Wednesday July 17, 2019 at 3:04pm
The fabled Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit hosted the sixth round of the British Motorcycle Racing Club’s season at the weekend, with Bemsee still the only motorcycle racing club to use the iconic layout of the Brands Hatch venue. However, the weekend was marred by the death of Dan Thomas, the Rookie Minitwin racer killed in an accident on Saturday 13 July. Thomas crashed during the weekend’s first MRO Minitwin race. He was subsequently transferred to hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries. The club’s CEO, Mike Dommett, commented in a statement, saying, “The Club's thoughts are with Dan's close family and friends at this very difficult time, and we are grateful to the medical services, marshal first responders and officials who attended the incident.” ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins The opening race of the ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwin series was won by less than a tenth of a second by Daniel Singleton from Keith Povah. Glynn Davies finished third, just over five hundredths of a second further back again, and with the result relinquished his championship lead to Povah. In the Rookie class Wetherell finished seventh overall and picked up the win to extend his championship lead. Race two and Davies snatched back the series leading, beating Povah to the chequered flag after Singleton crashed out of second place on lap two. His departure meant David Twyford and Mark Taylor’s duel became a scrap for the final podium spot, with Twyford taking it by two tenths of a second. Wetherell was again top rookie in an impressive sixth. Davies pulled out another five points on Povah in race three, the pair again covered by the slenderest of margins for first and second. The battle for third was also equally tight, this time with three riders duking it out for the bronze medal position. Twyford was the man who came out on top, after taking the chequered flag half a second ahead of Singleton who came through from the 13th row of the grid, with Taylor less than a second back in fifth. Rookie spoils went to Wetherell in seventh. The final race of race of the weekend ended with Twyford taking a hard-fought victory ahead of Singleton, two tenths of a second splitting the pair. A similar gap split Povah and Taylor in third and fourth. Povah also re-assumed the championship lead of Davies crashed out on the opening lap.
The final Rookie win went to Tommy Downes in fifth overall. Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and Racebuykz.com Clubman 1000 Michael O’Brien’s unstoppable run of form continued in the Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and Racbuykz.com Clubman 1000 series, as the former campion 2019 title-favourite picked up a trio of victories from three starts. Riders were also competing for the Vince Bennett Memorial Trophy, which is awarded each year and goes to a rider who is judged to have achieved their best performance over the weekend. He set pole position on his Yamaha R1 by one and a half seconds, further staking his claim as the man tipped to take this year’s championship. And be backed it up with victory in race one, pulling away in the early laps before managing the gap to the chasing Anthony Johnson, who crossed the line in second place. It was nigh-on a photo finish for third, as Aiden Patmore was credited with the final podium position by two hundredths of a second ahead of Peter Baker. Two tenths of a second settled the dispute between Mark Kendle and Max Morgan for the Clubman win in eighth and ninth places respectively. It was an O’Brien and Johnson one-two in the second race of the weekend and the first of Sunday’s double-header, as O’Brien picked up 12th win of the year. Dodfrey Engineering Kawasaki’s Baker was third, followed by an impressive Morgan who picked up the Clubman win on his MSS Performance Kawasaki in fourth. O’Brien romped to victory in the third and final race, crossing the line nearly six seconds to the good, with Johnson again second. The on-track battle of focus was again the one for the last step on the rostrum, a third of a second splitting Steve Heneghan on his Ducati and Baker. A fine fifth place gave Morgan another Clubman winner’s trophy, and also earned him the Vince Bennett Memorial Trophy for his efforts. Team Respro MRO 600 and MSS Performance Clubman 600 It was a tougher weekend that he’d have liked for championship leader Jamie Kelman, who arrived at Brands Hatch with a 15-point lead at the top of the standings. In fact he only climbed the podium once all weekend, which comes off the back of another tricky outing at Snetterton where he too only mounted the box once. It looks to be a difficult run-in for the Phased Out Racing Triumph man after such a promising start to the campaign that included a run of nine-straight podium finishes including four wins on the bounce at Cadwell Park. He qualified on the second row, with pole going to Louis Vallelley, who was joined on the front row by Chris Burrage and Mark Piper. And that was the order on the podium for race one, as Vallelley dominated at the front. However, second to sixth was covered by just two seconds, with Kelman fourth at the flag. A tight Clubman battle for 12th overall saw Dawid Krawiecki take the win from Michael White and Nick Whitcher, who were 13th and 14th respectively. It was another dominant display from Vallelley in race two aboard his R&R Racing Yamaha R6, his advantage nine seconds come the dropping of the chequered flag, but behind it was an intense battle for the remaining podium spots. Three tenths of a second covered four riders, with Connor Thompson snatching the runner-up spot ahead of Piper, Burrage, and Conor Wheeler. Kelman was sixth and Whitcher 11th, collecting the Clubman win. Vallelley was a little less dominant in Sunday’s race one, but still claimed victory by a couple of seconds from Burrage and Thompson, before Burrage won the final race of the weekend following Vallelley’s departure from proceedings on lap two. Burrage, on his Seton Tuning Yamaha, was joined on the podium by Thomson with Kelman third. Whitcher and White split the day’s Clubman wins. L&W Contractors Rookie 600 and 1000 Four wins not only all-but sealed Cedric Bloch as this year’s Rookie 600 champion, they also handed the Brigit's Group and SDC Performance Kawasaki rider the Mick Whalley Trophy, awarded to the Rookie champion of brands. The gong was introduced last season and is based on the total points accrued from all Rookie 600 and 1000 races at Brands - with Brands Hatch the British Motorcycle Racing Club’s home circuit - over the course of the year. The trophy is awarded in honour of Mick Whalley, who was dubbed the club’s eternal rookie’. Bloch won race one from Toby Reynolds and Elliot Fricker - who was docked 10 seconds for jumping the start and in turn relinquished second place. Fricker nabbed second in race two, swapping positions on the podium with Reynolds who was third. Bloch was on the box ahead of Reynolds in race three with Tom Vaughn third, before again being joined on the podium by Fricker and Reynolds in race four. In the Rookie 1000s Luke Dixon and Seb Jenkins bagged a win apiece, with Chris Cayford picking up two victories. It was a Dixon, Cayford, and Jenkins top-three in race one, before Cayford took the first of two wins in the second outing, ahead of Dixon and Ben Basson. Sunday’s opener saw Cayford collect his second winner’s trophy, again ahead of Dixon and Basson, before Jenkins claimed his solitary win of the weekend in the final race after Dixon - who crossed the line first - was hit with a 10-second penalty for a jump start. Basson was second with Dixon awarded third. BMCRC Junior Supersport The Brands Hatch GP circuit hosted the maiden outing for the club’s Junior Supersport Championship class, the grid featuring a mix of Kawasaki, Yamaha, and KTM, machinery. Despite the variety in manufacturers, however, there was little variety in the winners, with Adon Davie taking a trio of wins. The other victory of the weekend went to Owen Jenner. The class didn’t fail to produce the close racing Junior Supersport has become synonymous with though, as half a second covered the top four in race one. It was Jenner who crossed the line first however, ahead of Harry Fowle and Lynden Leatherland. After that though, Davie had the measure of the field, running out a triple winner. Yet the close racing still made for quite the spectacle. Win number one came ahead of Jenner and Fowle, half a second again covering the top four as Leatherland missed out on the podium. That gap was just three tenths of a second in Sunday’s first race, as he beat Fowle and Leatherland, this time with Jenner going away without a trophy. The final win for Davie saw him joined on the podium by Jenner and Fowle, this time the top six were covered by a little over two seconds. DFDS Yamaha Past Masters After surrendering his championship lead last time out, Edmondson showed he meant business at Brands Hatch in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters, converting pole position in qualifying to four race wins. Four seconds was the winning difference in race one, as he left Peter Branton, Scott Carson - who arrived at Brands with the lead in the points table - Connor Behan, Matt Barber, and Paul Whitby to do battle behind him. They finished in that order, less than two seconds covering them. The Clubman win went to Simon Clark in eighth, Richard Haywards 22nd from 36 starters giving him the Rookie win. Edmondson added another win to his tally in the second race, winning ahead of Behan and Branton, with Clark again the Clubman victor in seventh, and Hayward’s 18th handing him another 25-point haul in the Rookie championship. On Sunday Edmondson secured the clean-sweep, but the day’s two wins came in differing fashions. He won Sunday’s opener by 10 seconds, as Branton and Behan finished on the podium in another tight battle for the honour of best-of-the-rest. However, Behan ran him close in the day’s second race, less than a second the gap at the line. Branton was third. Clark grabbed two more Clubman wins, as Hayward secured two more Rookie wins. ACU Team Green Junior Cup & Senior 300 series Ash Barnes is launching a late-season charge for the Team Green Junior Cup Championship, after taking three wins from four races around the Brands Hatch GP circuit. He arrived at the Kentish venue nearly 100 points off the championship lead, but started the weekend the right way by winning race one. He also benefited from series leader Lewis Jones’ DNF, while second in the standings, Tony Davies, finished fourth. Barnes win was anything but nailed on, however, with six hundredths of a second his winning advantage from Jamie Le Masurier. Third was Cameron Brown, making it an all Junior class podium. Davies was the Senior class winner in fourth. The result sheet suggests it was an easier win for Barnes in race two, as he crossed the line a quarter of a minute up on the chasing pack. However, he was again involved in a thrilling battle for the lead with Le Masurier until he crashed out on the final lap. Harrison Dessoy - part of a group of five fighting for the final podium spot initially - was promoted to second, ahead of Jones. 3D Racing’s Davies was again fourth, and again the Senior class winner behind a podium of Junior class runners. Barnes edged closer still to Davies and Jones at the top of the overall championship standings in Sunday’s opening race, but he was again made to race for it as he took the chequered flag two tenths of a second in front of Jones. Elliot Dufton was third, and runaway Senior championship leader Davies was the class victor in sixth. The perfect weekend was sadly out of reach for Barnes, as he carded a DNF in race four. Fortunately for him he was joined on the sidelines by both Jones and Davies, meaning he lost no more ground to them in the championship chase. Le Masurier picked up the win, with Sam Cox second and the winning Senior competitor, and Christopher Johnson third as the runner-up in the Junior category. EDIasia Formula 400 Pole position became four wins for Chris Burrage in the EDIasia Formula 400s, while Glynn Davies racked up four runner-up finishes and 80 championship points to extend his series lead. Matthew Scott, who sits second in the championship finished third in race one. The Sub-64bhp class was won by Doug Edmondson in impressive fashion, as he finished sixth on his Yamaha TZR250. Scott was again third in race two and Edmondson the Sub-64 winner, this time in seventh. It was much the same on Sunday, with Scott picking up a brace of third place finishes, while Edmondson collected two more Sub-64 class wins with a best of fifth. Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 40 points split the top four in the Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 Championship on arrival at Brands Hatch, as the class again provides Bemsee’s closest and most unpredictable racing. At the top of the points table was Chris Rogers, and there he remained after two second place finishes and a brace of victories. He twice finished runner-up on Saturday, albeit narrowly. He missed out by a tenth of a second in race one to Peter Woodall, and was only two tenths up on Andrew Wales in third. He then lost out to Wales for the win in race two by six hundredths of a second, as Robert Dessoy finished third. Sunday, however, Rogers managed to go one better twice, claiming victory in the day’s first six-lap sprint by a whole second from Wales and Dessoy. He comprehensively beat Woodall and Wales in the final outing. G-Force Motorcycles Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP It was all square at the top of the championship standings between Tom Barrett and Stuart Thurtle coming into the weekend at Brands Hatch in the G-Force Motorcycles Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP series, while Richard Hayward narrowly led the GPF class for road-going machines. But it was neither Barrett nor Thurtle who claimed any of the weekend’s wins, with three going to Roger Marsh and the other to Mark Whiting. Marsh beat Whiting and Phil Ellis in race one, with Billy Perkins fourth taking the GPF win to take the series lead from Hayward. Marsh was back on the top step in race two in a repeat podium from race one, while Peter Moore took the GPF win in fifth overall. Sunday’s opener mirrored Saturday’s closing action, with a Marsh, Whiting, and Ellis podium and GPF win for Moore in fifth overall, before Marsh retired on lap two of the fourth and final race, leaving Whiting to win convincingly from Ellis and John Hogg. Perkins’ fourth gave him the GPF win. Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Sport Entries in the immensely popular Steve Jordan Motorcycles-supported BMCRC Thunderbike Sport class were again split into three groups to accommodate, but there was one big winner from the weekend. Dan Singleton collected four victories - winning every race he featured. The other wins went to Adam Jamison and Tom Watson. Seeded in group B, Singleton won the A and B race by 10 seconds from Jack Sim and Roger Marsh. He then won B and C race, again from Sim and Marsh. The A and C race was won by Jamison from Watson and Shaun Wallis. Singleton continued his winning form on Sunday, dominating both of his races to beat both Sim and Marsh each time. In the final race Watson bettered James Seath and Jack Wallis. Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Extreme and Thunderbike Ultra The two championship leaders in both the Ultra and Extreme classes qualified fastest respectively, with outright pole going to Ultra championship leader Aiden Patmore, while Andrew Saunders sat in the middle of the front row as the fastest Extreme rider. It was an all-Ultra podium in the first race however, as Patmore led his closest adversary Steve Palmer across the line. Ritchie Thornton was a lonely third, while fourth went to Saunders as the Extreme class winner. It was much the same in race two, albeit with Thornton and Palmer reversing positions on the podium, as SDC Performance Suzuki’s Saunders took the Extreme win in fourth overall. After the success of Saturday, it was a disappointing start to Sunday’s racing for Patmore, as he crashed out of a slender lead on lap five, bringing out the red flags in the process. Thornton was credited with the win. Behind, Palmer led a train of riders to take second overall and second in class. He was a third of a second ahead of Extreme winner and podium finisher Saunders. Patmore was ruled out of the last race of the weekend following the earlier incident, leaving Palmer and Thornton to duke it out for the win. Palmer was the victor with Thornton second. Saunders rounded out the podium and made it a clean-sweep of Extreme class victories.