St Leonards ace on the podium at Brands Hatch

Nick Whitcher clutches his third place trophy alongside his bike
Nick Whitcher clutches his third place trophy alongside his bike

A motorcycle racer from St Leonards achieved a podium finish on his first race weekend in a new category.

Having come third overall in the BMCRC Rookie 600 Championship with 15 podium finishes last year, Nick Whitcher has switched to the clubman class this year and made a promising start at Brands Hatch last weekend.

The weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts, though. Whitcher hoped to do two sessions on test day last Friday, but tucked the front into Surtees and the bike needed to be repaired. When he was ready to go back out, the heavens opened so he sat out the last session of the day.

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Whitcher qualified fourth on Saturday morning and finished race one in the same position, even though he didn’t have the confidence in the front end after the previous day and the very strong wind and damp track made conditions very tricky.

In race two Whitcher was still off his usual pace and had to settle for fifth.

The winds picked up even more on Sunday, almost causing racing to be cancelled.

Whitcher was struggling with rear end grip coming out of Clearways in race three, causing him to lose a lot of time, and he finished sixth.

After a tweak to the rear suspension, he made a steady start to race four and was initially running fifth. Around the sixth lap, everything just clicked and all his confidence returned.

Whitcher closed a three-second gap to the fourth-placed rider and made his move at Druids on the penultimate lap. He then got a good drive out of Clearways and moved up to third.

Whitcher put in his fastest lap of the race on the last lap to secure third place and bring home his first clubman trophy.

He said: “Big thanks to MSS Performance Ltd for the help and to everyone who came and supported me.”