Damon Smith secures 1300cc Streetstock Vice Championship in dramatic finale at Cadwell Park
By Laura Linham
25th Sep 2023 | All Sports
In the gripping finale of the 2023 NG Road Racing Championships at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, Damon Smith of DS Racing Kawasaki clinched the title of 1300cc Streetstock Vice Champion.
A season filled with suspense came to a head during a weekend of dry and hot conditions, setting the stage for a showdown between Smith and Ade Walbridge, who trailed by 35 points in third place.
Smith kicked off the weekend with promising results during Friday's test day, tinkering with different suspension and tyre pressure settings. Saturday's 12-minute qualifying session placed him 2nd in his class and 15th overall among 33 starters, a promising sign for the races ahead.
However, the first race, held under scorching temperatures, posed a challenge. Despite a strong start, a complete electrical power loss on the last lap halted Smith's bike, dashing his hopes of finishing in second place. It was an unfortunate twist, but valuable support came from Thomas Brastock and even championship rival Walbridge, both of whom contributed to fixing the fault.
Race 2 saw a comeback from Smith. Starting from the back of the grid due to the previous day's hiccup, he surged through the pack to 4th place, closely trailing Walbridge. Deciding against taking unnecessary risks, Smith maintained his position, narrowing the points gap to 19.
The third and final race was not without its dramas. A sticking front brake lever hampered Smith's chances of challenging for a podium finish, but a 4th-place result was enough to secure second place in the championship.
Despite a weekend fraught with mechanical issues, Smith finished the season on a high note. His hard work over the year paid off with nine podium finishes and a fastest lap at Brands Hatch, marking it as his most successful season to date.
Smith extended his heartfelt gratitude to his long-time sponsors, including AFB Motorcycles, RA Stacey Plant Hire, and Vehicle Life Support, among others, as well as to the photographers and Club 23 members who supported him throughout the season.