Winner Andy keeps promise to dad
Jordanstown racer Andy Reid has been 'through the mill' these past 18 months, badly breaking his femur whilst testing for the 2012 season in Spain; then having to deal with the loss of his father – but a 125cc race victory and combined Motostar British Championship podium last time out at Oulton Park, have re-lit his fire.
The 19-year-old who made cameo appearances in 'one-two-five' Grand Prix and also won both 125GP races at the Sunflower Trophy back in 2010, aged just 16, now describes the aforementioned tumultuous period.
"Although unplanned, last season was my first out of racing since I was just seven years old, but it was strangely good to do just normal things despite what happened with the injury. My dad also died in July last year, and combined with my injury and other personal issues, it was a lot for me to deal with at just 18.
"Dad was a big influence on my racing and I made him a promise that I'd pursue my career path, and that's what I intend to do," insisted the talented young Ulsterman, who is also a naturally gifted artist.
Racing against the might of the modern Moto3 four-stroke machines on a two-stroke 'one-dinger' is a tough enough challenge.
Add to that, not having been at Oulton Park in three seasons and in only his second race of 2013, it really made Andy's podium finish at the Cheshire venue a fortnight ago all the sweeter.
But like most young racing stars from this side of the pond, Andy is counting the pennies to even make the grid on a race-by-race basis.
The 2011 season was funded by a personal spend in excess of £15k, that ended up coming to very little and was followed by an injury forced sabbatical.
In spite of that, the articulate youngster, who has spent almost his entire tarmac career racing outside Ireland, remains impressively positive.
"I feel that since my youth motocross days I've positioned myself in a good environment and given myself an opportunity to grow," added Andy.
"I don't want to be seen to be turning away from racing in Ireland, but apart from a few youth motocross races back in the day and that trip to the Sunflower back in 2010, all of my racing has been cros-channel – that's where the opportunities are."
Andy's 'end goal' as he put it, is in World Supersport or Moto2, but for now he's happy to race his 125 Honda this weekend at Cadwell Park, then hopefully jump back into the Superstock 600 class for a full season in 2014. But like so many young hopefuls, he will need to find some healthy personal funding to pursue his dream and fulfil that heartfelt promise he made to his father.
This weekend's eighth round of the British Superbike Championship takes place on Bank Holiday Monday at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.
Local teams Mar-Train Racing and Tyco Suzuki will be in action in the Supersport and Superbike classes respectively, with Carrick's Alastair Seeley (Gearlink Kawasaki) aiming to extend his 47-point lead in the Supersport class.
Castlerock's Marty Nutt, leader of the Ducati 848 Challenge, gets a weekend off, with Clogher's Keith Farmer looking for a productive weekend in BSB aboard the Rapid Solicitor's PBM Kawasaki.