, but about my general riding and bike set-up. 
I have really enjoyed my last two wild-card outings with the team and they can only stand me in good stead for the future. 
Big thanks to Ian Lougher and Asa at Team ILR and my mechanics Grahame and Jamie for all their hard work. 
Also big thanks to Stanley Watson, Gilnahirk Tyres, Kilmore Farms and all my sponsors who make this possible, and to my family and friends for their support." 


          July 2018