The 13-year-old Goole racer Charlie Atkins put his Wilson Racing Moto3 machine on the podium for the first time this season at the dramatic Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire.
Charlie Atkins said, “I feel amazing to have got my first podium. I just got my head down and put in a series of consistent lap times. I could see myself getting closer and closer to Thomas [Strudwick]. It was so great for me, Dad, Uncle Lee and Wilson Racing team owners Gary Wilson and Nikita Cartwright to get this trophy. Thanks to my sponsors Harman Carpets, Metcalf Autos, DRM Renovations & Building Solutions and Repair & Restore Body Shop.”
It was spitting with rain at the Woodland section of the track in the free practice session on Saturday morning but not enough to switch to wet tyres. The Wilson Racing rider completed 12 laps during the session completing his fastest time of 1:42.742 on his eighth lap to place him ninth in his class. The last six minutes saw the rain fall increase and with so little time it wasn’t worth changing to wets. Therefore, the riders all came in for an early end to free practice.
In the first qualifying session the Atkins it was drizzling. Although the track wasn’t completely wet with rain accumulating on your visor it’s easy to think conditions are worse than they are. As his confidence grew he set a best lap of 1:42.781 putting him eighth.
The second qualifying session was on the Sunday morning. The track was dry and Atkins was able to cut almost three seconds off his Q1 lap time to finish the combined qualifying in ninth spot.
The first race was of 10 laps. When it started Atkins dropped a place early on and found himself chasing Faber and Stacey ahead of him. On the fourth lap he went by Faber to move into ninth position and then the following lap Atkins overtook Stacey for eighth place. Unable to close the gap on two other riders ahead of him Atkins had to keep his concentration to maintain those he had passed behind him. He crossed the line in eighth.
The second race took play on bank holiday afternoon in front of thousands of visitors at Cadwell Park. Ninth on the grid for this 12 lap race Atkins made a steady start. By the fourth lap he was running in 8th position in the standard class. Again he was battling with Stacey and Faber. On the seventh lap Atkins was fifth running 3 seconds behind Strudwick. Three laps later that gap was down to less than half a second as Atkins kept up his pace. He closed in even further on the penultimate lap. On the final lap the rider in second crashed out and Atkins was fourth with just over two miles of the race left. Determined to achieve his best ever result Atkins overtook Strudwick at Park Corner and crossed the finish line 0.116 seconds to take a well-deserved third place.
Charlie Atkins is joint ninth in the championship on 109 points.