Benjamin Smith dominated the track, running up front in practice and setting a track record before securing the pole position for the first race of the weekend. Teammate Draik Beauchamp followed his lead in practice and placed himself p2. Not to be counted out Jake Leahey in his debut race weekend in the KTM 390 RC Cup improved his times every time he went out on track. With a clutch/transmission failure in qualifying he still held on to p11 to start the race. In true sportsmanship form, Jackson Blackmon, otherwise known at the moment as 'Out-of-Action' Jackson, could be seen all over the paddock with his pink cast in support of his team and did a great job as a commentator.
While the 2017 team of four riders is still short one with Jackson Blackmon healing up from a training incident, the team’s other three competing in this weekend’s season opening round had great success. Final results on day one places Benjamin Smith and Draik Beauchamp 1st and 2nd on the podium and Jake Leahey in a respectable 10th in his first KTM390 RC Cup pro race. Dejavu on day two with a little rain delay and extra excitement 1/4LEY Racing On Track Development teammates Benjamin Smith and Draik Beauchamp held onto 1st and 2nd place podium finishes. Newcomer to the Quarterley Racing team, 14 yr. old Jake Leahey who holds nine Mini championships from 2016 made his full sized bike racing debut seem like he was a regular as his times dropped substantially every time on the track. Jake Leahey states “I'm satisfied with what I have achieved so far on the 390. I am still looking to better myself each and every time I get on track!” and that he did improving his position to 9th in the second race of the weekend. The team is optimistic that Jackson Blackmon will rejoin the Championship chase at VIR where he has always had strong results.
Dale Quarterley reflects on the weekend stating, “ From my perspective, this was the transition weekend with hard work and such great results for Benjamin and Draik. They have gone from KTM Cup kids to riders that have the potential to run up front all season and look ahead to bigger bikes for the future. With Jake, he has shown us he has amazing ability to do what it takes to get up to speed quickly. His challenge of no experience at any of the tracks on the schedule doesn’t seem like it will be an issue with the results we saw in Atlanta”.
Dale Quarterley and Bob Robbins joined forces during the 2016 season to provide opportunities for up and coming riders in the KTM 390 RC Cup series. Benjamin Smith ended last season with a 3rd place finish and looks to capitalize on what he learned from last year. Draik Beauchamp has worked hard during the off season; he contributes to his own racing fund. He is a dedicated young man on and off the track. Joining the team this year is Jackson Blackmon and Jake Leahey. The riders couldn't be in the position they are in without support from their families and sponsors.
Team Sponsors: Beta Tools, Inter-Tech Supplies, Motorex, Regina Chains, Scott Powersports, Street & Competition, Woodcraft Technologies
A special thanks to the personal sponsors for our riders:
Draik Beauchamp: 129 Photos- Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod &Baril- Spider Graphix- Tint One- Pit Pass Radio- Sportbike Leather Service- SaferMoto.com-Red Fox racing Cycle Gear Trever White at Harper VW LS2 Helmets