After a difficult weekend in mixed conditions, Tom Toparis ended with a tenth place in the second British Supersport race at Donington Park. The Aussie crashed in the first lap of the wet first race. After his first ride back since his wrist injury, the Benro Racing rider was looking to find his rhythm and confidence again, and the weather didn’t make it any easier.
Benro Racing returned to the British Supersport Championship during the fifth round of the season at Donington Park. Tom Toparis was recovered from his broken wrist after a crash in the first round of the season. Even though Toparis hadn’t been on the bike for a long time, the pace wasn’t bad in the first free practice session. The Aussie set the eleventh quickest time in FP1. In the second session Toparis stayed in the box, as it rained last minute before the session and the team decided to sit it out.
The timetable for Saturday and Sunday had changed because of the bad weather forecast, so qualifying was cancelled. The starting grid was based on the lap times in the free practice sessions. Toparis was to start from the fifth row. It was a completely soaked circuit, and unfortunately the race ended very early for the Benro Racing rider. On the slippery track Toparis crashed in the first lap. So the Aussie was very motivated to end the weekend with a good result in the second race.
This forced Toparis to start from the sixth row on a dry track. The Benro Racing rider had a good start and managed to gain eight places on the first lap. Toparis ended up in a group of riders who were fighting for eighth place. During the race it became clear that the 20-year old rider lacked some rhythm. Toparis finished the race as fifteenth overall and tenth in the British Supersport class.
In two weeks (16-18 October) is the final round of the BSB championship. This event will be held at Brands Hatch.
Tom Toparis: I was honestly just happy to see the end of this weekend. It was definitely one of the most difficult weekends I’ve ever had. It’s good to be back on the bike after the long break with my broken wrist. The weather wasn’t at all good during the weekend. It was freezing cold with a lot of wet sessions. I want apologise to my team for the crash in Race 1. Unfortunately I’m just struggling a lot with feeling at this point in time, after not riding at all lately, and still trying to push towards the front, I keep finding myself on the ground which is the worst possible scenario. Although to be fair, in these terrible race 1 weather conditions, more people crashed than finished it seemed. It was good to see the finish flag in Race 2, although it was a difficult race. My wrist is still causing me a bit of grief, so we’ll try to sort it for the next round at Brands Hatch. As always, thanks to my team for doing everything possible to get me going good again, hopefully we can end the season on a positive note in a position towards the front where the team and the bike belongs.”
Unfortunately we have to announce that we won’t be competing at BSB round 3 at Silverstone this weekend. Tom Toparis is not yet fully recovered from the fracture in his wrist after the crash at Donington Park three weeks ago.
“We have done everything possible to get back ASAP, but we feel like sitting out this weekend is the wisest thing to do in order to compete competitively at the remaining 3 rounds this year.”
At this point, everything looks set for our team to return at Oulton Park in 2 weeks (18-20 September).
A great performance of Tom Toparis on his first experience at Donington Park. The Australian managed to score a top-five finish in the first British Supersport race of the season, although unfortunately the Benro Racing rider was injured in race 2 with a broken wrist after early crash.
Benro Racing made their official British Supersport championship debut at Donington Park this weekend. For Tom Toparis, the track was also new. Friday's free practice sessions were all about getting to know the track and making quick steps forward. This worked out very well, the Aussie managed to improve his lap times constantly during the day. Toparis ended in twelfth position at the completion of Friday. The Benro Racing rider showed an impressive performance in qualifying; he improved another second faster than Friday and he was fourth on the grid for the first race of the season.
Before the first race, the team made some changes on the bike, but in the end not all of them worked out as planned. After a difficult first few laps, Toparis lost the connection with the riders in the front positions. The Benro Racing rider worked his way back and in the end of the race he finished in fifth position. A great result on a completely new circuit for the team. The grid for the second race was determined by the fastest lap times of each rider in the first race. Toparis had to start from the fourth row on the grid in twelfth. The start and the first lap was great, after a lot of overtaking, Toparis was already in fourth position by lap 2. Unfortunately it went wrong in the last chicane when he lost the rear and highsided coming onto the main straight. Toparis suffered a broken wrist and several bruises to his shoulder. Early next week the Australian will be further examined in a Dutch hospital.
Tom Toparis: "We were getting stronger and stronger as the weekend went on. Together with the team we worked very hard to learn the Donington Park circuit as quickly as possible, and that went very well with a fourth place in qualifying, and a fifth place in the first race. I knew I had some work to do in race 2, coming from 12th on the grid. I had a very good start in the second race and gained a lot of positions. Unfortunately, I made a mistake on the second lap and this resulted in a bad ending on an otherwise great weekend for us. I'm gutted for the team, especially after all the effort they’ve put in these past 2 weeks to make it to the first race of the season. We will do everything we can to be back racing as soon as we can! Thanks to all the team and our great sponsors.”
After the cancellation of the WorldSBK plans, Benro Racing is pleased to announce that they’ve been given the opportunity to start in 2020 season. With the help of several parties Tom Toparis will compete for the Dutch team in the British Supersport. The opening round of the BSB championship will take place from 7 to 9 August at Donington Park.
A few weeks ago, Benro Racing unfortunately had to announce that they wouldn’t be able to start in the World Supersport championship. Financial reasons, caused by the corona situation, were the reason of a sad decision. After sharing the news there was a lot of response, also from James Redman. Benro Racing met the British manager last year at the IDM in Hockenheim. Redman made it possible for Benro Racing, together with the help of several other parties, to compete in the BSB 2020 season.
The Dutch team will work with a small crew and one rider; Tom Toparis. The Australian will compete in the British Supersport, the class in which he scored a podium in Assen last year. Redman will act as Toparis manager to help the 20-year old rider in his motorsport career. Benro Racing has a short preparation time, because the first BSB round is already from 7 to 9 August. The event will take place at Donington Park and it’s the first one of in total six BSB rounds in 2020. The British Supersport riders will have three races each event.
Team manager Sraar van Rens: "It was a huge disappointment for us that we couldn’t start in the WorldSBK. Partly thanks to the help of James Redman we can now share the news that we’re going to ride in 2020 anyway. I’m very happy about that. I want to thank our partners and specially Stuart Higgs for his help and to make it all possible in such a short time. For Tom [Toparis] it’s a great opportunity to measure himself in this strong competition and this gives us the chance to grow as a team. Last year Tom was very strong in Assen with a BSB wildcard. We’re curious how it will work out this season. It will be a busy week to prepare ourselves, but we are very motivated to make it a great BSB season!”
2020 BSB calendar
Round 1 | 7-9 August | Donington Park
Round 2 | 21-23 August | Snetterton
Round 3 | 4-6 September | Silverstone
Round 4 | 18-20 September | Oulton Park
Round 5 | 2-4 October | Donington Park
Round 6 | 16-18 October | Brands Hatch
After long consideration, Benro Racing unfortunately has decided not to start in the 2020 season. The Dutch team were set to compete in the World Supersport 600 Championship with Tom Toparis and Gianluca Sconza. The current Covid-19 situation in combination with the financial consequences has forced to this difficult decision.
After four seasons in the IDM championship, Benro Racing were proud to announced that they would make the step to the WorldSBK paddock. Last winter the team worked hard to get all the equipment ready for the start of the season, with Australian Tom Toparis and Italian Gianluca Sconza as their riders. The team planned to compete in the 10 European races of the World Supersport 600 championship.
The unexpected pop-up of Covid-19 delayed the start of the season. At the end of June the organisation of the championship announced that the season would restart in the first weekend if August. In the meantime, the Covid-19 situation has created a lot of damage, not only well health wise, but also financially. It was clear that this also affected the Benro Racing riders. After many conversations in the past weeks, the team unfortunately had to decide not to start this year. Later this year Benro Racing will make a choice about the options for the 2021 season.
Team manager Sraar van Rens: “I was happy and proud with our step to the WorldSBK paddock after four IDM seasons. With confidence in the qualities of our crew and riders, we were ready for the start of the 2020 season at the beginning of March. As much as it hurts to announce, we recently had to decide not to start. Health always comes first and talent itself is not enough in this sport. The financial aspect that comes largely through sponsorship is essential to move forward. I hope that 2021 will be a better year for every individual and every business.”