I am racing in a club called ThundersportGB (www.thundersportgb.com). It only started last year, yet it’s really shaken up club racing in the UK by setting new standards of organisation, racing, and track time. Now in its second year, it’s the biggest club in the UK and entries are sold out way in advance. The calendar takes in all of the UK’s top tracks over nine rounds, including a very special support race slot for every class across four days at the MotoGP event at Donington in July. There’s no better way to go racing than with ThundersportGB. You can follow the action on MotorsTV (Sky413), or better still come along and watch live.
My class is called Streetfighter A. It’s for naked bikes with up to 130bhp at the wheel, and very few other rules. You can convert a sportsbike or use a factory-made model, and tune a smaller engine or use a stock big one. The beauty and entertainment of the class is in the variety. They say that these are race bikes for real men, but they let me in anyway. There’s also a Streetfighter B class which has a limit of 95bhp. Although there are no capacity limits, these classes are predominantly made up of 1,000cc twins/750cc fours, and 600cc fours respectively.
For 2009 I’m campaigning an Aprilia Tuono 1000 R Factory, on loan from Aprilia UK. It’s virtually standard as it’s one of the highest spec naked sportsbikes around, yet its performance is amazing. The engine and chassis are identical to the RSV R sportsbike, which has always been an outstanding track bike. The only tuning is an official Aprilia Akrapovic exhaust system, plus a Dynojet Power Commander and Quickshifter, yielding 126bhp at the wheel. You can find out more details on my Tuono in the Bike Profile section of my website (www.jamiewilkinsracing.com). As I write, it’s ready bar the graphics, and it’s looking really mean. I can’t wait to race it.
White Dalton is co-sponsoring my racing, and I’d like to say a big thanks straight away. In particular, you can see the firm’s green and white livery on my helmets, with a cartoon racing barrister on the back. I’ll post up some pictures of the helmets in a few days. I’m actually a client of White Dalton, following a sound T-boning from a car on the road, which is how I know the firm. The team did an outstanding job for me, and now I hope to repay them with some great results. Further support comes from S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol.
Right now I’m already feeling nervous about the first round at Mallory Park. The weather has been so turbulent lately that we could get anything at the weekend. The short and bumpy circuit isn’t my favourite either, though I think I’ll enjoy it more on the Tuono than the 180bhp superbike I rode last year. I won’t make any predictions or set any lofty targets at this point. The next round is at Cadwell, which I don’t know that well. So the early season plan is to be competitive, score some solid results, and get through it with me and the bike in one piece. After that, I love – I mean adore – every other circuit and I’ve had good rides at all of them in the past. I’ll be looking to get on a roll and consistently fight at the front, getting the White Dalton helmet on TV and on the podium. I’m so excited it’s ridiculous.
Look out for regular updates here, including live news from each event. Wish me luck!