Local Formula Jedi racer Rob Sayell had his most successful outing to date at Snetterton over the weekend, when he won Saturday’s race and finished runner-up on Sunday just one tenth of a second behind the winner.
It was Sayell’s (pictured with his trophies) first outing of the 2016 season.
Having had the R1 Yamaha motorbike engine rebuilt by Mike Smith Tuning during the closed season, practice times on Friday were very encouraging. Sayell led the qualifying session on Saturday right up to the last lap, missing out on pole to Michael Watton from Worcester by just four hundredth’s of a second to start on the outside front row.
Rob took the lead by the first corner, and was chased hard by Watton, who then spun out.
Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s Dan Clowes gradually reduced the gap but was never close enough to Sayell who took his first win since upgrading to the championship class in 2013. Lapping the three-mile circuit in a time of 1.50.6 minutes, he also took the fastest lap.
Sunday’s qualifying session again saw Sayell lead right up the last lap, beaten into second place by Clowes by just 0.19 seconds to again start on the outside of the front row.
This time Clowes got away first with Sayell close behind, the pair pulling away from the rest of the field. Sayell at one time took the lead only to drift wide and lose it again, and crossed the line just one tenth of a second behind Clowes.
Rob leads the championship jointly with Clowes after two rounds and the whole meeting was televised for a new series starting on Motors TV on May 5.
He said: “I was thrilled to win my first championship race. My dad Harry had set the car up and it handled perfectly, my brother Dave was keeping me informed on the pit wall so after Michael spun I was able to back off a little and save the tyres.
“I have always wanted to earn a winner’s cap and finally I have. The engine is strong and competitive. Sunday’s race was almost better despite finishing second. I missed a gear on the final corner so if I hadn’t I may well have been able to get the second win.“
Sayell has been inundated with messages of congratulations from other competitors from both Formula Jedi and his former oval racing colleagues: “I’d like to thank my sponsors J B Bikes and Wesigns and especially my family. The series has been sponsored by JNC Recruitment headed by Jon Hunter who really encouraged me when I joined the formula in 2009,” he added.