Hopkins ends season inside top twenty
Hollins Strategic Land rider Luke Hopkins from Sittingbourne completed his rookie Pirelli National Superstock 1000 season with another top twenty finish at Brands Hatch. The 19-year-old stepped up to the British Superbike support series at the beginning of 2020 after winning two 600cc championships and finishing runner-up in two club 1000cc series.
Having completed two dry free practice on the Friday the Pirelli National Superstock 100 riders faced very different track conditions for qualifying on Saturday. Although they started late morning, overnight rain had left a damp track and with the cold temperatures did not help to dry the track. Lap times were significantly slower for the 36 riders. In the conditions, Hopkins managed a time of 1:38.496 which put him 28th on the grid.
The Pirelli National Superstock riders only had the one race at Brands Hatch this weekend to finish their season.
Hopkins made a strong start to the race moving from 28th on the grid to 26th by the end of the first lap. He was soon elevated to 25th as he continued his progress on the second lap of the 2.7-mile circuit.
By the fourth lap, aided by a couple of riders crashing out the Hollins Strategic Land rider had his Honda into 22nd position after overtaking Josh Wood. They were in a group battling for a top twenty position. He dropped to 23rd briefly as Josh Wood retook the position.
Hopkins progress was only temporarily halted as he then passed two riders to move into 21st place on lap six of the 14-lap race. Having got by both Wood and Cummins Hopkins was able to make a gap and begin to move towards McNealy in 20th.
With five laps remaining Hopkins had his Honda in 20th but the gap to the next rider was too large to close in the final few laps. He went on to take another top twenty finish.
Hopkins finished his rookie Pirelli National Superstock 1000 season inside the top twenty. He managed a point scoring finish at Donington Park in what has been a successful start to racing in this class.
Luke Hopkins said, “2020 has been an interesting year for us. Off the back of four successful club championships in 2019 we stepped up to race in the highly competitive Superstock 1000cc class of British Superbikes. There are over 35 really good racers in the class and some with huge experience. We had to make some changes this year including switching bikes towards the end of the season. I am really pleased to have got some points this year and regularly beaten my target of a top 25 finish. Of course I don’t do this alone so must thank Hollins Strategic Land and all my sponsors including HM Quickshifter and Scuff 2 New. I am looking forward to racing again in 2021 and hope that the fans will be able to be there too.”