Time to turn fuel into fun, at NG’s 50th Anniversary Meeting….
That was the phrase used by one paddock poet (…… step froward Chris Oliver!), and that is exactly what the packed entry did. I for one cannot remember a meeting with so few accidents and stoppages, as everyone returned to racing, albeit under the requisite Covid restrictions. Face masks and social distancing were the order of the day.
Daniel Cooper took the social distancing role to the next level in the 600 open as he took his DCM CBR600 Honda to three stunning wins, looking immaculate and enjoying his racing again. The former British 125cc champ has had a few seasons now with just a few forays out on track. But Cooper looked happy to be back and has stated that he is going to be running the full season in 2021. 17-year-old Bradley Richman is getting to grips with his Scaff Racing ZX6-R and took three strong podiums. Others we will need to keep and eye on this year include Connor Thomson, Lewis Jones, and newcomer Vitas Razvadauskas who all took turns on the podium.
Cooper wasn’t content to just sit on the 600 grids, he pitted his middleweight CBR against allcomers in the Phoenix Open, taking two wins there too, to lead the championship. In the one he did not win he had to settle for runner-up spot, but that was behind BSB Superstock front runner Joe Sheldon-Shaw who used this meeting a shakedown test for his new Protect My Income GSX-R thou. Reigning open champ Max Symonds started his title defence with three solid podiums at a circuit which didn’t suit his BMW, compared to Coop’s and the nimble 600 CBR
This meeting marked 50 years of NG Road Racing, and it was even more apt that that first meeting was at Gaydon on the 18th April 1971…… so it coincided exactly with 18th April 2021. As such a 50th Anniversary Special Award was put by NG’s Russ Gardner (…. that’s me…LOL). It was a no brainer when it came to choosing a winner for the silverware as Dan Cooper headed a short list of nominees and took home the special trophy.
14-year-old Finn Smart-Weeden took two convincing wins and set a new class lap record in the Junior Supersport on his KDC Coatings 400 Kawasaki, it would have been a full house but crashed of the lead third time out leaving the way open for fellow teen sensation Lewis Jones to take the flag first. Katie Hand had an impressive start to 2021 with three podiums on her R3 Yamaha.
Tim Bradley started off 2021 with his usual F400 race winning performance on the A and Z Taylor FZR400 ahead of Anthony Van-Looy and James Seath. Van-Looy was in great form on Sunday though on the AVL Motorsport ZXR 400 Kawasaki heading home multiple class champ Bradley in both outings with a rejuvenated Shaun Wynne third each time out on his ZXR.
Van-Looy also took a win in the 500cc open, but no one really stamped their authority on the class this weekend with Paul Metcalfe taking his RS250 to one win and James Seath also grabbing the glory on his ZXR…… which sadly went pop later in the day!
Dan Harris returned to winning ways in the Mini Twins on his HP Racing SV as the 2019 champ bagged all three races, as he headed home Alex Mann, Adrian Teasdale, and Richard Harris. Paul Wardell showed similar dominance in the Super Twins taking the full house as he starts the defence of his title, class new-boy Dean Ratcliff clicked with his SV taking three runner-up spots.
Alberton Solara used Brands as a Tri-Options test for his new Robb’s Tyres Panigale and was happy with three wins as he saw off fellow Panigale pilots Benjamin Falla and Craig Kennelly plus Owen Hunt on his 675 Triumph.
Max Symonds was another hit-trick winner with all three Powerbike finals going his way on the J&C Symonds S1000R BMW. He held back the AFB back teamsters of Michael Blank, Chris Pope and Aaron Hughes who all took turn on the podium on their R1 Yamahas….. it was more a case of proving who was king-of-the-garage rather than taking the challenge to Symonds.
Richard Stather didn’t need a second invitation after defending champion Jon Wright ruled himself out of the 1300 Pre-Injection class after a practice crash at Graham Hill Bend. Stather was never headed on his RS Moto Racing R1. Garry Rodwell took race one for the 700 Pre-Injection machines on the MAB-FIT CBR 600 in convincing style but come Sunday morning he was surprised to have Harley Prebble challenge him race long and right to the flag on his Bandit 600, with Rodwell nicking it at the line by half a bike length. Prebble took race three of the meeting by the scruff of the neck to get one over on Rodwell, celebrating like only Prebble can with a punch in the air.
Daniel Nelmes has moved from the pre injections class that gave him a championship win in 2019 to the 700 Streetstock on his Paul Sanders R6 and took the win on Saturday, but Kurtis Butler stormed trough from the back of the grid to take second place, which gave him a front row start for Sunday’s races. Butler took both races on Sunday with the 3VK Racing ZX6R but Nelmes was not giving up the chance of taking another win and pressed hard, so hard in fact that he set a new class lap record….. however even that was not enough to deny Bulter. So finally to the 1300 Streetstock class where Chris Oliver took maximum points as he left Brands unbeaten on his The Garage Trowbridge R1. The former Newcomers champ was in great form and left Jason Hill, John Dudman, Damon Smith, and Lee Hembrey to squabble over the remaining podiums steps that they shared about over the weekend.
Pretty much everyone left a sunny Brands Hatch with smiles on their faces after two great days of post lockdown competition……… That was until we all hit the M25 closure due to a multi-vehicle pileup, that unfortunately involved a fatality resulting in a 2 hour wait followed by another 2 hours filtering through the holdup site. Our thoughts are with the motorcyclist who lost his life in the incident.
125/250GP ACU National Championship.
Chris Moore got his 250GP 2021 season off to a great start with two wins and a runner up spot on his JL Exhaust TZ250 Yamaha. Saturdays win through went the way of defending champion Philip Atkinson on the Rose MOT TZ350 after battling with Moore and Bruce Dunn. Dunn was hit by bad luck as his Yamaha ground to a half in the latter stages on Saturday. Sunday had Moore on the top step twice, with Atkinson along side him with Dunn and Simon Hunt taking a third placing each. Dunn’s luckless run continued as he crashed out at Druids on lap one on the third race of the weekend after going bar-to-bar with Atkinson on the brakes, the incident also took James Hobson out of the race. Dunn took a while to get to his feet, so we wish the 250GP championship stalwart a speedy recovery.
Sunday’s first outing for the 250’s was also red flagged, this time with one lap to go as Phil Guillou had a scary looking “get-off” at the top of Paddock Hill as his Yamaha seized. Paddock sources reported that this was his first accident in almost ten years……he was taken to the med centre but reported to be walking wounded!
The 125-class had three wins from three starts for MDJ Racings Tom Hayward with Ant Hodson the former 250 champ taking second place each time, and just to keep this in symmetry Sain Brooks took all three third placings.
Callum Beech won all three Moto 3 finals on his UPVC Outlet NSF250 Honda.
Suzuki Bandits and Formula Prostocks.
Reigning Bandit champion Harley Prebble took three hard earned victories at this first meeting on his Redneck Racing 600 Suzuki. However, we now know that Gary Cutts is going to he a real thorn in Pebble’s side in 2021 as Cutts harried the defending champ all the way this weekend. Cutts lowered that Bandit lap record numerous times over the weekend but just could not find what was needed to head Harley when the flag came out! Ian Agnew and Dave Cramton made impressive starts to the year….. they are only going to get faster…..
Keith Higgs was the front runner all weekend on his Harris Kawasaki in the FP1’s, same was true for Nick Williamson in the FP2’s on his SP1 Honda. Phil Webber took his 1985 GSXR 750 to two wins in the FP3’s but failed to make it three as he was a no-show for the final outing of the weekend leaving the way open for Tom Vear to take his maiden win on the all-green (…as it should be) ZXR750 Kawasaki.
To find out more about the Formula Prostock Series: www.formulaprostockracing.co.uk
Ducati Desmo Series.
Multi championship winning Desmo A class man Andy Blomfield took two wins on his BB Racing Ducati over Chris Norris. Norris denied Blomfield the hat-trick with a nail-bitingly close win on Sunday morning, crossing the line 0.3 ahead on his 620SS Duke. Brian Tipple hook a full house in the B Class for the 600cc carby Desmos with Floyd Moody and Peter Cooper heading the supporting rivals.
To find out more about the Desmo Due Series: www.ducatisportingclub.com
ACU/FSRA F2 British Sidecar Championship.
This meeting saw NG host rounds of the prestigious national sidecar series. This weekend saw both wins going to perennial championship nearly-men, Lee Crawford, and Scott Hardie on their ARC Newton Aycliffe LCR Suzuki, both times heading home Sean Hegarty and James Neave by about 10-seconds.
To find out more about the FSRA F2 Sidecars: www.fsra.org.uk
Meeting one of a season can be a daunting prospect for the Newcomers but Vitas Razvadauskas took his R6 to a maiden win in the Open class. Andrew Glasgow drew fist blood in the 500’s with a confident winning run on his TZ250, whist Ian Agnew headed home the strong Junior class grid with a win by over 10-seconds on his 600 Bandit.
Wiz Knee Sliders Performance of the Meeting.
At every NG round one lucky rider is selected for the Wiz Sliders Performance award. The chosen one gets a special set of one-off sliders made by the Wiz guys in Somerset.
This meetings winner | Vitas Razvadauskas after a stunning newcomer race win and a podium in the Open 600’s.
To find out more about WIZ Sliders: www.wizkneesliders.com
Image’s courtesy | Hairy Beast Pix | www.hairybeastpix.co.uk