The Hel Performance Motostar British Championship Moto3 standard class drew to a close at the fantastic Brands Hatch GP circuit last month, Goole’s Charlie Atkins was on fine form as he secured fourth place in race one and a third in the second.
On the Wilson Racing Honda NSF 250R, Atkins made a positive start in free practice. In the first session he finished fourth with a best time of 1:38.975, then in the afternoon session he improved his lap time to 1:37.606 and moved up to third quickest in the standard class.
In qualifying, the riders took to a dry track for the 20-minute qualifying session. Atkins was always in contention for a top slot throughout, but a small mistake meant that he would start fourth for the first race.
In the first race of ten laps, Atkins was quickly up to third place in the standard class. Unfortunately, Atkins was held up by a slower rider in the GP class. The GP rider was able to blast down the straight parts of the track but then held Atkins up through the corners. The two standard class rivals ahead of him were able to open a gap over the Wilson Racing rider. At the halfway point of the race, Atkins managed to overtake but he was almost six seconds behind the race leaders. He managed to reduce the gap and set the second quickest lap of the race. He was later overtaken by his team-mate in the closing laps and finished an excellent fourth.
In the second race, a 12-lap event, after a good start Atkins found himself behind the same GP class rider as in race one. He again struggled to overtake but by the halfway stage he was finally clear. Running third, Atkins came under pressure from fellow standard class rider, Jack Scott. He was coping with the pressure well, and on the penultimate lap, Scott managed to squeeze by Atkins as they crossed the finish line. Atkins was determined to finish the year on a high and dug deep, and coming out of the last corner he got really good drive to re-take third position by 0.063 seconds.
Last year Atkins was eighth with 176 points, but he has now finished the 2017 season in fifth place overall for Wilson Racing, scoring 241 points and with three podium finishes. It’s too early to know his plans for the 2018 season other than he will be one of just 22 riders selected to take part in the Dorna supported Moto3 British Talent Cup.
Charlie said, “I’m really pleased to have got on the podium. Last year this circuit was really difficult for me but this season I’ve got it sorted. In both races I got stuck behind a rider from the GP class but in the second I got by and got third. I must thank my dad and Uncle Lee who bring me racing and Gary and Nikita of Wilson Racing for always giving me an excellent bike. Of course I need to also mention my sponsors because without them I can’t go racing, so thanks to Harman Carpets and Flooring, Repair and Restore Goole, The Snaith Arms and MustHaveMediaServices.com.’