Wednesday July 19, 2017 at 4:53pm
Team Green Junior Cup & Senior 300
Charlie Farrer arrived at Brands Hatch for the annual meeting on the iconic GP circuit at the top of the Team Green championship standings, and enjoyed a successful weekend by taking three race wins.
It was Luke Hopkins, who hadn’t raced with the series since the opening round after competing in the Supersport 300 series on the European stage, who set pole position in qualifying, with Senior 300 championship leader Ben Hawes alongside him on the front row and Farrer third.
As the red lights went out for the opening race, it was Farrer who took an early lead, and led the opening lap around the 2.43 mile circuit. But Hopkins assumed the lead on lap two. With four laps to go, however, Farrer had put himself back at the front of the race, and despite the pressure, held on to take his first of three wins.
Hopkins claimed second by the narrowest of margins, with Scott Ogden on the podium in third to make it an all Junior class rostrum. Ben Hawes’ fourth place gave him the Senior class win and extended his lead at the top of the championship.
It was a different story in race two, as Farrer led from start to finish to take a comfortable victory. Hopkins was again second, while Hawes passed Ogden on lap two and pulled enough of an advantage to take third and the Senior 300 win.
Farrer’s hat-trick was complete in the first of Sunday’s races, but it was anything but comfortable as the top four streamed across the line to take the chequered flag less than a second apart.
The overall series leader and Junior championship table-topper led until the halfway stage, but Hopkins took over for a brief period, before Farrer responded and re-took the lead with just a handful of laps to go.
He took his third win by half a second, with Hopkins holding off Ogden and Hawes in the podium scrap.
In the final race a DNF denied Farrer a cleansweep, as he crashed out of the lead on lap four with a three-second advantage. Hopkins inherited the race lead but a last-lap pass from Ogden handed him the win, with Hopkins again second. Third went to Hawes, who took another 25 points in the Senior 300 series.
BG Products MRO Powerbikes & Clubman 1000
It was a trio of wins for BG Products MRO Powerbikes series leader Joe Morphett at Brands Hatch, as the LID365.com Yamaha rider extended his championship lead.
Morphett qualified on the front row in second, with reigning champion Colin Parker taking pole on the Global Robots Yamaha, with ZX-10R Kawasaki-mounted Tom Norton completing the top three.
In Saturday’s 12-lap encounter Morphett rode a calculated race, slotting into second behind Parker, who did the bulk of the donkey-work to lead for 11 laps. Norton held third, but after the halfway point began to drop back, leaving the two Yamaha pilots alone at the front.
On the last lap Morphett eased past Parker to take the win, with Parker having to settle for second place. Norton crossed the line in a safe third place and took the Clubman win and with it the Clubman series lead.
Norton charged out of the blocks to lead the opening lap of Sunday’s opening race, before Morphett hit the front on lap two. Norton held onto the series leader’s coat tails as long as he could, but crashed out on lap five.
That promoted the battle for third to the battle for second, and saw Peter Baker, Michael O’Brien, Parker, and Jamie Tibble fight for supremacy. Come the chequered flag and Baker claimed second place, with O’Brien third. Kyle O’Donovan’s seventh gave him the Clubman win.
Morphett returned to the top step of the podium in the final race, while Norton rode to second place and victory in the Clubman class, with Baker third.
Michael Whisker took three wins in the Rookie 1000 class with Kristian Whybrow also taking a race win.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme
Runaway championship leader Jason Byard took three wins from four starts in the Steve Jordan Motorcycles-sponsored BMCRC Thunderbike Extreme series, and no one would bet against the May Construction Suzuki rider lifting this year’s gong.
Chris Matthews qualified on pole, with Byard starting the weekend’s opener from the second row, but he had just enough in hand to ensure he was at the front of the four rider train in the battle for the race win. All four were split by just over a second, but it was Byard from Dave Shelvey and Matt Hinnells on the podium.
In race two he again bettered Shelvey, who led the opening half of the race, to take his second win. Shelvey was second ahead of Alan Wood to make it an all-Suzuki podium.
Byard suffered his worst result of the weekend in Sunday’s opening race, when he was forced to settle for second in a shortened race. Byard led the opening lap before he was passed by Ross Dunning. Dunning was leading the way when the red flags were brought out, and took 25 championship points and the race win. Shelvey was credited with third place.
But it was back to winning ways for the championship favourite in the final race, and although he led from start to finish, he was chased all the way to the flag by Shelvey, the pair less than a second apart across the line. Dunning claimed third.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport
It was a dominant display from Dan Couzens in the Thunderbike Sport class, as he took pole and all four race wins on his Team V-Speed Suzuki.
Couzens was nearly two seconds quicker than anyone else in qualifying, with David May and Alan Harland making up the front row. He then went on to decimate the field in the opening race, taking victory with a huge 13.6 second advantage. May was second with Mark Trowell third.
Race two and Couzens’ winning margin was just shy of 10 seconds, with May and Trowell again on the podium in second and third.
Harland clocked his first top-three finish of the weekend in the first of Sunday’s two races, when he crossed the line in second place, just ahead of May. But they could do nothing about Couzens’ dominance, as he stormed to victory by over 14 seconds.
The former Minitwin champion then made it four from four in the final race with another stunning start-to-finish win. Harland took a lonely second place, with Trowell third.
Chilton Motors BMZRC 250
The Brands Hatch GP weekend saw former champions re-assert themselves at the front of the competitive MZ field, with Mark Taylor standing on the podium and Andy Saunders going better and taking three race wins.
But it was Andrew Wales who took the win in the first race of the weekend, the man who holds second in the championship standings narrowly bettering Peter Mannering and Taylor to take the chequered flag as less than two tenths of a second split the trio of riders across the line.
From there on, however, the weekend belonged to former champion Andy Saunders, as he went on to take a hat-trick of victories.
He headed a four-rider train across the line in the second of Saturday’s races, fending off another former champion in Taylor to take the win. Taylor took second, with Greg Wright five thousandths of a second further back in third. The result also meant Saunders was awarded the Gavin Sherwood trophy.
The first race on Sunday saw Saunders take another win ahead of another former class champion, this time it was Chris Rogers who took the runner-up spot by less than a tenth of a second. Wales was third.
The final race ended with Saunders taking his third win, with Rogers second and Taylor third.
EDIasia Formula 400
16 points separate Andy Gill and Gary Henning at the top of the EDIasia Formula 400 championship standings coming into the weekend at Brands Hatch, and after three races Gill had further extended his advantage by another 10 points.
Gill qualified on pole, and went on to win the opening race, leading from the first lap to the last to take a comfortable victory ahead of Henning. Matthew Scott came through from fifth at the end of lap one to finish third.
Jeremy Hill’s fifth place gave him the Sub-64bhp class win, with less than a second covering that podium with Tham Evans second and Hayden Wood third in class, and sixth and seventh overall. The Rookie win went to Karl Cooney in 27th.
Race two, however, was an altogether closer affair at the front, with Gill and Henning battling for victory for the duration of the race. Henning led the way early on, before being passed by Gill at the halfway stage. However, the series leader could only hold the lead for one lap, before Henning re-took the lead and held the advantage going into the final lap.
But it was Gill who would take victory, a last lap move giving him another 25 championship points, with Henning second. Third again went to Scott.
Rookie Aiden Patmore was credited with fourth after Keith Povah was handed a 10-second penalty for a yellow flag infringement, bumping him back to fifth. Hill took another Sub-64 win in sixth.
Race three again went to Gill, with Henning taking another runner-up finish in second, while Povah got himself onto the podium in third. Wood finished fourth, just getting the better of Hill to take the Sub-64 class honours, as Sam Digby-Baker took the Rookie win in 20th.
But in the final race Henning finally managed to reverse some of the deficit to Gill in the championship chase, taking the win on his SGT Motorcycles Kawasaki. Gill claimed second place, with Rookie winner Patmore on the overall podium in third, and Hill fourth claiming the Sub-64 win.
ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins
With a class known for it’s close and competitive racing, the weekend at Brands Hatch was somewhat uniform for the MRO Minitwins, with Glynn Davies reducing his deficit to series leader Ryan Folkes to just eight points after taking all four wins.
Folkes took a four second placed finishes, but was no match for Davies over the course of the weekend, with Thomas Eustace taking three third placed finishes, the only other rider to stand on the podium James Larter, who finished third in race one.
In the Rookie Minitwins Cameron Harris was in dominant form to take four race wins to extend his championship lead.
RKB-F1 & F2 Sidecars
Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson took three wins in the RKB-F1 and F2 sidecar races, the F1 outfit doing the double on Saturday before winning Sunday’s opener. The other race win went to the F1 pairing of Kev Cable and Guy Pawsey.
Andy Peach and Bonita Gray finished second in race one to Ellis and Richardson, with third going to the F2 duo of Simon Gilbert and Carl Morgan. Ellis and Richardson’s race two win then came ahead of the leading F2 team of Sean Hegarty and James Neave, with Gilbert and Morgan third.
It was three wins from three starts for Ellis and Richardson in the first of Sunday’s two races, ahead of Cable and Pawsey, as Hegarty and Neave took third and the F2 class in.
But in the final outing it was Cable and Pawsey who stood on the top step, with Hegarty and Neave second the F2 class victors, and Gilbert and Morgan third.
Team Respro MRO 600
In the Team Respro MRO 600 races it was Chris Burrage and David Tinkler who shared the wins, with Burrage picking up three victories and Tinkler standing on the top step of the podium in race two. However, it was a case of damage limitation for series leader Adam Hartgrove, who managed a best of fourth over the whole weekend, while also struggling to a ninth placed finish in race two.
Pole went to Burrage, the Seton Tuning Yamaha rider qualifying half a second quicker than anyone else. He then took victory in race one, but while he led every lap of the race, he was kept honest by Sam Smith, who finished runner-up by less than half a second. Third went to Tinkler, as he started to make up ground on Hartgrove at the top of the championship. Paul Wilby took the Clubman win in sixth.
Burrage then led every lap of race two, except the one that matters, with Tinkler’s last lap move giving him the race win. Burrage took second, with Smith again on the podium in third. Conor Wheeler’s fifth handed him the Clubman class spoils, but there was just four hundredths of a second between him and the reigning Rookie 600 champion, David Shoubridge.
The first of Sunday’s double-header saw Burrage and Tinkler reverse positions on the podium, as Smith kept his podium streak going with a third. Shoubridge went one better in the Clubman class to take the win in fourth overall.
It was a repeat podium in the final race, as Burrage passed Tinkler on the penultimate lap to deny the AllTrades Yamaha rider his second win. Smith was third, with Shoubridge again the Clubman victor in eighth.
In the Rookie 600 races Tom Newman took all four wins, and looks fairly untouchable at the top of the Rookie 600 championship standings.