Bevan re-writes the record books.....again in 2014!
You cannot argue with the statistics......Phil Bevan is by far and away the most successful rider there has ever been at NG Road Racing meetings. He has now won fifteen class championships since 1999 when as a novice he started out on a 996 Ducati. In 2000 he took the first of his two Sound of Thunder championships, but it was when he moved into the Powerbike and Open series in 2006 on a GSXR 1000 Suzuki that his superbike domination started. Seven open titles and six Powerbike on R1 and ZX10 in the last seven years, making it fifteen championships in total, put him well above Barrie Middleton on ten and Neil Higgs, Darrell Higgins, Roy Keen and John Goodall on 8..........and he shows no signs of slowing down !!!!.
Open and Powerbike.
Habitual championship winner Phil Bevan kept up his stunning championship winning steak by taking both the Phoenix Open and Simon Consulting Powerbike series for the sixth year in succession. Phil gave the opposition a chance this year as he took on the task of developing a new ZX10. The former Jody Lees machine needed to be altered for Bevan's style after six years on an ex Tommy Hill R1. Right from the off though Phil was on the pace. He grabbed a podium behind Peter Baker at round one, but despite being super consistent it was not until round 14 at Anglesey that a win came his way....swiftly followed by four more, including an unbeaten run at his favoured Pembrey circuit where he reeled off lap after lap in the 58 second bracket.
Over the 20 round series many BSB runners came into add spice to the Open including, Peter Hickman, Josh Wainwright, Josh Day, Joe Burns, Luke Jones and Mike Booth.....but Bevan just kept on racking up the points.
Phil's closest season long rivals were all youngsters on 600's as Corey Lewis, Max Symonds and Dale Thomas took the places below him in the point’s table. But no one could stop Phil from taking the clubs premier class backed by Phoenix Motorcycles in Trowbridge for the seventh time in eight years!.
It was a similar story in the Simon Consulting Powerbike as Welshman Bevan took wins at seven of the fourteen rounds. He never failed to finish outside the top five to remove more silverware from of the clutches of his opposition headed up by Darren Rumley, Mark Compton and Colin Thompson.
So once more we will be posing the question next year ".......can anyone beat Bevan ?".
250GP ACU National Series.
NG once again had the honour of running the UK’s premier two-stroke GP series and former BSB 600 front runner and defending 250 GP ACU National Chris Martin was be back to try and regain the title. As in his 2013 championship-wining year he sat out the Brands Hatch season opener, that saw wins for Dave Hampton and Darrell Higgins. As we arrived at Oulton for round three though and with no points so far on the board Martin on the Dave Dean RS250 Honda set about the opposition, taking no prisoners. Unbelievably he won every race he took part in for the rest of the year, racking up twelve-podium topping rides. Notably Phil Atkinson and Ant Hodson made him work for the wins but no matter what anyone tried Martin always got to the flag first to regain the National series over Hodson and Hampton. Phil Atkinson missed the last three rounds as he concentrated on his Triumph Triple challenge and European Classic GP rides, and slipped to fourth in the final table.
The 250’s has two support classes in the shape of the NG cup that had Simon Hunt take nine wins on his TZ, and the series win, and the new pre 1992 cup that coaxed former National winner Andrew Sawford back on track with his older TZ. Sawford racked up seven wins from the fourteen rounds to lift the inaugural championship
As ever the 600cc grid is a tough place to be, not only do you need to be fast, but also you need to keep mistakes to a minimum and keep the points rolling. Dave Manley had been tipped by many pre season, and started the season on a high, however splitting his time between NG's Simon Consulting backed series and the BSB 600 Evo took it's toll and results started to suffer. That left Max Symonds, Corey Lewis and Dale Thomas in a series that had eight different winners from Sam Coventry to Luke Jones. By mid-season it was looking to be a two horse race between the two 19 year-olds, Max and Corey. Just as it was getting tasty....Corey had a double dnf at Castle Combe.....both times at the Bybrook Chicane.....both times whilst up front !!!. The damage was done, and despite taking two wins in the second half of the year Corey had to give second best to two-time F125 champ Max. Max rode impeccably and maturely as he finished the year with two wins and a 100% race point scoring record to lift the championship
Formula 400.....450's and 500's.
Daniel Tilley took the A and R Racing F400 class after a year of mixed mechanical fortunes. He started the season on an NC30 and ended it on a ZXR400, but in between that there were about five other bikes used in various states of repair. He even took a trip to the Isle of Man to collect three ZXR motors to keep his title hopes alive as he battled with Anthony Van Looy. Van Looy bagged eight podiums in the first ten races, but a double DNF at Pembrey (.....both times from the lead !) opened the door for Tilley. He took no second invitation and bagged three wins of his own on his way to the title. Simon Gates was another three-race winner, but as ever, cash prevented his from doing a full season.
Sam Wilford is probably one of the hottest teenage talents around, and the Kent youngster took both GP45 and 500cc Open series. The Fraser's of Gloucester 500 saw him reel off five wins on the bounce early season and then stay at the top of the table over Mark Clayton and Mark Strudwick. Wilford, has taken his first steps into the major league in the PATA Honda European Junior Cup, and at Magny Cours was up in a podium position before being punted off in the final laps. The club has awarded Sam the prestigious Hambro Life Flying start award this year for being the rider believed to have the most promise to succeed in the sport......he's already showing buckets of it !!
The 125's.....Formula and GP.
16 year old Mark Clayton stamped his authority on the 125GP series this year. He showed the sort of form we would expect at the cold pre-season test at Pembrey as he lapped time after time on his Refined Recruitment RS125 Honda at pace. Over the season Mark racked up eight wins on the little Honda. His season stated with two runners up spots behind eventual BSB Moto Star champ Jordan Weaving and ahead of Asher Durham and Anthony Alonso. So it was podiums all the way apart from Cadwell Park where he was a no show….due to the van breaking down on the way from Carmarthenshire home to Lincolnshire, and Pembrey where a holed radiator stopped him whilst leading the final.
In the Formula 125 class that was once more backed by Steve Lynham it was another title for the impressive 14 year old Liam Delves. Delves backed up his 2013 title with yet another season to take the crown on his Crucials Sauce RS125 Aprilia. Six wins came over the year to best the challenge from Cameron Horsman and Karl Horton. Delves had things under control, but a big start line pile up at Anglesey could have spelled disaster as his little Aprilia was literally bent-in-two. Liam grabbed himself a spot at the end of year Red Bull Rookies tryout in Span and is looking to step up to the National scene in 2015. Streetstocks…..400…700…1300
Welshman Richard Hughes took his family run Honda Fireblade to 1300 Streetstock victory. In a team that is basically funded by his Mam, Dad and Uncle Nigel took on Simon O’Donnell on his all new BMW. The S1000 of O’Donnell was fast but, but the electronic launch system always saw Simon fighting through from difficult starts. Generally round after round it was Hughes and O’Donnell up from, but Ciaran Bligh was coming on strong come seasons end. O’Donnell had a slender points advantage as we went to Castle Combe, but a big crash saw him break his collarbone. Undeterred he got himself fit and was back at the next round…and won. Hughes though held his slim advantage to the final round and a controlled ride for points saw the young Welshman take the title.
Meanwhile in the 700cc category of the Metzeler and Dennis Trollope Racing spares Streetstock Eddie Whitehurst was bagging points round on round. Although he ended up a fairly comfortable victor over Thomas Williams and Tom Vear the race wins were shared around between eight different riders over the fourteen rounds.
Daniel Tilley though didn’t want to share any wins as he took 9 wins in the 400 Street class on his machines. He started the year on an NC 30 and finished it on a ZXR 400, and it was either win or DNF. He finished the year 147 points clear of Antony White and Andy Green though
Sound of Thunder.
Darren Rumley was back full time in the club fold after a year at BSB on his KTM RC8. The experience he gained in 2013 showed in the early season as the Stroud based rider who was going for his third Sound of Thunder title. The Thunder class had a new sponsor for 2014 in the shape of K Tech/100% Suspension, and Rumley wanted that trophy. He started the year with three wins but after taking his KTM to the North West 200 the challenge stuttered as the RC8 had inherited a few mechanical issues. Then Rumley's season stalled at Anglesey, as immediately after setting pole he fell at Church. The resulting injuries to leg, ankle, arm and shoulder put him again on the back foot. All this time young Welshman James Harrison was gaining speed and experience on his 675 and outscored everyone over the final five rounds to overhaul David Irons, Dave Mackay and Darren Rumley, and went into the final meeting at Thruxton with a 4 point lead. The youngster held his nerve as he kept Rumley in his sights to win it by just 2 points when all the maths were done making it the closest title battle of 2014.
Twins......Mini and Super.
The Mini Twins class has grown in popularity in recent years and this year after request from many rider a new Super Twins class was added to the calendar.
The inaugural Super Twins had a double win for Wayne Axon as he prepared for the road series that were his main focus, but it was David Carson on his Two Dave's Racing ER6 victorious over former Mini Twin front runner Stephen Sweetman over the season. Dave's consistency with three wins ten podiums earned him the MPH backed series
Former BSB 125 GP rider Simon Low had been out for racing for the last couple on seasons due to lack of funds, but a tie up with the Black and Blue Racing Team on one of their SV650 Mini Twins had him back on the grid this year. As he turned up at Brands Hatch for round one, it was the first time he had ridden anything bigger than a 125 and just 8 points came from the two days. However come the next three rounds his progression went....3rd
....win !. Four more wins came his hay over the year to take the title over Paul Wardell and Tom Blackwell with impressive teenage prospect Aaron Silvester in fourth. The end of the year had Simon back on a 125 at the final BSB round taking 8th
in the 125 GP race.
NG Road Racing and the sidecar series sponsors Chris and Steve Caffyn kept faith with the three-wheelers this year despite many clubs dropping the class. It was always going to be a tough year as there were two well-funded National series for them to chase. When the entries came in though the NG Club welcomed them onto the race programme. Jim Hamilton and Mick Fairhurst made the long trips from Fife in Scotland to grab three wins over the year at Cadwell Park and Pembrey. It could so easily have been doubles at both meetings but the JEB’s Performance LCR was not running well all weekend at Pembrey and they had to pull out of Sunday’s final. However they bagged the points needed to regain the title they first took in 2012.
Welshmen Mike Cookson and Alun Thomas notched up four wins to take the Formula two title over defending champions Tom and Thomas Quaye, with Lee Crawford and Stuart Ramsay in third. Cookson’s stand out meeting was Donington Park where he bagged a pair and set a new class lap record as three crews fought out the race wins.
Mike and Chris Hobbs, Father and Son, both race in the increasingly popular pre-injection series. Mike rides an R1 and Chris an R6. They both won their respective classes under the Team DCI Refrigeration banner.
Mike Hobbs has been in the last couple of seasons a bit of habitual crasher, but over the winter something changed, as he came out and podiumed the first seven rounds, including four wins over his nearest title rival and former two-time champ Adam Jeffery. These two looked likely to take the fight right to the wire but a nasty crash and resulting broken arm at Pembrey ruled out Adam who had to settle for second in the series, as Hobbs snr continued to rack up the points. Meanwhile Hobbs jnr was in a tight fight for top spot in the 700cc class with Phil Webber. Both riders took five wins each, but in the end Chris Hobbs took the title after a nervy ride into second place behind Webber at the final round, taking in by just 11 points.
This is the first time in the clubs 45 year history that a Father and Son have taken solo classes in the same year !. Newcomers.
Once more NG Road Racing was blessed with a wealth of new racing talent. There were three classes for the rookies to fight for backed by Cutronas Financial Services. Stuart Hallam really came into his own after the mid-season Donington meeting and eventually took the Open class on his R6 over Eddie Whitehurst and Kevin Clayton. Daniel Tilley grabbed the 500 series, but Ben Harrison bagged most wins. Harrison had led the series until he was airlifted from Cadwell Park after a big high-side. Tilley grabbed the initiative, and the title, but Harrison came back at the end on the year to take another race win. They will both be ones to watch in 2015.
The Mini Twins series saw 16 year old Aaron Silvester move from the UK short track series to road racing on the Stralia Race Tech SV650. Aaron who despite being just 16 has been racing since the age of 4 and took all bar one of the Newcomers races to dominate his opposition headed up by Alan Pearce and Darryl Hodder. All the 2014 NG Road Racing Champions.
Steve Lynham Formula 125 - Liam Delves – RS125 Aprilia
NG Road Racing 125GP - Mark Clayton – RS 125 Honda
A and R Racing Formula 400 - Daniel Tilley – ZXR400 Kawasaki
Fraser’s of Gloucester 500cc - Sam Wilford – Aprilia RRV 450
Simon Consulting 600cc - Max Symonds – ZX6R Kawasaki
Simon Consulting Powerbike - Phil Bevan – ZX10R Kawasaki
Phoenix Motorcycles Open - Phil Bevan – ZX10R Kawasaki
100% Suspension / KTECH Sound of Thunder - James Harrison – Triumph 675 Daytona
MPH Bikes Super Twins - David Carson – Kawasaki ER6 650
MPH Bikes Mini Twins - Simon Low – SV650 Suzuki
NG Road Racing 400cc Streetstocks - Daniel Tilley – ZXR400 Kawasaki
Metzeler/DTR 700cc Streetstocks - Eddie Whitehurst – ZX636 Kawasaki
Metzeler/DTR 1300cc Streetstocks - Richard Hughes – Honda CBR 1000RR
NG Road Racing 700cc Pre Injection - Chris Hobbs – R6 Yamaha
NG Road Racing 1300cc Pre Injection - Mike Hobbs – R1 Yamaha
Cutronas 500cc Newcomer - Daniel Tilley – ZXR 400 Kawasaki
Cutronas Mini Twins Newcomer - Aaron Silvester – SV650 Suzuki
Open Newcomer - Stuart Hallam – R6 Yamaha
CSC Racing F2 Sidecar - Mike Cookson / Alan Thomas – 600 Ireson Honda
CSC Racing Open Sidecar - Jim Hamilton / Mick Fairhurst – 1000 LCR Suzuki
250GP ACU National Championship.
250GP ACU National - Chris Martin – RS250 Honda
250 NG Cup - Simon Hunt – TZ250 Yamaha
Pre ’92 NG Cup - Andrew Sawford – TZ250 Yamaha
Hambro Life Flying Start - Most Promising - Sam Wilford
Anderson Award - Most Points (631) - Phil Bevan
Jason Kasch Award - Achievement Team - DCI Refrigeration
Gary Teague Award - Newcomer on a 600 - Stuart Hallam
Jay Russell Awards - Rising Stars - Sam Wilford / Mark Clayton / Liam Delves
Jamie Adam - Spirit of Racing - Revealed on Presentations Night
EDP Photo News Award – Achievement - Revealed on Presentations Night
Report by Russ Gardiner
Images by EDP – www.edpphoto.com