Podium placing proves a huge confidence boost for Allkins
A YEAR after obtaining his motorcycle road racing licence, Ian Allkins has made it on to the podium.
Not so surprising, you might think – but Allkins has had to overcome a number of obstacles, not least the fact that he has only one eye, having lost the sight of the other in an incident during his time in Army.
Added to that, he all but destroyed his Honda 500 machine in a crash at Mallory Park in his maiden season, putting paid to any further competitive outings in 2012.
So claiming a second and a third place at the Leicestershire circuit's traditional Plum Pudding meeting at Christmas not only went a long way towards rebuilding his confidence but also provided him with a real boost for the coming season.
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He said: "I did the first race at Donington last year, where I was average, then I had a really big crash at Mallory when I wrote the bike off.
"That ended the season for me and forced me to evaluate what could be achieved in the coming year.
"Getting on the podium gave me a bit of a confidence. The bike was a lot better than it had been before and I was able to lay the demons of the Mallory crash.
"It was cold and damp and I was pushing hard and although I had another spill in the last race, I did very little damage to the bike. I also managed to beat my personal best lap time for the track, which was another positive."
The 25-year-old from Allenton had to give up his career with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers after being stabbed at a bonfire celebration in Southampton.
He lost his right eye in the incident and, under the rules of the Auto Cycle Union (ACU), the sport's governing body in this country, he had to wait three years to gain his licence.
But having been challenged by his father, also Ian, to obtain his road licence, he was determined to succeed – and after spending much time riding on track days, he eventually got his licence last year.
The second-year Rolls-Royce apprentice in practical engineering is thankful for the help he has received from veteran campaigners Steve Tomes and Rob Mawbey, of Racing Lines Derby.
"Rob has given me a lot of help, both with advice on setting up the bike and rebuilding it after the crash. It would have been difficult without him."
Now he is attempting to gather more sponsorship for the coming campaign.
He added: "I am still in the quest for sponsorship so I'm hoping that with your help I can get my name out there and after my results at Mallory recently I may stand a better chance of success.
"It is very, very difficult to find sponsors in the current climate, especially as I don't really have much of a bike racing CV.
"But next season I plan on doing two series, competing in the Streetfighter class C as well as the Thundersport 500s, which will give me eight races every weekend and help me to gain more experience."
Anyone wishing to help Allkins in his quest can obtain further details by logging on to his website www.6rubbersracing.weebly.com or telephoning Derby 691347.