Burnopfield teenager Chrissy Rouse has extended his lead in the Triumph Triple Challenge after possibly the busiest weekend of his racing career, contesting four races in two different championships.
The 17-year-old Emmanuel College pupil now sits 45 points clear in the title chase – despite suffering a cruel outcome after running out of fuel while leading the first of his four races on Saturday.
After a nine-week break, the Triumph Triple Challenge was back at the Snetterton 300 circuit over the weekend and, as well as the usual two races, it also featured the rescheduled race from Thruxton in April.
On top of that, the youngster had been given the chance of a one-off ride in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship on the Team HARIBO Starmix Triumph as their usual rider had been given a one-race ban.
Rouse arrived at the Norfolk track with a 26-point advantage over his nearest rival Phil Atkinson, and had been looking to continue his winning streak which had seen him emerge victorious in his last three races.
The rescheduled Thruxton race was held on Saturday afternoon with Rouse starting fifth on the grid, and despite dropping back to ninth after a bad start, he soon clawed it back and took the lead at the end of the third lap.
But on the final lap, while leading with a nine-second advantage over second-placed Aleix Aulestia, his Stratstone Racing Triumph ran out of fuel and he was forced to pull over. For the second race of the day he started from pole, again getting a slow start but again fighting his way back up to take the lead on lap three.
But this time he came under pressure from Aulestia, who had benefitted from Rouse’s earlier retirement to take the win in the first race, and who had his eyes on making it a double.
Aulestia passed him at the start of lap six but Rouse quickly took it back, and the last four laps became a scrap to the finish.
Rouse led up until the penultimate lap when the Spanish rider made a move, but on the final lap he took the place back and managed to hold him off to take the win. “That was a hard race but a great one and it was good to take the win and make amends for race one,” he said. “In the first race we just ran out of fuel.
“I was gutted but I had to just write it off and concentrate on the second.
“The second race was tough but I enjoyed it. Aleix pushed me all the way towards the end.
“I’m always confident that I can do well if the race goes to the last lap, but he made me work for it.”
Sunday began with the Stock 600 race, which Rouse had qualified for after an impressive third place on his series debut. Riding the striking Team HARIBO Starmix machine, he overcame a slow start, dropping back to seventh, to end the first lap in fifth spot, before passing the Kawasaki of Mason Law for fourth on lap three.
He maintained the position all the way to the final lap, and while many other riders crashed out he kept calm, closing in on Luke Hedger who was running third behind Callan Cooper.
With Jordan Simpkin’s Yamaha out in front, it looked like there would be a last lap scrap for second and third places, but Cooper crashed out from second place, handing the spot to Hedger and giving Rouse third.
With his final TTC race held straight after, he wasn’t able to celebrate his result on the podium.
Instead he jumped straight on to his Stratstone machine where he had a race-long battle with Dan Helyer but emerged the winner, taking his fifth victory of the season.
“It was another hard race, especially after just doing 12 laps on the stock bike, I was shattered before I even started but I dug deep and was able to see off Dan’s attempts on the last lap,” said Rouse.
“He gave it a good go, but he misjudged it there at the end and went too wide so I was able to cut straight back in.
“To get another Triumph Triple Challenge win is brilliant and I’m leaving here with a 45-point lead in the championship which is perfect.”
Rouse now leads the championship with 161 points, with Phil Atkinson in second on 116 and Freddy Pett third on 107.
His next round is at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.