Wednesday October 17, 2018 at 3:11pm
The racing season is nearly over, the majority of championships are decided, and there is time for just one more race to finish the season on a high note – or to put it another way – it’s time to go to Mallory Park on Sunday for the Race of the Year.
One rider who finished his BSB season on a very high note was Richard Cooper, who won the final race at Brands Hatch, and he heads the entry for the Race of the Year alongside his Buildbase team-mates Bradley Ray and Billy McConnell. Brad started 2018 in brilliant fashion with a double win at Donington, and ended sixth in the BSB championship, and he has had a number of wins at Mallory this year in Buildbase Trophy and Allcomers races. Billy McConnell came very close to winning this year’s Superstock 1000 championship, but slid off in the final race at Brands allowing Keith Farmer to secure the title, but Billy has won the Race of the Year before and will be keen to repeat the experience. Alex Olssen has been on a great run of form with five consecutive podiums including two wins at Silverstone and a second to Taylor Mackenzie at Brands. Lee Jackson is a former Superstock 600 champion and has taken sixth place in this years SS1000 series, and local racer Leon Jeacock is a frequent winner at Mallory, not just on Superstock bikes, but will be riding the Geo Davies Suzuki in today’s twenty lap main feature race. Luke Mossey will be on the OMG Suzuki, and Gary Johnson on the RAF Reserves team Kawasaki , and the field will be completed by the fastest riders from the Buildbase Mallory Trophy entries.
Sunday is also the final round of the Buildbase Mallory Trophy, and of the EMRA 500 championship. Paul Westerdale and Curtis Wright have fought for the Buildbase title all season, and Paul comes to Mallory on Sunday with a 21 point lead, but 100 points up for grabs. Paul came close to chucking his chance away when he crashed in practice at the September meeting, but a brilliant effort by his team put the bike back together in time for the second race, where he started from the back of the grid but still finished fifth, Curtis winning both races to improve his chances of taking the title.
The EMRA 500 races have been the highlight of every meeting, with three. Four or even five-bike battles for the lead, endless changes of position, desperately close finishes – a second is a massive margin in this class- and Ben Bailey has proved to be the master of last-lap or indeed last-corner victories (in both August races he went into the Devil’s Elbow second but crossed the line first), and Ben has now got a sixteen point lead over Wayne Sutton, who was the early leader of the championship.
The Phil Dongworth Trophy is one of the most prestigious trophies in sidecar racing – and certainly the heaviest – and Sunday’s entry is headed by newly crowned world champions Ben and Tom Birchall. The final round of the Classic and Modern 50cc championship takes place today, although Kevin Burton has clinched the title (as well as the ACU championship). There are also open 600 races, Lightweights and Minitwins, and a 450cc class which includes Moto3, Junior Supersport, GP125, Formula 125s and a couple of TZ250 Yamahas .