BLANK'S TRIUMPH AGAINST THE ODDS
January 02, 2004
The 41-year-old only started racing this season and, depending on sponsors, is already intending to make huge waves in the sport.
After a few years of racing track days, Blank turned his hand at club racing and originally started on a converted road bike - the Yamaha YZF R1.
He claimed a number of top 10 finishes and wins in the intermediate races, but decided to take his racing career another step forward by
purchasing an ex-British superbike R1, ridden by Sam Corke.
Blank said: "I started in 1998 and was always one of the fastest ones in the novice group and I wondered how much quicker the bigger boys would be.
"My mate Steve was racing in the club series and kind of inspired me to do the same.
"I used to tell him that I wouldn't be able to compete at that level but he just used to say ‘come racing with me, and I promise you that you'll enjoy it' and he was right because it is about being smooth with the bike too."
Tragically Blank's friend Steve Evans-Pughe was killed in a track crash at Donnington on May 18.
Ironically the same day Blank secured his first podium position with a third place on his new bike.
Evans-Pughe had been racing mid-pack when he tried to overtake another competitor but he lost the front end of his machine and was thrown to the ground.
Another racer was unable to avoid Evans-Pughe and ploughed into him, causing severe injuries which he later died of in hospital.
Following the tragedy Blank returned to racing, securing more intermediate wins and two podiums at Silverstone, earning himself the BikeSport News Rider-of-the-Meeting award.
"I questioned whether I could still do it to be honest and whether I could still do the best of my ability after what happened to Steve," said Blank.
"But I was totally elated when I was awarded the rider-of-the-meeting having never beaten any of the big boys before.
"It was the highlight of my season."
Blank rounded off the season by taking the Dave Simmonds Memorial Trophy at Mallory Park, won in the past by current British Superbike rider Leon Haslem.
In order to be a consistent front runner, Blank is looking to obtain sponsors.
"I would like to compete with a more competitive bike and if I had the right resources, even at my old age, I think I could challenge for the club or super club championships," he said.
"I want to prove to myself that I can do it and not wonder ‘what if' and I'd like to get local
companies involved that are willing to help me succeed."
If anyone is interested in sponsoring Michael Blank please contact the Sportsdesk on (0118) 936 6183 or visit www.MIB-Racing.com where Blank's team have put together a professional package,
including both raceway entry and hospitality to meetings at some of the country's best race tracks.