Curtis Wright was the star of a very wet Mallory Park on Sunday, winning all four races that he started. After a constant drizzle throughout qualifying, the proper rain came for the start of racing, and Curtis was the first winner of the day taking the 600 Open class from Michael Tustin with Chris Stuart third with Andrew Wilkinson setting fastest lap on the way to fourth place – a fastest lap of 65 seconds, about 25% over the dry lap record. The second 600 race for the Alan Tolton Trophy saw Curtis win again from Tustin and Jed Bird, a result which opens up a gap in the 600 championship for Curtis over Bird with Andrew Wilkinson still in with a chance of the title in next month’s final round.
The first Buildbase Mallory Trophy race saw Wright beat championship leader Paul Westerdale with Mikey Leeson finishing just ahead of Michael Tustin. Wright was the winner again in race two with Westerdale and Tustin battling over second, Westerdale getting the place by seven-hundredths of a second. Paul is still well clear of Curtis Wright in the championship, but this one goes to the Race of the Year in October, and Mikey Leeson still has a mathematical chance of winning it.
Ben Bailey has already shown that he can take victories in the closing stages of races, but took it to a new level this time, winning both 500 races coming out of the Devil’s Elbow. The first race was a normal EMRA 500 race with a five-way scrap at the front until on lap four Wayne Sutton, Shay Commins and James Bailey, who had just set fastest lap, all went down at the hairpin leaving Scott Adams with a small lead over Ben Bailey. Adams looked to have the win sewn up, but Bailey went round the outside of him at the Elbow to grab the win by 0.08 seconds. Oliver Dean and Jamie Page fought over third with Dean taking the place.
The second race began with Sutton, Commins and James Bailey at the back of the grid, which guaranteed an interesting first lap, as Sutton came through to third place by the end of that first lap, getting up to second next time round. Scott Adams, Ben Bailey and Sutton were locked in battle for the lead for the remainder of the race, with Ben Bailey again getting the drive out of the Elbow to beat Sutton by 0.029 seconds. Ben now has a ten-point lead over Wayne Sutton in the championship, with Shay Commins in third place, and this championship will also go to the Race of the Year meeting.
Jodie Fieldhouse took the biggest winning margin that I have ever seen at Mallory, in the 450 open class, which was run in conjunction with the Earlystocks, 125 and Formula 125. There was a split start, the Ealystocks going 15 seconds ahead of the smaller bikes, and it took Jodie just three laps to make up the gap and then run away from the whole field to finish 55 seconds ahead of Stu Poulton’s 350LC Yamaha, with Lewis Jones on the KTM390 just a fraction under a minute behind. Martin Tranter was fourth overall on his 125 Aprilia and set the second best lap of the race -on a F125 bike! Jodie was victorious again in race two, but by a smaller margin, with Lewis Jones taking second ahead of Giles Harwood on the 250 Yamaha. Stu Poulton won the Earlystock section again, taking maximum advantage of the wet weather capabilities of the 350LC.
Chris Ashfield had a fairly comfortable win over Duane Bliss in the first of the Minitwins races (with Jodie Fieldhouse having an extra ride in this class on the Moto 3 bike taking second place) but race two was much closer with Bliss finishing just over a second behind. Another maximum score for Chris ensures him of the EMRA Minitwins championship, even with double points on the final round. Darren Corkett won the first Lightweight race, Andrew Bailey the second, but it is still Roger Neep who heads the table.
Mikey Leeson closed the gap on Paul Westerdale in the Allcomers championship, but only by a couple of points, Leeson winning race one from the battling trio of Tustin, Westerdale and Mark Pennington. Race two went to Michael Tustin from Westerdale and Pennington with Leeson fourth.
Luke Penny and Tim Hudson battled for the lead in the first Rookies race until lap seven when Penny crashed out of the lead at Gerards, leaving Hudson to take a very comfortable win over Jack Pearce. Race two started with Penny at the back of the grid and it took him three laps to reach third spot as Hudson pulled away at the front. It took three more laps for Penny to get past Jamie Page for second, but Tim Hudson was too far in front to be caught.
Andy King and Andrew Sigsworth took another step towards another EMRA championship with two wins in the sidecar events. The first race was red-flagged after seven laps due to the increasing amount of water on the track (aquaplaning into the hairpin is not a good thing) with Andy two seconds ahead of Shaun Chandler with Wayne Lockey third. Race two started with Chandler in control, but King reeled the Yorkshireman in and took the lead on lap four, gradually pulling away. Could the double victory be down to the Mallory Park breakfast?
After complaining about the weather in July, Sunday was a lot wetter, and it was necessary to call a halt for half an hour early in the afternoon to allow the track to dry out a bit, fortunately the rain eased off and although the track never got anywhere near dry, at least the whole race programme was completed.