This weekend at Brands Hatch sees the opening round of the British Motor Cycle Racing Club 2017 season.
The British Motor Cycle Racing Club starts the season on the 1.2 mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit, next up is Cadwell Park, Silverstone International, Snetterton 300, then Donington Park on the National circuit, the Historic Brands Hatch GP circuit, Oulton Park, Brands Hatch Indi circuit on the August Bank Holiday weekend and then finishing off with our 2nd
visits to Cadwell Park and the Snetterton 300.
We are starting and finishing on the same weekends as in 2016 but with a slight difference in the circuit running order over the season, no Pembrey in 2017 but it does mean we go to Cadwell Park twice and we finish at Snetterton instead of Brands Hatch.
The first meeting here at Brands has attracted an entry of some 300 solos and sidecars and this is without the MZ and Formula 400 classes, they both start their season at Cadwell Park (round 2).
So let us start with the unknown as it is with every year the main Rookie classes, the BMCRC Rookie 1000
and BMCRC Rookie 600
, new riders with no real knowledge of motorcycle racing, we have the odd rider that competed in 1 or 2 meetings last year but will still be classed as a “rookie”, the 2 classes make up a full grid.
We have new Rookies dotted all across the board but our other main Rookie class is the BMCRC Rookie Minitwins
, with 20 on the grid they have their own races over the weekend.
A near full grid in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
means they do not share a grid with anyone - so who do we look for, well Mark Taylor and Matt Barber who finished 1 and 2 last year have not entered the YPM class, Scott Grant and Doug Edmonson who is recovering from a broken leg must be watched as are Giles Harwood, Sacha Gyte and Pete Mannering.
In the BMCRC Thunderbike Extreme
the top 3 from 2016 are back again and will be difficult to beat but there are a number of riders in the Extreme series that will be in the frame, 2016 Thunderbike Sport Champion Andy Gill has moved into the Extreme series and cannot be discounted, Mark Lister, Dave Shelvey, Alan Wood and David May will all be in with a shout.
The BMCRC Thunderbike Sport
series has 2016 Champion Andy Gill having a busy weekend with racing in the Extreme and the Sport races, Mark Trowell and Colin Walkey who finished runners up to Gill are back for another go and both know their way around the Indi circuit.
The all new Blue Haze 2 stroke GP
series join the Thunderbike Sport series on the grid for this 1st
Round due to entries, we will know more about the series as we progress through the year, some of the names we know from the MZ and YPM classes but those of you that go back a few years will remember the name of Mark Whiting who was one of the quickest club riders in the early to mid 1980’s.
A pretty good grid of 24 BMCRC F1 and F2 sidecars
supported by RKB-F1
ensure some alternative action away from just having 2-wheels. A good battle in the F2 class here at Brands should be had between Simon Gilbert and Wayne Lockey.
The Team Green Junior Cup
and Senior 300
series supported by the ACU
start another year with a grid that is well into the 30’s, Joey Lambden, Luke Hopkins and Charlie Farrer are the returning guys to watch at Brands Hatch and possibly a new name for 2017 in Blake Ansell. Ben Hawes is the senior rider to watch for.
We are up to reserves in the MRO Minitwins
and you have to think that Glynn Davies and Paul Witherington will be two of the top runners in 2017, Ryan Folkes and Tom Eustace are certainly 2 guys that will push them as will Jack Wallis, watch out for 2016 Rookie Minitwin Champion Dan Singleton and ex-Kawasaki Ninja rider Monica Isaac.
The Team Respro MRO 600
and the Clubman 600
classes are pretty open this year, Mason Williams, David Shoubridge and Paul Wilby are possibly front runners in the Clubman class where Chris Burrage, Ben Cotgrove and Ross McLurg should be the battle of the main class. BG Products MRO Powerbike Champion
and the Champion of Brands
Colin Parker is back this year, Parks also was the recipient of the Sir Algernon Guinness Trophy
at the end of season awards ceremony, Peter Baker is also back looking to win back the Powerbike crown, Parks has a team mate this year in the form of Jack Croucher, Joe Morphett is also worth a shout as is Daryl Dance, Steve Heneghan and Michael O’brien.
In the Clubman 1000
series at the moment it could be a 2 horse race between Kyle O’Donovan and Tom Norton.
Timetables and meeting info is on bemsee.net – click the story “Meeting File”