Team Update: Norco Factory Racing at DH World Cup #2 in Fort William, Scotland
June 7, 2018
We’ve been patiently waiting for the second round of the DH World Cup since the phenomenal season kick-off with Norco Factory Racing’s Sam Blenkinsop back on the podium in Losinj, Croatia. Aboard the brand-new Aurum HSP, the team was hungry to shred the tracks of Fort William, Scotland, and compete against the world’s best once more.
The round in Fort William is probably the best attended DH round on the World Cup circuit. Thousands of fans want to watch the world’s best downhill racers on the unforgiving tracks of Aonach Mor and the Nevis Range. And, it wasn’t any different this year.
The team was up for qualifying on Saturday. By the time Sam, Henry and Joe were ready to race, the sky opened up and it poured rain changing the course conditions in just a few minutes. It was crucial that the team adapts quickly after having ridden the track only in bone-dry, dusty conditions. With Sam qualifying 6th, Joe 24th and Henry 54th, his best qualifying result to date, the guys were on fire for race day.
Besides prospects of more rain for the upcoming day, the rain held off in the Fort and it turned out to be a hot and humid Sunday in the Scottish Highlands. The long and challenging course and overnight rain set the scene for an afternoon of tight racing. The team charged hard on the treacherous, rocky track while staying slightly conservative after some hard crashes and mechanicals of competitors. All of them were able to secure solid results and earn valuable World Cup points with Sam finishing 9th, Joe 29th and Henry 49th.
Watch Sam’s run at the 1:18:43 mark and Joe’s run at the 0:52:10 mark on Red Bull TV.
See the full race results here.
The team is now on its way to the third stop of the DH World Cup circuit in Leogang, Austria, June 9-10.
Photos: Keith Valentine and Lewis Gregory