Rising Manx star Cal Cooper is facing an uncertain future in the British Supersport Championship, and in the sport in general, with a lack of finance forcing the Ramsey resident to bring an early end to his 2014 racing season.
Having starred in the Aprilia Superteen Championship, also becoming the first rider to win the British 450, Mini Twins and Open Championships in a season, the 18-year old was a revelation in the second half of last year’s Superstock 600cc Championship, winning three races and taking six podiums in the final six races, and started this year’s British Supersport Championship in fine style.
Riding for Craig Fitzpatrick’s Pacedayz Trackdays Yamaha team, the step up in both competition and machinery didn’t faze Cooper, undoubtedly one of the sport's brightest young talents, and he was immediately on the pace with three top ten finishes in the first six races, the highlights being a brace of sevenths at Brands and Oulton. He was lying in a strong 11th place overall after the first three rounds, just two points adrift of eighth, before being forced to miss the last round at Knockhill and with such a strong start to his season, his absence is even harder to take.
With no budget to compete in the remaining eight rounds, Cal has admitted his riding has been affected by the struggle his family are facing in meeting the costs involved and is desperate to continue racing and prove his credentials even further.
“We’ve continually been trying to attract sponsors but to no avail and the only financial assistance I’ve received, which I’m extremely grateful for, has been from IoM Sport for travel. I didn’t do too bad last year with three wins, lots of podiums, two lap records and five consecutive poles, but the reality is I am seeing others without those sort of results getting free or very low cost seats.”
“I’m desperate to continue in the Supersport series as the season started so well. Despite everything going on in the background in terms of trying to attract more sponsorship, I scored some good results and prior to Knockhill, I’d only been out of the points once and I wasn’t that far off the top six. I know my situation isn’t unique, it’s a cost-intensive sport, but if anyone can help please get in touch.”
Cal is appealing to anyone who can help with funding to get in touch and he can be contacted on 07624 460000 or 07624 304660.
Picture by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Photography