Stafford down and out on first lap

UNHURT: Ben Stafford was down and out in lap one. Photo: Adrian Smith
UNHURT: Ben Stafford was down and out in lap one. Photo: Adrian Smith

Saracen’s Head youngster Ben Stafford was out of luck in round seven of the Pirelli National 600 stock series.

The Silicone Engineering team travelled to Hampshire to the Thruxton circuit which is renowned for its fast and flowing circuit.

Stafford was unsure about his fitness going into this event after suffering a broken hand two weeks earlier.

Free practice went well and at the close of the 25-minute qualifying session he was in a respectable seventh position going into day two.

However, midway through the second session the injury started to tell and Stafford slipped back to 15th on the grid – finding it increasingly difficult to hold on to the bike with one good hand.

He made a decision to not ride in the afternoon’s free practice on Saturday to rest the hand for the main event and after a trip to the medical centre and overnight rest all looked good for Sunday.

On the start line Stafford was confident he could make up some places and get more valuable points to his tally.

After a good start and settling into the rhythm he set about the task of moving forward until late in lap one another competitor ran in to the corner too fast and went down straight in the path of Stafford, leaving him nowhere to go and as a result both guys went down and out.

This week the Silicone team are on duty in the Ulster GP and Stafford has three weeks to gather his thoughts before the meeting at Cadwell Park on August 23.