Harworth’s Dean Hipwell produced an excellent seventh place finish in the third round of the National Superstock 1000 Championship at Oulton Park last weekend, despite having to start 39th on the grid due to last minute tyre issues.
On board the CDH Racing BMW, Hipwell was hoping he would not suffer with the arm pump problem that had plagued him in the previous two rounds.
After Saturday’s two free practice sessions he was the 11th quickest, having lapped the Oulton Park circuit quicker than he had done on previous occasions.
Hipwell was therefore hoping that with this in mind he could put the CDH BMW within the top 10 on the grid for the race.
But Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session did not work out as he had hoped and ended up in 13th place for Monday’s race.
Afterwards he said he was not happy with this position but had not felt 100 per cent comfortable during the session.
For Monday’s late morning race start the weather had started to close in and, as the riders left the pit lane for their warm-up lap to form up on the grid, the rain started to come down.
Realising he had the wrong front tyre on for these conditions Dean decided to pull into the pits to change the front wheel.
This meant he would have to start from the back of the grid in 39th due to not having formed up for the start.
As the race got underway Hipwell made a good start and by the end of the sixth lap was in 21st spot when the race was red-flagged due to an incident on track.
This took a while to clear up and the restarted race was reduced to nine laps with Hipwell now starting in 21st
It was still raining for the re-start but this didn’t hamper him as he had made up four places to cross the start and finishing straight in 17th. By the end of lap three he was in 14th spot before then gaining another place the next time round.
He was now less than half a second behind the two riders in front with a buffer of over two seconds now to the pack behind him.
On the fifth lap Hipwell overtook both the Suzuki of Alex Olson and the BMW of Barry Teasdale and, with Sam Coventry crashing out, was now in 10th.
He held this position for the next lap before on the seventh lap moving up into seventh.
Unfortunately for Hipwell, due to his poor starting position he was too far adrift of the leading group but now more than three seconds ahead of the group behind him with two laps to the flag.
Hipwell comfortably completed the two laps to finish, crossing the line in his best finish of the season in seventh place and with nine championship points.
After his recent problems with arm pump Hipwell and the CDH Racing team were well pleased with this result.