THE Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing team put all thoughts of racing into cold storage after their star man Jamie Hamilton was seriously injured during the Senior TT race on June 12th.
However, one month later, now that the young Ballyclare racer has definitely got his feet moving on the road to recovery, team owner John Burrows has allowed himself to think about racing again as the anxiety caused by days of worrying about his protégé begins to subside.
Burrows has just announced that while Jamie is recuperating, the Cookstown Burrows Engineering bikes will not be idle and who better to fill the temporarily vacant seats than Southern 100 master Guy Martin and British Supersport series leader Glenn Irwin, who was a road racing revelation at the North West 200 in May. Also joining the South Tyrone based team is young Mullingar racer Thomas Maxwell.
Burrows spoke about forthcoming plans: “I’ve spoken with Jamie and assured him that the bikes are his to ride as soon as he feels he is fit again. We don’t want to move forward without Jamie but in the meantime we agreed to bring in some guest riders to keep the team sharp and give our great sponsors the coverage they deserve.
“Guy Martin will ride the Kawasaki 650 in the Supertwins class at Armoy while the same bike will have Glenn Irwin in the saddle at the Ulster Grand Prix. Our 250 Honda will also be in action at both Armoy and Dundrod. At the minute we plan to have Michael Sweeney on it but if he isn’t fit enough I have a replacement waiting in the wings.
“Thomas Maxwell will race the Cookstown Burrows Engineering 600 Honda at the Armoy and Ulster GP meetings. It will be good to give an up and coming rider the opportunity to shine, it might just be the lucky break he needs. I know from experience how hard it can be to make progress early in your road racing career.”
But Burrows thoughts are never far from young Hamilton who gave his family, his fans and the whole Burrows managed team many sleepless nights in the days following his big TT crash.
John said: “Stressed is not the word for how we all felt in the days immediately after the TT crash. It was terrible for the whole team and of course more so for his family.
“I can’t believe how remarkable Jamie’s progress has been in just four weeks and he’s told me he wants to race again. I couldn’t ask for a nicer kid to work with and I want him back as soon as he’s ready – the team and bikes will be here for him when that time comes around, even if it’s 2017. We realise it’s going to be a long process and we don’t want to rush him!
“The crash at the end of the TT was such a pity after all he had done in the previous fortnight. Jamie was eighth fastest in qualifying overall, equalled his best TT result with fifth in the Lightweight, did a personal best lap of 128.2 mph and was in the running for the TT Privateers title, eventually finishing second to Dan Cooper. Hopefully, he can find that form again when he returns to action. When he does, I can guarantee he will have the full support of Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing!”
John and the team would like to extend their sincere sympathy to all the family and friends of Dr John Hinds who is an immeasurable loss to Irish road racing.
Photos: Baylon McCaughey