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British Motorcycle Racing Club - Round 10 Report from Brands Hatch

Thursday October 11, 2018 at 1:35pm
British Motorcycle Racing Club - Round 10 Report from Brands Hatch
The 2018 British Motorcycle Racing Club season came to a thrilling end at the weekend, with the finale taking place at the club’s spiritual home, Brands Hatch. It saw champions crowned and titles secured, with racing taking place in a mixture of conditions. MRO Minitwins

44 points separated MRO Minitwin championship leader Mason Williams and chaser Daniel Singleton going into the final round of the season at Brands Hatch, and even with four races to go it still seemed that Singleton would need a slice of good fortune as well as put in the hard work to overturn the deficit.

The weekend started positively, with Singleton qualifying on the front row in third, with Williams immediately behind him on the grid in sixth. But as the lights went out for race one it was Williams that hit the front, keenly followed by Singleton and pole-sitter Paul Witherington.

It quickly became a three-way battle for the win, and after Singleton and Witherington were done squabbling between them over second, they were both ahead of Williams by lap six, with Witherington now leading the charge.

But with two laps to go he was passed by Singleton, with Williams following through, the two championship protagonists going head-to-head in the closing stages. Singleton held on to take the win by four tenths of a second, taking five points out of Williams’ lead. Witherington was third.

Singleton got his good fortune in race two, and by contrast it was disaster for Williams, who crashed out on the final lap of the race. In the wet conditions he’d just passed Singleton for third place, and was on course to put the championship beyond all doubt. However, he slid off, handing third back to Singleton. Singleton went on to pass Glynn Davies for second, too, just missing out on the win by four hundredths of a second.

Despite missing the win, the result still gave him 20 points, reducing Williams’ lead to 19 with two to go. The win went to Witherington, with Davies third. But it went from bad to worse for Williams. Falling ill overnight, he was declared unfit to race, essentially handing the title to Singleton.

And it was all over in race one on Sunday. In the contrasting bright and dry conditions, he finished second to Keith Povah, moving ahead of Williams by a single point in the championship. Davies finished third.

He was second again in the final race, this time behind Davies by half a second, as Povah took the final podium spot of the campaign.

Team Respro MRO 600

Two riders were locked in a battle to clinch this year’s Team Respro MRO 600 championship at the final round at Brands Hatch, with Harry Rowlings arriving at the Kentish circuit 27 points to the good, with Luke Hopkins second and three races to go in a bid to overturn the deficit.

Rowlings started the brighter, qualifying on the middle of the front row alongside pole-sitter Andrew Smith, with Hopkins back on the second row. And it was championship leader Rowlings who hit the front early in race one, and led the opening half of the race, with Lloyd Collins and - after finding away past Josh Harvey - Hopkins giving chase.

But in one lap Rowlings dropped from first to third, with Collins taking over at the front and Hopkins jumping to second. The win would have seen Hopkins take nine points away from Rowlings, if he could find away past Collins, but come the chequered flag the order was unchanged, with Collins the victor and Hopkins and Rowlings second and third. It mean just a four-point shift in the championship chase.

It was game over for Hopkins in race two, however. While the damp in race one made little impact, a wet race two saw Hopkins finish in a relatively lowly sixth place, while Rowlings finished second on his Bernard Elliott Racing Triumph behind Collins, who took a commanding win by over 20 seconds. It meant the championship was beyond reach for Hopkins, with Rowlings the 2018 MRO 600 champion. Hopkins was secure in second.

Retaining pride and keen to go out on a high, Hopkins followed Rowlings for the early stages of the final race of the season before passing him on lap four and pulling away to take the win by nine seconds, leaving Rowlings to cruise to the chequered flag to cap his year off with another podium, his 13th visit to the rostrum this season.

Third went to Andrew Smith, who also took the Clubman 600 win, to go with his Clubman win from race two and his runner-up in the championship. Race one’s Clubman win went to Lee Silvain.

Alex Barker won the weekend’s opening Rookie 600 race, followed by Dawid Krawiecki in race two. Nick Whitcher was the class winner in race three with champion-elect Max Morgan second after missing Saturday’s action. Morgan finally sealed the championship with a win in the final race of the weekend to become the BMCRC Rookie 600 champion.

Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes & BG Products Clubman 1000

With no championship to think about, newly-crowned champion Anthony Johnson was out enjoying himself for the final time in 2018, and started by setting a pole position time three tenths of a second quicker than anyone else out there aboard his Bexhill Gearboxes BMW S1000RR. However, there was still the matter of settling the Clubman 1000 championship.

Race one and Johnson could only back up his qualifying with a seventh in race one, a race that also saw as many DNFs as it did finishers, the split 16 of each.

The win finally went to Kevin Silvain, as he crossed the line over 17 seconds ahead of the next finisher, Jack Croucher. Silvain - currently second in the Clubman championship - also picked up the class win and significantly reduced the gap to championship leader Paul Wilby, who was one of the retirements.

Johnson made a better fist of it in race two, taking the win ahead of Daryl Dance and Peter Baker. Wilby took fourth and the Clubman win, recovering some of the advantage lost in race one, as Silvain finished 11th and fourth in class.

It was another Clubman win for Silvain in race three, as he finished third overall behind Johnson and Baker, but Wilby’s fourth in class finish was enough to clinch this year’s Clubman title on his Moremoto Yamaha R1.

Daniel Johnson secured the BMCRC Rookie 1000 championship with a brace of wins on Sunday. Sukhminder Rai picked up both of Saturday’s wins.

Chilton Motors BMZRC 250

Mark Taylor finally wrapped up the Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 championship at the weekend, despite a day of mechanical woes on the Friday that severely limited his track time.

However, after the loan of another machine from Peter Woodall, he was able to take the title with two wins, a third, and a second.

Taylor won both of Saturday’s races, bettering Robert Dessoy and Chris Rogers in race one. He then finished ahead of Andrew Wales in the second outing, with Rogers again third.

While the wins weren’t forthcoming on Sunday, he still finished third in the first of the day’s two races, behind Chris Kent and Rogers, before finishing the season with another podium, taking second behind Kent, with Rogers taking another third place.

Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme

Barry Chamberlain secured the Steve Jordan Thunderbike Extreme championship at the final round, playing it safe and wrapping the title up through consistency. The Suzuki rider came into the weekend boasting a 72-point series lead, and took an 11th, two sevenths, and a ninth to get the points he needed.

At the sharp end of the races Steve Palmer took a hat-trick of wins, with David Shelvey picking up the other available victory.

Palmer took the win in race one, as a spaced-out top three was completed by Daniel Singleton and Alan Wood. Shelvey was then on top of the podium in race two, winning by a huge 17 seconds. The battle for second, however, was a lot closer, as Palmer edged Singleton by under a second.

It was a brace of wins for Palmer in the final two outings, the first coming ahead of Shelvey and Wood, before he bettered Richard Willsher and Shelvey in the final race of the year.

Rookie champion Robert Breen grabbed three class wins from the four races, the other going to Peter Funnell.

EDIasia Formula 400

Although Andy Gill has already been crowned this year’s EDIasia Formula 400 champion, there was still the Sub-64 title to be handed out, and just 10 points split Harry Fowle and Hayden Wood going into the season finale, but it was to be Wood’s weekend, as he managed to swing the points pendulum in his favour.

The tipping point came early, as he picked up the Sub-64 win in race one’s wet conditions, as Fowle crashed out with just two laps to go. Wood’s class win also came courtesy of finishing second overall after enjoying a spell in the lead. The win eventually went to Mark Thompson, after Lloyd Collins - who crossed the line first - was handed a 10-second penalty for a yellow flag infringement.

It was advantage Wood by 15 points, and he extended it by 10 points over the next two races with two class wins, as Fowle took two class second places.

In race two Wood finished fourth, just off the overall podium, which saw Matthew Scott, Collins, and Thompson split by just one second. Fowle was sixth overall. In race three Wood was fifth and Fowle seventh, while Chris Burrage took the overall win. He was joined on the podium by Scott and Collins.

Burrage took his second win in the last race of the weekend, with Scott and Thompson second and third respectively, while Fowle ended his year with a Sub-64 win in fourth, but the year belonged to Wood, who finished seventh in the last race of the year.

ACU Team Green Junior Cup & Senior 300

While the Senior 300 championship had already been secured by Jamie Kelman, the Junior Cup was still to be decided. However, it appeared to be a mere formality for Owen Jenner, as he arrived at the season finale with a 73-point championship lead.

It was all-but decided further in race one, despite the duo both crashing out in the wet conditions. It meant the 73-point advantage remained, with now just 75 to play for. The Junior win went to Indy Offer, while the overall win was handed to Senior runner Damian Rowley after Kelman, who took the chequered flag first, was given a 10-second penalty for a yellow flag infringement. He was demoted to second, with Josh Harvey third.

Bouncing back from the crash, Jenner raced to sixth in race two but claimed the Junior Cup win and with it the championship crown. Dutton finished 11th, fourth in class. Rowley took another overall and Senior 300 win, again ahead of Kelman as Martin Cooper grabbed third.

The respective table-toppers took wins in their respective classes in race three, highlighting their worth as champions. Kelman took the overall win by 12 seconds, while Jenner finished second overall and first in the Junior class, heading a four-rider battle for the remaining podium positions. Third went to Kai Dickinson.

For the final time in 2018, Kelman stood atop the overall podium with another race win, as Dickinson finished second overall and second in the Senior class. Jenner’s third gave him the Junior Cup win to cap off his season.

DFDS Yamaha Past Masters

If the final round of the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters championship achieved one thing, it was to highlight the progress of Scott Carson; a Rookie in 2018 Carson took his first wins of the year after only visiting the podium once before.

He qualified on pole, over half a second ahead of anyone this year’s champion Peter Branton, who set the second quickest time. He then backed it up with two race wins. After a dry qualifying he won a wet race one from Denis Halil and Ben Miles, before winning again in the dry in race two, this time ahead of Douglas Beacock and Scott Grant.

However, on Sunday, it the other Scott who bagged a brace of wins, with Grant winning the day’s opener ahead of 2018 champion Branton and Paul Whitby. He was back on the top step in the final race, ahead of Miles with Whitby again third.

RKB-F1 and F2 Sidecars

With both the F1 and F2 championships done and dusted going into the final round, there was just pride at stake.

F2 championship winners Sean Reeves and Paul Thomas kept hold of that in race one, taking the overall win on their Velocity V1 LCR Honda. Fellow F2 outfit Rob Atkinson and Paul Middleton were second, with F1 winners Ben Holland and Kyle Masters third.

It was a double for Reeves and Thomas in race two, as they were again chased across the line by another F2 pairing, this time Marc Vannieuwenhuyse and Rik Vannieuwenhuyse. F1 title winners Craig Clarke and Craig Andrew Clarke were third.

The ratio of F1 to F2 podium finishers was reversed in race three, as F1 outfits of Holland Masters and Clarke and Clarke finished first and second, while third went to F2 class victors Vannieuwenhuyse and Vannieuwenhuyse.

It was a repeat top-two in the final outing of the year, as Holland and Masters again held off F1 champions Clarke and Clarke, as Reeves and Thomas also capped off their championship win with an F2 class win in third.

Report by James Sharpe

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