Difficult weekend at Brands Hatch for Hopkins
14-year-old Luke Hopkins from Sittingbourne was back at his local circuit for the final round of the Hel Performance Motostar British Championship last weekend. Entering as a wildcard, in the standard class for the fourth time this year, the Sittingbourne youngster managed to lap the 2.4 mile Kent circuit in free practice with a best time of 1:43.599. Later on the Friday the riders went out to compete in Q1. Hopkins reduced his time by 1.7 seconds to end the session in 12th place in the standard class as he reacquainted himself with the track layout. Early on Saturday morning he was back on track completing a further 13 laps and again reduced his lap time. On his final lap he posted a 1:41.173. Although he had improved he was classified 13th in the standard class combined times from Q1 and Q2. That afternoon the riders lined up on their almost identical Honda NSF250R machines for race one to begin. Hopkins was quickly on the pace matching his qualifying time by the third lap. However, the bike developed a problem with the brakes and he was forced to retire at the end of the fifth lap. In race two, just after lunch on Sunday it looked like it might pour with rain. The team elected to go for wet tyres but this proved to be the wrong choice. The rain didn’t materialise and Hopkins was soon off the pace and destroying his wet rubber. Again he was forced to retire from the race. Whilst Brands Hatch turned out to be a disappointing weekend for Luke Hopkins it should be remembered that the Kent rider recently finished the Team Green Junior Cup championship where he came second on a Kawasaki Ninja 300. He now looks forward to a well-earned rest from riding whilst he and the team look for the funding for the 2017 season.