Motorcyclist Arnie Shelton heads into the first weekend of the season as one of the favourites for the first time in his racing career.
Shelton has team backing for the first time and after a great training weekend at Brands Hatch in March, he is aiming for a podium finish at the Kent circuit.
Shelton rides in the 125 2-stroke category where a top three finish should be within his reach. He also aims to finish high in the overall standings.
“I am feeling good,” he said ahead of today’s first practice session. “I have a team building the engines. I have no excuses. I think we can be top five in both. That is what I’m hoping for.”
He put his newest bike to the test at Brands Hatch last month in a series of races where he clocked some blistering lap times against some of the riders he will face this weekend.
The racer from Haconby, who has the backing of E3 Motorsport, said: “We went to a club meeting to test the bike at Brands Hatch and that went well. I got three thirds and a win. The weather was horrible all weekend but the lap times were good and we all enjoyed it.”
In the past, rain has helped Arnie. Now that he is among the favourites for the overall and 125 2-stroke leaderboards he wants good conditions which favour the team riders over independent racers.
The BSB series has 12 rounds, including one in the Netherlands before the finale at Brands Hatch in October.
After this weekend’s opening round the series moves to Thruxton, which will be a new challenge for Shelton.
“It is a bit more open; one of the faster tracks,” he added.
“I’m a little more nervous about this round as I’ve never been there; but we have two practice and two qualifying sessions to get used to it.”
Shelton thanked Glyn Jones, and John and Linda Pateman for their continued support.
This weekend’s races will be shown live on Eurosport.