A POWERFUL debut display from RAF engineer Steve Kuenne earned him a pair of bronze replica trophies at the Isle of Man TT.
The 33-year-old, from Acton, excelled in his first outing at the famous event last week, and surprised even himself with his performance.
Steve took part in the Superbikes and the Superstock races, finishing a creditable 34th and 29th respectively out of fields of more than 80.
He said: 'It was not bad at all. It was all new to me and a very good experience. It was my first race on a 1,000cc bike. I usually race 250cc, so I went from 85bhp to 170bhp.
'But I surprised myself. Racing the roads is more scary than the track, but you also have more time to think. The hardest thing is maintaining your concentration level, because the races are around two hours long. You are physically and mentally drained at the end.
'But I was delighted with the two trophies and it certainly whetted my appetite. I'll certainly be back for another year.'
Steve, a former winner of the Manx Grand Prix, began racing in 1995, joining Crewe and Nantwich Motor Club to satisfy an interest he had always had in bikes.
He said: 'I have had a bike since the age of 14 but I was disqualified for a year for speeding and that made me think. I decided to invest some money in a racing bike. It worked because it gave me another outlet for my adrenaline rush and I haven't been banned since!'
After starting on 125ccs in club meetings at Tonfanau, he moved up to 250s in 2000, and has now progressed ag ain.
Bill Norris of Crewe provided him with a 2006 Yamaha R1 for the event, and he took full advantage. He clocked an average speed of over 114mph in the Superbike race, and was even faster in the Superstock. He received the bronze replicas for finishing within 110% of the winner's time in both races.
Steve would like to thank his chief mechanic Dave Sandland and Bill Norris for their help and support.