MOTOR SPORT: IT'S been a season from hell for Howie Mainwaring, so the teenager is understandably keen to put his troubles behind him and get back on track in 2006.
A little bit more luck would not go amiss, either.
The 19-year-old rider from Frodsham has encountered a series of setbacks since April, when he suffered a badly broken ankle in a 120mph smash during testing at Oulton Park.
After a long, painful lay-off, he returned for round 12 of the British Superbike series at Donington Park on October 1, but technical difficulties with his bike meant he was unable to even complete qualifying.
Last weekend's 13th and final round of the series also proved to be unlucky as the same technical problem resurfaced and Mainwaring was again left kicking his heels in the drivers' paddock.
Now the talented young rider is planning an assault on next year's Privateer Cup, a competition for non-works teams incorporated into the British Superbike season.
'It's been a bad year but next year we're looking to win the Privateer Cup,' said Mainwaring. 'I will enjoy that class but obviously we've got to find some sponsorship first.
'To run for the year, £50,000 would be a decent amount. If you don't want to be struggling, you'd need up to £100,000.' But I think you could run it on less. We're looking at £15,000 a meeting to run the bike. It's such an expensive sport to be involved in but hopefully luck will be on my side next season.'
Mainwaring raced for the Frodsham-based Pro-Tech Racing team last season, but a split within the team means it is likely to be re-branded as 'Howie Mainwaring Racing' next year.
'I feel I'm better than some of the top riders out there,' added Mainwaring, who works in Chester's Total Rebuild Gym. 'We've just got a lot of developing to do over the winter with the bike. We'll try to arrange some track days and some tests and see what comes of it.
'The bike has been under development this year. We were running an ignition system that no-one else had got, but then we had trouble at Donington and couldn't race. The bike wouldn't go at all!
'We had the same problem again at Brands Hatch and, as a result, the engine blew we couldn't race or qualify at all so we had to go home.'
'We've had a bad year unfortunately.'