IT was mission accomplished for bike racer Russell Taylor as he achieved his ambition of a podium finish at Brands Hatch at the weekend.
The rider from Rayleigh missed three rounds of the MRO Minitwin championship due to a lack of funds.
But he saved the £1,000 he needed to get on the GP track at the Kent circuit for the four-race round and admitted it was like he had never been away.
“The weekend went really well and I was happy and confident in myself and the bike,” said Suzuki SV650 rider Taylor.
“In all fairness, it did not feel like there was any difference at all from when I last raced three months ago.”
And Taylor was surprised his rivals who had raced every round this season did not have more of a performance gap over him.
“I thought everyone would have upped their game but in the first race I was riding with the leaders and I thought ‘this is all right’,” he added.
“Overall, my performance over the weekend was more than I was expecting.”
Taylor qualified fifth for the first race and was running second when he lost the front of the bike and crashed two corners from the chequered flag.
On track - Russell Taylor in action at Brands at the weekend. Picture: JACK PUTTOCK
That put him 34th on the grid for the second race and after minor cosmetic repairs to the bike, sliced his way through the field to finish the five-lap race eighth, 9.168 seconds behind winner Paul Wilbey.
Taylor showed his pace in the third race by powering from eighth on the grid to take the lead by the end of the first lap. But he was overtaken by Matt Last and Matthew Truelove to finish in third, 0.324 seconds adrift of race-winner Truelove.
The final race of the weekend saw Taylor drop back from third on the grid to 14th on lap one.
But he again worked his way through the field to finish fifth at the end of the eight-lap race, 9.935 seconds behind winner Grant Robertson.
Taylor is not planning to contest the next round at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit but will be back for the round at Brands Hatch later in the year.
The Rayleigh biker is building up a financial warchest to achieve is ambition of riding in next year’s Isle of Man Time Trial.
“The Isle of Man is the main thing I’m aiming for at the moment,” Taylor added.