Sam Burman and her WNT Burman Racing team have finished in fifth position overall in the Monster Energy Motostar Moto3 British Championship after a dramatic final round on the Brands Hatch GP circuit.
Undeterred by less than ideal weather conditions and the need to replace an engine, Sam and her team once again demonstrated their strong team spirit and determination to compete, which resulted in the Messingham racer equalling her season’s best performance by taking fifteenth place in the final race of the season.
Sam had arrived at the circuit full of enthusiasm looking forward to further develop her new suspension and had a good first day on Friday setting times close to her personal best despite the tricky conditions. She was pleased to be inside the top ten after morning practice and as everyone’s times tumbled in the afternoon on a drying track, Sam was still inside the top fifteen rounding off a solid start to the weekend.
During the opening timed qualifying session Sam entered the pits for a small suspension adjustment after five laps, but on lap eight disaster struck as she exited the left hand corner of Surtees leading onto the GP circuit.
As she opened the throttle the engine blew leaving her stranded at trackside for the remainder of the session. She had been setting respectable times but missing half of the session she dropped to 24th on the provisional grid.
Sam would be forced to miss the final qualifying session since there was insufficient time to source and test a new engine, however, a replacement engine was acquired and couriered to the circuit on the Saturday evening and fitted overnight. The team were fortunate that morning warm-up on race day was scheduled later than normal, allowing them time to carry out the necessary preparation utilising the dyno available in the paddock.
A cautious approach was required to Sunday’s morning warm-up with Sam completing three laps.
The past 24 hours had been quite dramatic and hectic but was also a great demonstration of team spirit amongst the WNT Burman Racing team in the fact that that they remained positive and achieved their objective which was to enable Sam to compete in the final race of the season.
Sam lined up on row nine of the grid in 25th position and made a fantastic start to the race, but part way around the opening lap the heavens opened leaving the organisers with little choice but to stop the race due to the dangerous track conditions. All the competitors returned to pitlane and many sought shelter in the Superbike team’s garages, Sam taking shelter in Buildbase BMW.
Once the worst of the conditions had subsided, the race would be re-started over a shortened distance of eight laps. Sam got held up on the opening lap and made some small mistakes but soon settled into her stride and was running in 17th position midway through the race. Several riders came to grief but Sam kept her composure despite the tricky conditions and poor visibility to equal her best finish of the season by taking fifteenth position and sixth place of the Moto3 competitors, securing her fifth place overall in the Monster Energy Motostar Moto3 British Championship!
“I’ve had a great weekend at Brands to round off my season despite having to replace an engine. I would like to thank Sean Ryde, Ryan Saxelby, Ian Emberton and my WNT Burman Racing team for all their help. The race itself was frustrating but I was pleased to finish. It’s satisfying that we have successfully run the new engine and we’re looking forward to next season already. All that remains is for me to thank all my sponsors for their ongoing support and I hope to see some of you next Saturday at my 2014 Calendar launch.” Sam Burman By Martin Knighton