Cadwell Park is famous for “The Mountain”, a taxing left-right-leap-land-left-right, section (.... sounds simple!!!). But that is barely a couple of hundred yards of one of the best circuits in the country, there is so much more to this picturesque Lincolnshire circuit..... and it hosts this weekends NG Road Racing championship series.
Again all the NG RR big names line up for a crack at more points for in the sesaon long title chases. Peter Baker and Phil Bevan in the Superbikes.... Peter Carr and Matt Andrew in the GP45’s.... Ben Mardsen and Dale Thomas in the Mini Twins.... Paul Willis and Darren Rumley in the Thunder.... Darrel Jones and well, about a dozen others in the 600cc. This round truly is vital for anyone with an eye on a coveted 2012 class championship.
250 GP ACU National Championship
Again NG Road Racing has secured the rights to run the 250cc GP ACU National championship. This year though as been a real up and down affair with all our front runners suffering with either mechanical or self-inflicted (….ready crashing !) problems. Dan Jackson leads the way from Adam Hoare in the championship table, but race wins are easily on the cards for Ian Gardner… Lee Goddard... Darrell Higgins and the inform Michael Hose.
Phoenix Yamaha in Trowbridge, Wiltshire are once more the title sponsors for this the Club’s Premier class, historically this is where the fastest riders congregate on the grid to find out who is the best of the best. Phil Bevan has won this championship four times out of the last five years. This year though Peter Baker has taken the fight to Bevan. But Michael Blank is gradually adapting his style to his new ZX10 Kawasaki and Chris Pope is once more proving his speed, and consistency. We cannot rule out a race winning challenge from Tom Garness or Paul Shook though.
So lets just have a very rapid run through the individual class championship starting with the F125. Joseph Thomas has got to start favourite for the F125 as his 125 Aprilia will be more suited to Cadwell than Mark Clayton’s 80 Metrakit, although Thomas will hope for an incident free meetining after a torrid Oulton Park. Andrew Fisher has scored gone well on his RS125 Honda in the 125 GP, including two wins, while 16 year old defending champion Jamie Ashby has struggled early season, although he is lapping quick that he did in his 2011 championship winning year. Both rivals will be after points at this vital stage of the year, but Sam Burman on her WNT RS125 Honda must start as pre-race favourite.
Shannon Hale should be odds-on for F400 glory but Max Alexandre is itching for another win. In the 450 open Chris Beverley has taken three wins from six starts and is the man to beat.
GP45’s are very evenly matched and there is very little to choose between Peter Carr and Matthew Andrew, but at the moment the momentum is with Carr who has taken five wins on the bounce. Things are very tight in the 600cc open class with, Darrel Jones, Richard Connell and Dean Richards vying for 2012 glory. Oulton usually gives us an unexpected winner so watch this space….who wants it most?
In the Powerbike class it’s once more the 3 B’s, Peter Baker, Phil Bevan and Michael Blank that are likely to at the flag first. The Sound of Thunder class is headed by Darren Rumley after a super consistent start to 2012, and the RC8 KTM rider grabbed his maiden win last time out so is on a run of good form. Chris Richardson with the 1098 Ducati will out to stop him, as will Dave Manley on his 675, also Matt Billington and Paul Willis... all race winners on their day.
Dale Thomas the 18 year old newcomer has taken the Mini Twins series by storm in 2012 getting the better of defending champ Ben Mardsden so far, but this is the first time at Cadwell for Dale so he could find things tough….. but he is young and learns fast….so on the other hand…..
The picks of the crop in the three Streetstock classes are Josh Jones (400) David Mitchell (700) and Mark Skinner (1300), but these classes are so evenly matched. The same is also true on the 700 pre-injections with nothing to choose between Tom Nethercott and Mark Pask as we hit mid season. The 1300 class has Tom Palmer in control on his R1, but defending champion Adam Jeffery is back for this weekend and is hoping to peg back some points as he goes for his third class championship. Michael Hobbs, led the series early on, and needs to get his form back.
Sidecars have always played a major part in the NG Road racing programme and this year is no different. In the Open class Jim Hamilton and Mick Fairhurst are the current on form pairing, but keep an eye onthe Ballard BIS Team of Paul Corfield and Ritchie Bleakley, they really have suffered at the hands of lady luck this year. When both teams are on form there’s little to choose between them. It would be nice to see a straigh fight this weekend. We are still waiting for the F2 class to sort its self, could a championship challenger come to the fore this weekend.
Keep an eye on ....... Matthew Billington
Matthew Billington, has made his name over recent years on his all black 675 Triumph Daytonas. After an injury hit 2009 he still managed a remarkable third overall in both Newcomers and Streetstock series..... In 2010 he went one better, and finished runner up in the Sound of Thunder and Streetstock. In 2011 his progressing took its natural path and once more went one better by taking the Streetstock Championship.
For the first half of this season Matt and the familier “Team Billo” No 110, 675 triple has been absent from the grids with no bike.... but now Billo is back and straight back on form. Watch him in the Sound of Thunder and 600 classes.
Wayside Garage Performance of the Meeting
As with every meeting in 2012 there is a new focus for all NG Road Racing riders. Marcus Bridewell from Wayside Garages has put up £100 per meeting for the one adjudged to have been worthy of the cash and silverware for their efforts. All classes are eligible and it is never an easy decision for the judges.
Last time out at Oulton Park it was Darren Rumley that got the nod for his brilliant hard fought maiden win on the KTM RC8, including a series of stunning overtakes in the last couple of laps.