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Bemsee bids bye-bye to 2019 with Brands Hatch finale

Wednesday October 9, 2019 at 3:29pm
Bemsee bids bye-bye to 2019 with Brands Hatch finale
The British Motorcycle Racing Club wrapped up its 2019 season at the weekend, with a season finale at its spiritual home of Brands Hatch, with the remaining champions of the year crowned.


ACU Team Green Junior Cup and Senior Ninja Series

The Senior Ninja series may have already crowned Tony Davies as champion, but the ACU Junior Cup and overall championship were still to be decided, with Ash Barnes and Lewis Jones the main protagonists in both. 10 points split the pair in the Junior class, 17 in the overall championship, with Barnes in front going into the weekend.


Barnes qualified on pole, a full second quicker than Jones, and got the job done with three wins from four races of the weekend to secure both titles.


He won both of Saturday’s races on his Barney Racing Ninja 300, with Jones twice second on his 151’s-sponsored machine and Elliot Dufton third on both occasions.


Barnes and Jones were tied together at the front of both races, swapping the lead between them. However, a mistake with three laps to go in race one cost Jones any chance of victory. He crossed the line two and a half seconds down. In race two he - with Dufton in tow, also - took it to the chequered flag, the pair crossing the line just a tenth behind Barnes. Jones and Dufton’s race time was identical on the timing sheets, with Jones judged to have edged it. But the result still saw Barnes further extend his championship leads.


Despite finishing fourth in Sunday’s opener - which Dufton won from Jones and Cameron Brown - Barnes wrapped it all up with victory in the final race. Dufton and Jones crossed the line in second and third respectively, but were both handed 10-second penalty for yellow flag infringements, meaning Brown and Martin Cooper were promoted to the podium.


Cooper also picked up four Senior class wins.


Team Respro MRO 600 and MSS Performance Clubman 600

The only certainty before racing got underway in the Team Respro MRO 600 and MSS Performance Clubman 600 classes was that Andrew Smith was assured of third in the MRO 600 championship. The winners of both were yet to be determined.


Jamie Kelman held at 20-point advantage over Michael Mills in the MRO series, while Michael White was 35 points up on Dawid Krawiecki in the Clubman championship.


Kelman set pole in qualifying, but it was Chris Burrage who grabbed the lead in race one and disappeared at the front. The Seton Tuning Yamaha rider gradually extended his lead to win by five seconds.


Behind though, the focus was on the championship battle as Kelman and Mills battled with Max Symonds for second place. Symonds on the J&C Symonds Ltd Kawasaki came out on top, as Mills clawed three points back on Kelman as they finished third and fourth respectively.


In sixth place was White, who took one step closer to the Clubman title.


It was a repeat result for the top four in race two, as Mills took another three points out of Kelman’s championship lead, reducing it to 14 points with two races to go. Nick Whitcher took the Clubman class win in sixth, as Krawiecki took four points off White, the pair second and third in class and seventh and eighth overall.


The pendulum continued to swing in Mills’ favour, and a brace of seconds on Sunday were enough to snatch the championship from Kelman’s clutches, as the latter finished seventh and fourth.


Symonds won the day’s first race with Stephen Draper third. Burrage was the victor in the final race of the season, as Symonds took another podium in third.


Rookie 600 winner Cedric Bloch and Whitcher shared a Clubman win apiece. Krawiecki and White were fourth and sixth in class in the first of Sunday’s two races, before rounding out the year with a second and third in class finish.


White’s results were enough to take the Clubman championship. MRO Minitwins

Glynn Davies was crowned 2019 MRO Minitwin champion at Brands Hatch, taking a clean-sweep of pole position and four race wins.


Davies began the weekend with a 40-point lead, but his championship was a foregone conclusion with title rival Keith Povah absent from the results after his involvement in a start-line crash with Will Green in race one ruled him out for the rest of the weekend.


That didn’t stop him from pushing on in the final races of the year, as he beat Daniel Singleton by nearly eight seconds in the weekend’s 10-lap opener. Third went to impressive Rookie Tommy Downes who mathematically, came into the weekend with a shot of winning the title. However, second in class for Matt Wetherell was enough to wrap up the Rookie championship.


Davies bettered Singleton again in race two, as David Twyford mounted the podium in third and Downes and Wetherell fought over fourth overall. Downes took it and the Rookie win.


Davies looked to be on for another start-to-finish win in race three, and had pulled out a healthy lead of one and a half seconds over Twyford. But on lap nine of 11 Twyford brought that down to less than a tenth, before taking the lead on the penultimate lap. He looked set to ruin Davies’ ambitions for a perfect weekend, but the 2019 champion re-took the lead a lap later, going on to make it a hat-trick.


The battle for the Rookie win was also the battle for third overall, and again Downes bettered new champion Wetherell.


The year was signed off with a repeat result, as Davies made it four from four with Twyford second as Downes and Wetherell finished third and fourth.


Chilton Motors BMZRC 250

Chris Rogers’ ascension to the 2019 BMZRC 250 title was a mere formality at Brands Hatch, as he arrived at the Kent circuit with a 77-point lead over Andrew Wales. And after race one of the weekend it was all over, as Rogers’ second place finish to Wales’ sixth gave him an unassailable points lead.


The win went to Peter Woodall, as Alexander Mann completed the podium in third.


Woodall again beat Rogers in race two, his margin one and a half seconds. Rogers, meanwhile, was merely six hundredths of a second ahead of Wales at the chequered flag. In turn, Mann was less than a second back in fourth.


Woodall’s second win of the weekend also saw him take the King of Zeds gong, awarded to the most successful rider on the Saturday of the final meeting of the season.


It was three on the spin for Woodall after the first race on Sunday, the Core Projects-supported rider winning ahead of Wales, as Liam Newman took only his second podium of the season in third.


The final race was won by Mann, who grabbed his second victory of the season, with Wales and Robert Dessoy the podium finishes, all three split by just half a second. The new champion, Rogers, finished fourth.


DFDS Yamaha Past Masters

Doug Edmondson wrapped up the 2019 DFDS Yamaha Past Masters title at the final round of the year with three wins, taking his season’s tally to 20. He also won the Danny Whalin and Paul Hogan memorial trophies on the Saturday, awarded to the race winner in memory of two of the club’s former racers. Danny Whalin tragically lost his life at Brands Hatch in 2003, racing with the Yamaha Past Masters, while Paul Hogan was a founding member of the class it is known today.


Aboard his Stan Stephens Tuning TZR250 Edmondson won race one from second on the grid, after Scott Carson - the 2019 championship runner-up - set pole. Carson finished second ahead of former champion Peter Branton.


Edmondson went on to win race two and clinch the title a day early. He won by four and a half seconds as the fight for the runner-up spot raged. At the flag three tenths of a second covered three riders, as Carson, Andrew Davies, and Scott Grant flashed across the line together.


Carson managed to taste victory in the first race on Sunday, as Edmondson failed to make the start. Carson dominated the affair, taking victory by 20 seconds from Davies. Paul Toland took an excellent third.


The new champion was out again for the final race and capped off his year with a victory, with Carson a fitting second and Branton third.


G-Force Motorcycles Blue Haze GP

Both the GP class and production-based class championships were still up for grabs going into the final round of the season for the G-Force Motorcycles Blue Haze GP series; Tom Barrett held a 12-point lead over Phil Ellis in the GP standings, with Paul Toland 30 points to the good in the GPF class, with Billy Perkins giving chase.


Ellis took two points out of Barrett in race one, as they finished fourth and fifth in class. Perkins immediately reduced his deficit to 18 points in the same race, finishing second in the GPF class behind Alex Symon - who also took the overall win - with series leader Toland eighth in class.


Things went from bad to worse for Barrett in race two. Unable to make the start, he could only watch as Ellis finished third overall and second in the GP class to take the championship lead, 10 points up on Barrett.


It was equally bad news for Toland. Symon was again the overall victor, but Perkins’ sixth gave him second overall in the GPF category and another 20 points. Toland took 10 points, finishing sixth in class, meaning the gap was down to eight with two races to go.


Overall victory in race three for Perkins made it all square at the top, as Toland finished fourth in class. It was going to go to the wire with whomever beat the other taking the title. At the same time Ellis extend his championship lead to 19 points with victory in the GP class, as Barrett took 16 points home for third in class.


Both Ellis and Perkins went from second in the championship on arrival at Brands to leaving as victors, the pair beating their rivals in the final race.


Rik Ballerini took the overall victory, but Ellis’ third overall and third in the GP series saw him do enough to take the title from Barrett. Perkins finished fifth overall but won the GPF class to beat Toland to the title by nine points.


Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Sport

With 80 points in hand at the top of the Thunderbike Sport championship, it would have taken a huge turn of fate to deny Dan Singleton the title. It never arrived, and he was duly crowned champion.


He set the fastest time in combined (from groups A, B, and C due to the high number of entries) qualifying, before winning the first race, which saw groups A and B in action. He beat Edward Watson and Malvern May.


Jack Sim won the first C and B combined race from Shaun and Jack Wallis, before losing out to Singleton by less than a tenth of a second in Saturday’s A and C race. Adam Jamison was third.


It was another victory for Singleton in Sunday’s A and B race - his 20th of the season - as he took the flag ahead of Thomas and Edward Watson. The first B and C race also saw Sim take another win, this time from Shaun Wallis and Jamison.


Despite losing out on the championship, Sim at least got to beat Singleton in the final race of the year, taking the chequered flag under a tenth of a second ahead of the 2019 champion. Thomas Watson was third.


After battling with Alex Robinson all weekend, Tommy Downes eventually sealed the Rookie championship.


Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Extreme & Ultra

Both the Extreme and Ultra classes in Bemsee’s Thunderbike series had already crowned their champions, with Andy Saunders the year’s Extreme title-winner and Aiden Patmore the inaugural Ultra champion. However, while Saunders opted to sit out the weekend, Patmore was still in action and determined to end the year with more wins.


And win he did, leading an all-Ultra podium in race one, taking victory ahead of Steve Palmer and Ande Friend. Dave Shelvey’s fourth handed him the Ultra win.


After storming race one, it looked as though race two would follow a similar pattern, as Patmore pulled out a lead at the front. Starting the last lap he was two and a half seconds up on Palmer, but an off-track excursion cost him 12 seconds, handing victory to Palmer.


Luckily for the new champion his lead over the rest of the field meant he was able to hang onto second, with Jason Byard third overall and third in the Ultra class. Meanwhile the Extreme win again went to Shelvey on his K1 GSX-R600.


Mk1 Transit Racing’s Palmer was back on top of the podium in the third race, after steadily pulling away from the chasing Patmore. Ducati-mounted Stacey Killworth was third in the Ultra class and third overall. Luke Macrae and Edward Ansell fought over the Extreme win, crossing the line in sixth and seventh overall.


Patmore was denied a final victory in his championship-winning year by less than two tenths of a second. He led the opening half of the race before Palmer took over at the front. Patmore gave chase, and set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap, but it wasn’t enough to overhaul Palmer, who took the win.


The new champion finished second, with Friend back on the podium in third. Patrick Mills made it three Extreme winners from the weekend’s four races, finishing fifth.


RKB-F1 and BMCRC F2 Sidecars

Tommy Philp and Jon Allum had already secured the F1 sidecar championship ahead of the season finale, but there was still the matter of settling the matter in the F2 series. However, it was going to take a cruel twist of fate to prevent Charlie Morphett and Paul Halliburton taking the title. Morphett, however, was racing with Andy Haynes in the chair, with Halliburton out injured.


It wasn’t plain sailing over the weekend either. It was an F1 class one-two, with Ian Guy and Rick Lawrence the winners ahead of Dan Knight and Ben Hughes. Third went to F2 victors Matt Dix and Shaun Parker, with second in the F2 championship Andy King - with Andrew Sigsworth as a teammate this weekend instead of Alun Thomas - second in class in fifth overall. Series leader Morphett was fourth in the F2 standings.


Knight and Hughes won race two, with Dix and Parker second to claim the F2 win. King and Sigsworth took more points away from Morphett, finishing third overall and second in class, with the series leader fourth in class, crossing the line in sixth.


It was a return to winning ways for Guy and Lawrence in race three, they took both the overall and F1 win ahead of Knight and Hughes. King and Sigsworth grabbed the F2 win in third. Morphett was sixth, fourth in class.


Despite the pressure, the results were enough to hand the championship to Morphett, even with a DNF in the final race. The race was won by Dix and Parker from Bruce and Ashley Moore and Bruce Munro and Alison Lawrence.


Over the weekend the club also awarded the Tim McGrane trophy - awarded in memory of Tim, who passed away in 2012, for his work with the British Motorcycle Racing Club, to the team that are judged to be the best representation of club sidecar racing - with Alison Lawrence and Kez Hughes picking up the trophy.


EDIasia Formula 400

Glynn Davies arrived at Brands Hatch with the EDIasia Formula 400 title already in the bag, while Doug Edmondson had done enough to be crowned the 2019 Sub-64bhp class champion. However, the Yamaha TZR250 pilot was also aiming for an overall championship top-three.


And he managed it, too, finish fourth, fifth, and sixth in the first three races. He was absent from race four.


Chris Burrage won the weekend’s opener, ahead of Matthew Scott and Andy Gill, while champion Davies didn’t manage a lap. He did in race two, however, and took victory to boot, beating Burrage while Gill completed the podium.


Davies picked up the win in race one on Sunday, taking victory in comprehensive fashion by crossing the line nearly half a minute ahead of James Robinson and Connor Swyer. He then capped the year off with victory in the final race, with Scott second and James Seath third. Sam Digby-Baker was the Sub-64 winner in 11th. MRO Powerbikes and Clubman 1000

With both championship winners confirmed, pride was mostly at stake in the MRO Powerbikes and Clubman 1000 races, but there was still the matter of crowning the Champion of Brands, which goes to the Powerbike, Clubman 1000, MRO 600, or Clubman 600 rider that amasses the most combined championship points over the club’s Brands Hatch meetings.


Powerbike champion Michael O’Brien was certainly racing with pride, and qualified fastest on his Yamaha R1 before backing it up with two wins.


He took the win in race one by 10 seconds, leaving four riders to fight over the two remaining spots on the podium. The runner-up spot went the way of Dodfrey Engineer Kawasaki’s Peter Baker, the former MRO champion fending off Olly Savage, Aiden Patmore, and Steve Heneghan. Max Morgan was the Clubman victor in seventh.


O’Brien doubled-up in race two, again winning by a hefty margin; he crossed the line over eight seconds ahead of his rivals, and again Baker was at the head of a train of riders fighting over the remaining podium positions. The win also saw him collect the Champion of Brands trophy.


Just two tenths separated him from third placed Mark Bridger - the 2019 Clubman class champion - Max Morgan, another Clubman, fourth, Patmore fifth, and Tom Norton sixth.


O’Brien sat out the final race of the season, which allowed Baker to take victory. He was again made to work for his success though, as Clubman winner Morgan and Norton chased him across the line.

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