Mackenzie Crowned RST Race of the Year Champion at Mallory Park and McConnell Sets New Lap Record
East Midland Racing Association concluded their 2016 racing season yesterday (Sunday) as the RST Race of the Year made a triumphant return to the Mallory Park Circuit.
With a full days racing schedule, and a star line-up, spectators were treated to an action packed day both on and off the track, as leading riders from some of the UK’s premier racing championships descended on the Leicestershire circuit for the 49th RST Race of the Year, including British Superbike showdown contender Luke Mossey and 2016 National Superstock 1000cc Champion Taylor Mackenzie.
Free practice saw Buildbase BMW’s Lee Jackson dominating, before going on to set the fastest lap in qualifying, ahead of the Bournemouth Kawasaki rider Luke Mossey, and fellow Buildbase BMW team mate Taylor Mackenzie. Richard Cooper, Billy McConnell and Fraser Rogers completed row two, in front of the reigning Race of the Year winner from 2014 John Ingram, Phil Crowe and Leon Jeacock on row three.
As the sun made its long awaited appearance, the highly anticipated feature RST Race of the Year got underway with Jackson making a fantastic start and leading into Gerards, closely followed by Mossey and McConnell. The trio edged ahead of the rest of the field but Mackenzie and Cooper were hot on the heels of the leaders, as a 10 wheeled battle for the lead developed, providing some spectacular racing for everyone. As Jackson was overtaken by McConnell and then Mossey, Ashby based Mackenzie was busy plotting his assault on the lead from back in 5th position, before passing fellow team mate Cooper into 4th. With the leading Trio now firmly in his sights, he went on to pass McConnell into Gerard’s and then Mossey around the outside at Edwina’s Chicane. McConnell didn’t quite let him get away though, and closed in on him in the final laps of the race whilst setting a sensational new lap record of 51.075 seconds on lap 18 of the 1.39 mile circuit. It was Mackenzie who reigned supreme in the end and took the chequered flag to win the RST Race of the Year 2016, pocketing the £1,000 top prize, ahead of McConnell and Mossey.
Taylor Mackenzie “I’m over the moon to win the RST Race of the Year. I was only on my stocker, we put some Dunlop slicks in and I went a second quicker than I ever have at Mallory. Stuart and Steve have revived my career this year and I’m so grateful to them, so to be able to win this race for the Buildbase BMW team, and on home soil, is extra special. The prize money is a welcome bonus too!”
Natalie Hansard, Real Motorsport Limited “On behalf of all at Real Motorsport Limited, I wish to extend thanks to our event sponsors RST, and to all of the riders and teams that entered and supported the event, you put on a great race. We would also like to thank EMRA for organising the days racing, and to all the spectators who turned out to support the race. It was a great day, and one we hope to have many more of at the Friendly Circuit.