Zoe Burn’s Burning Rubber column from Sunday Sun, July 19 2016
Rouse is right back on track with deal
BURNOPFIELD race ace Chrissy Rouse has signed an 11th hour deal to race this season in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.
The former Triumph Triple Challenge and Aprilia Superteen champ has joined Mission Racing to pilot their BMW machine in the 2016 series which kicks-off on Friday at Silverstone.
The 20-year-old who is currently studying maths at Newcastle University had initially hoped to return to Superstock 600 after a tough debut season last year, but after struggling to raise the budget to pay for a competitive ride, had abandoned any hopes of racing this year.
But almost out of nowhere he received a call from Mission Racing two weeks ago inviting him to test the team’s new BMW at Mallory Park. Rouse tested the machine last weekend and mad a decision the next day to join the team.
Last night he admitted stepping up to 1000c power wasn’t what he had planned for this year, but now it has happened he can’t wait to get going.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s all very new for me and I genuinely wasn’t expecting to race at all this year so I’ve got all sorts of feelings of excitement, relief, everything really!,” he told Burning Rubber.
“I honestly didn’t think I would be racing so I’ve only had a few days to get my head around the fact I am racing, I’ve got what looks like a good team and a good bike and I’m stepping up a class.”
Rouse, who has always been a rider who likes to move up a class and get to know the bike and how to get the best out of it in his rookie year before coming back to have a strong attempt at the championship in his second, says he plans to attack this season in exactly the same way.
“I’ve got to learn to ride the thousand and I’m not expecting it to be easy. I tested the bike last week and I loved it, but obviously this is a very tough class and I seriously can’t expect to turn up next weekend and be straight up at the front.
“I’m going to be giving it my best shot, I want to progress with it as far and as quickly as I can. The team seem great and there’s no pressure, not from them nor from myself. I’m excited, but I’m not expecting a lot at first. I hope I can perhaps slip in under the radar and learn the new bike and then once we’ve figured that out, I want to be working myself up towards the sharp end.”
And a change of engine size isn’t the only thing different this year. For the first time ever he is being forced to run a different number because another rider has already snapped-up his now famous 55. As a result Rouse will be running number 9 this season.
Rookie Coates hoping to carry on Clio as he began
MAX Coates got his Renault UK Clio Cup season off to a strong start last night when he crossed the line sixth in his series debut at Brands Hatch.
The Scorton, North Yorkshire driver was sixth overall but first in the Graduates Cup for rookie drivers aged under-23 as the season got underway on the Indy Circuit.
Starting from 10th on the grid, Coates got a quick getaway at the green light and was up to sixth position before the end of the opening lap, while several other drivers got caught out and ended up in the gravel traps, bringing out the Safety Car.
It took a few laps to get the stricken cars out of the way as it began to spit with rain and the 18-lap race was extended to 23 laps. As the Safety Car headed in at the end of Lap Eight, Coates kept a cool head and held his position as the rain got heavier.
With six laps to go, he had dropped to over a second behind fifth-placed Charles Ladell and was coming under increased pressure from fellow rookie Josh Price. But on Lap 21 he found something extra and closed up back up to Ladell, thus distancing himself to more than half a second over Price.
He crossed the line sixth overall and first in the Graduates Cup with Price second. His next race will be this afternoon where he starts from eighth on the grid.