After a troublesome start to the season, Nadieh Schoots got her Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship campaign underway properly at Brands Hatch on Sunday with the ILR Kawasaki rider claiming a solid 30th place at the chequered flag.
Having utilised the time in between the second round at Oulton Park and the third round at Brands with a good test session at Assen, where she put in over 80 laps of her home circuit, Nadieh arrived at Brands feeling a lot more comfortable with the bike and with the British weather for once behaving itself, she continually got quicker as the weekend wore on.
With a time of 51.145s in free practice, Nadieh reduced that by almost one and a half seconds during qualifying around the 1.2-mile Indy circuit, also closing the gap to pole man Taylor Mackenzie from 4.3s on Friday morning to 3.1s on Saturday afternoon. It all meant she comfortably qualified for the race in 36th place and was ready to make her competitive debut on Sunday.
Conditions at the Kent venue were ideal for the 24-lap race and Nadieh again showed how much she was learning and progressing with the ZX-10R Kawasaki as she set her fastest lap of the weekend on the seventh lap. Battling on track with both Ryan Gibson and Ricky Dickinson, a lap of 49.606s ultimately meant she was able to pull away from Dickinson and she crossed the line in 30th place for her first finish of the season.
Nadieh Schoots: “This weekend was a lot more like it! Taking the bike back to Holland after Oulton really paid off as we had two days of sunshine and I managed 85 laps around Assen, working on my riding style and getting more and more comfortable with the bike. It was a massive help and I was able to arrive at Brands and work on the set up of the bike a lot more. Qualifying went well for me and I was able to close the gap between myself and the pole time considerably so it was a huge step for me. I was improving my times in each session and it felt great to finally get a race under my belt.”
“I was really nervous beforehand and messed up the start a bit but I regained my composure and had a nice battle with Ricky Dickinson. He braked very late which made it difficult to overtake him but I was able to force him into a mistake, overtake him and then open up a gap. I was then steadily gaining ground on Ryan Gibson before he pulled in but I was happy to finish in 30th having lapped consistently in the 49s bracket. I reduced my lap times again in the race so I’m looking forward to more improvement next time out.”