A motorcycle racer from Lynn who has overcome the amputation of a leg after a road crash is among those setting the pace on the track.
Mark Fincham lost his leg in 2007 but has battled back to compete in the MRO 1000 Clubman series and the MRO Powerbike class.
After two rounds of racing this season, the former Marine is currently second in the Clubman series and fifth overall in the Powerbikes.
But he owes his place on the grid in part to his father Colin, for providing a replacement bike while Mark’s number one racer is being repaired.
“He very kindly gave me his own bike to race, though I think it was so he had a good excuse to upgrade to the newer model himself,” quipped Mark, who is hoping to move up to the British Superstock 1000 series later this year if all goes to plan.
Gerry Bucke, general manager at Bikesure, said they were delighted to sponsor Mark for a third season.
“Mark has shown great determination to come back from his accident, and we’d love to see him improve on last year’s finish and move up to the next stage in his career,” he said.
After a few tweaks to his borrowed bike, Mark has hit the ground running, taking second in class and 10th overall at Brands Hatch before heading to his home track at Snetterton.
After employing the help of a professional suspension technician to get the balance of the bike right, Mark qualified second in class and sixth overall in changeable weather that made tyre choices tricky.
The weekend’s racing is made up of four points-scoring races, with Mark taking second and fifth overall in race one before shock absorber problems arose. Despite this, Mark again took second in class and fourth overall, recording the fastest lap in the Clubman class – a full second faster than his own previous best.
It was the same final outcome in race three, with Mark again knocking more than a second off his previous best.
Starting third on the grid in race four, Mark was having trouble with tyre grip - at speeds of more than 160mph.
Battling to hold on to fourth place overall, he had a last lap dice with another racer as they passed and re-passed each other, before Mark spotted a gap and dived through to get the verdict to retain fourth overall and second in class.”
Mark now heads to the next meeting at Silverstone on May 10 and 11, with a rebuilt shock absorber.
He thanked all his sponsors, including, Chartwell Insurance, Eurotech Precision Engineering, Albiondays and Parkitt Racing. Also to Steve Jordan of Steve Jordan Performance for the suspension work.
Find Mark on Twitter @MarkFincham23 or Facebook Mark Fincham Racing.