Brands Hatch, the spiritual home of the British Motorcycle Racing Club, again played host to the club’s season finale, with plenty of championships still to be decided.
ACU Team Green Junior Cup
The final round of the Team Green Junior Cup and Senior Ninja Series saw Zack Weston emerge as the Junior Cup champion, securing victory in three races and clinching second in another. Meanwhile, Phil Atkinson - already crowned the 2023 Senior Ninja champion - dominated with four class wins, including one outright race triumph.
In the opening race Weston delivered a flawless performance. Piloting his Kawasaki Ninja 400 under the NW Racing banner. he led all nine laps to win. Chasing closely behind was Craig Dance, who put up a spirited fight, finishing just half a second behind Weston. Atkinson took third and the Senior win.
Race two bore witness to yet another spectacular race, as Weston once again took victory, this time with Dance again securing second spot. Dance had every right to feel hard done by, after leading the bulk of the laps, only for Weston to steal it on the run to the line.
Atkinson continued to demonstrate the Senior class dominance that handed him the title with a round to spare, clinching third spot overall.
And it was Atkinson, riding for Rose MOT/Q Oil Treatments Kawasaki that took victory in race three.
Over the course of 11 laps Atkinson pulled a lead of over seven seconds, after Weston and Dance did battle at the front early on. Sadly for Dance, he crashed out on lap four, handing the title to his rival.
Weston settled for second place, with Aleisha Layton delivering a noteworthy performance in third, four and a half seconds further back..
The new champion guided his Ninja 400 to triumph in the final race, while Dance recovered to finish second and Atkinson took another third overall, and another Senior victory.
DART Motorsport MRO 600 and Clubman 600
Harry Fowle was already crowned the MRO 600 champion and took three wins to demonstrate his dominance at the final round at Brands Hatch, with the other available win going to Donald Gilbert. But, the Clubman class honours were still to be decided, with Henry Ross eventually clinching the gong with two seconds and two third place finishes.
Fowle, in dominating form once again, rode his HF Refinishing Racing Yamaha R6 to victory in race one, crossing the line in front of EVO class winner Cameron Harris on his Harris/Tony Scott Motorsport Triumph 675R, who was two seconds behind Fowle.
Ross Clarke put his RC Farriery Racing Kawasaki on the third spot on the podium after running Harris close, finishing only 0.067 adrift of the runner-up spot and half a second ahead of Matt Pallett in fourth.
Robbie Park was top Clubman in seventh, and he led a quartet of Clubman competitors across the line. Sam Hirst was second in class, Callum Manley third, and champion elect Ross fourth.
It was two from two for Fowle in race two, as he led every lap to win. Though he only managed to eke out a lead of a second and a half as Clarke and Gilbert gave chase.
In their battle for second, Clarke and Gilbert were split by just over a tenth of a second. In the fight for the Clubman win, Park, Manley, Hirst, and Ross were seventh through 10th.
In race three Fowle continued his winning streak, securing a hat-trick and his 12th of the season.
Pallett, of BDA Chartered Architects Kawasaki, finished second, followed by Clarke in third. Park took an impressive fifth to take the Clubman win, Ross second in class in seventh.
Championship complete, Fowle sat out the final race, as S&N Tyres Kawasaki-mounted Gilbert emerged victorious. Harris was again second, followed by Clarke in third.
There was another Clubman win for Park, but the title went to Ross, who was second again in class, this time in sixth.
Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and Clubman 1000
As the sun set on the 2023 MRO Powerbikes season just five points separated the ultimate champion, Nicky Wilson, from runner-up Josh Wainwright. In a thrilling climax, Wainwright claimed two victories while Wilson secured the one to cement his title.
In the Clubman class Clayton Grover took three class wins to confirm his position as 2023 champion.
In qualifying it was Wainwright who set the pace, putting his Honda Fireblade on pole position. Wilson, astride his Suzuki GSX-R1000 was second and Peter Baker completed the front row.
It was pole sitter Wainwright who led the opening race, leading every lap, though Wilson was in hot pursuit. In a thrilling finale, Wilson seized victory on the final lap, taking victory by a tenth of a second.
In third was Gilbert, with Clubman champion elect Grover the class winner in sixth.
After losing in cruel fashion in race one, Wainwright bounced back in race two. After dicing with Wilson for much of the race, he eventually pulled a lead of nearly two seconds. Wilson took second, with Gilbert - who briefly led - third. Grover took another Clubman win in seventh.
With the title on a knife edge, Wainwright did all he could in the final race, and ran out a comfortable victor, crossing the line eight seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
Gilbert and Wilson were left to fight for second place, which Gilbert snatched by less than a tenth of a second. Fortunately for Wilson, third was enough to ensure he was crowned the 2023 champion.
Grover, the new Clubman champion, made it three wins from three races, taking fifth overall.
BMCRC F1 and F2 Sidecars
As the final round of the season unfolded at Brands Hatch, the 2023 F1 and F2 Sidecar Championships were already decided, with Simon Gilbert and Anthony Hildige the F1 winners, after Billy Pearson wrapped up the F2 title at Snetterton with Rob Child in the chair.
At the finale, Luke Williams and Jason Pitt dominated Saturday's races, before Ian Guy and Jed Pilmoor-Brady took a brace of wins on Sunday.
Williams and Pitt, aboard their LCR Yamaha were out front in race one before proceedings were abruptly halted when a red flag brought the race to an early stop. With no restart, they were classified as winners.
Guy and Pilmoor-Brady of Yangi Motorsport were credited with second, while Paul and Tom Kirby took third place in an all-F1 podium.
In fifth was Sean Hegarty and James Neave, the F2 victors.
In the second race Williams and Pitt continued their winning form and clinched another victory. Guy and Pilmoor Brady grabbed another second place, in front of champions Gilbert and Hildige.
Hegarty and Neave again claimed victory in the F2 category.
After winning twice on Saturday, Williams and Pitt sat out Sunday’s action, allowing Guy and Pilmoor Brady to come to the fore, as they took two wins.
They beat Ricky and Wayne Stevens and Andy Peach and Ken Edwards in the day’s first race, as. Hegarty and Neave once again won in the F2 category.
Guy and Pilmoor Brady then beat Peach and Edwards and Hegarty and Neave, who again took the F2 win while completing the overall top three.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Sport and Supertwins
Jeremy Hill had already claimed the Thunderbike Sport title, and Michael Allen had secured the Supertwin championship as the final round of the season got underway. And after four races of Brands Indy, Hill again showcased his supremacy by dominating all four.
Champion Hill commenced the final round in stellar fashion winning on his Silver Arrows Racing Yamaha R6 to beat Jamie Kelman and Elliot Fricker into second and third positions respectively.
Hill continued adding to his win tally in the second race, this time winning ahead of Andrew Denyer, with Tony Russo this time third.
Denyer was again second as Hill made it a treble. Denyer led a train of four riders fighting for two podium spots, as less than half a second covered the quartet.
Fricker was third and Russo in fourth and Alex Mann in fifth missed out on a rostrum finish.
The final race of the championship saw Hill deliver yet another masterful performance. After missing out in race three, Mann ended his season with a podium in second place, as Denyer continued his podium run, clinching third place, denying Russo by four thousandths of a second.
In the Supertwin class Phil Baker took three wins with a best of ninth, Tony Parker taking the other class win in 12th in race one.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles and TBR Performance Thunderbike Extreme and Ultra
Both the Thunderbike Extreme and Ultra championships were to be decided at Brands Hatch. In the end, Barry Mantell emerged as the Extreme champion, securing his title with a commanding lead of 77 points. Mantell's performance included two class wins.
Meanwhile, Morgan Creasey was crowned the Ultra champion, despite not participating in the final round. Stacey Killworth, another contender in the Ultra class, also chose not to compete in the closing round. The pair still finished second and third in the standings.
In the opening race of the final weekend James Fearn, aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000, sponsored by Mark Wilby Plumbing took the win. Jamie Thomas - a tenth off the win - and Tyler Donovan secured second and third positions respectively, completing an all-Ultra podium. Derek Cripps was the Extreme class winner, in fifth.
Race two witnessed another fierce battle for supremacy. Thomas, representing Team RubyRacing DART Motorsport, reversed his fortunes, taking the win from Fearn, who had claimed victory in the first race. The gap at the flag less than a tenth of a second.
Ande Friend - who’d narrowly missed the podium in race one on his Kawasaki ZX10R, rounded out the top three. Cripps was again the Extreme class winner in eighth.
Fearn once again topped the podium in race three, as Thomas took second and Friend third. Barry Mantell, the new Extreme champion, took the class spoils in 10th.
The final race of the championship provided a fitting conclusion to the exhilarating season. Fearn and Thomas again raced hard for the top spot, with Fearn ultimately clinching victory by three tenths of a second. Friend continued his run of rostrum finishes, securing the third.
Another 10th for Mantell meant he capped off his title-winning season with another class win.
Illuminate Design BMZRC 250
At the Illuminate Design BMZRC 250 Championship finale the stage was set for a high-stakes battle for the title.
Andrew Wales, arriving with a championship lead, stood poised to claim victory. However, a pivotal turn of events would ultimately see Alexander Mann emerge as the champion. After a DNF for Wales in race two, coupled with three impressive wins for Mann, the title was decided by a 23-point margin.
Wales did manage to secure one win as a consolation prize.
Mann took his first win in race one, securing the top spot from Chris Kent, while Wales, the championship leader, secured third position.
It was all change in race two, however, as Wales retired on lap six, handing the points lead to Mann, after he took another win. Kent was again second place, while Louis Kershaw took a well-earned third place.
It was three-from-three for Mann in race three, meaning it was all over for Wales, who returned to take second place in front of Gordon Ryan, who rounded out the top three.
A win in race four was scant consolation for Wales, as he was followed across the line by new champion Mann, with Ryan again third.
L&W Contractors Rookie 600 and Rookie 1000
The year drew to a close for this year’s crop of rookies. Callum Manley arrived having already secured the Rookie 600 title and took four more wins to add to his season’s haul.
The Rookie 1000 championship, however, went down to the wire. In the end Sam Cranstone emerged as the victor, taking two crucial wins that secured him the crown by a narrow 14-point margin over Karl Thompson.
In the opener Cranstone, on his BMW S1000RR, took his first win, crossing the line over four seconds ahead of Thompson and David Wilkins’ battle for second. Thompson took it in the end, but Cranstone extended his series lead.
Cranstone took another step closer to the title in race two as he once again piloted his BMW to victory. Thompson battled for second again, this time with James Vincer, two tenths of a second the difference between them.
Race three witnessed a nail-biting battle for supremacy. After leading every lap, Cranstone was pipped to victory by his title rival, Thompson, aboard his Yamaha R1, with Vincer third.
Thompson did all he could in race four, and ensured it was honours even from the weekend’s four races. However, fourth was enough for Cranstone to take the title.
Thompson won from Vincer and Adam Davey.
DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
Kevin Wholey had already clinched the championship title in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters. However, pride was at stake, and Anthony Johnson was eager to beat the new champion. He secured three wins over the weekend, while champion Wholey added the final race to his season’s win count.
Johnson rode his Yamaha TZR250 to victory in race one, with Wholey finishing less than a second behind. The battle for the remaining podium position was equally intense, with Billy Perkins clinching it as the riders from third to seventh were covered by less than one and a half seconds.
The second race continued the trend of fierce competition. Johnson bagged another victory ahead of Wholey. David Ball was third this time, pipping Richard Hayward by two tenths of a second.
Race three was a nail-biting affair that saw Johnson secure victory by a mere three hundredths of a second ahead of Wholey. Meanwhile, the battle for the final podium spot was equally intense, with Billy Perkins and David Ball separated by less than two tenths of a second.
The final race of the championship season provided a fitting climax to the day's events.
Wholey, determined to end his title-winning year on a high note, took the win by less than a tenth of a second in another spectacular race at the front.
Johnson was a close second, with Ball in third place.
ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins
At Brands Hatch for the final round of the ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins Championship, David Twyford had already secured the championship crown. Still, he was determined to leave an indelible mark on the season and won all four races, capping off his season with an impressive tally of 16 wins.
James Svenson had also already been crowned Rookie Minitwin champion and finished second four times to Jonathan King.
Still, the MRO Minitwins delivered the close racing it has been known for over the seasons, and in race one Twyford, riding for IMP Racing, showcased his championship-winning form, securing victory.
On the time sheets Barry Mantell finished 12.158 seconds behind, however, it was Darren Dowds who crossed the line in second place, only to be handed a 10-second jump start penalty, which demoted him to fifth.
Daniel Black was third, two tenths up on Oliver Arbon.
The second race continued Twyford’s winning run as Dowds made amends and claimed second. The battle for the remaining podium spot ended with Arbon, Kevin Lilley, and Brandon Wright split by less than half a second.
Twyford and Dowds were again second and third and seven seconds apart, but again it was the fight for third providing the entertainment, half a second all that covered Arbon, Lilley, and Wright.
A win in race four capped a perfect weekend which capped the perfect season for Twyford. He won from Dowds, in second place, and Arbon who was, this time, just half a second back from the runner-up.
BMCRC Formula 400
In a thrilling conclusion to the BMCRC Formula 400 championship, Nick Smith emerged as the ultimate victor, claiming both the Formula 400 and Formula 400 Sub-64bhp titles. In the main championship the competition was fierce with his brother, Haydon Smith, as his closest contender for the crown.
Nick Smith also won the Sub-64bhp class, despite not scoring championship points this weekend, while riding an open class machine.
Nick Smith, who won three races over the weekend, won the opener, as Haydon Smith got off to the worst start with a DNF.
Alan Major and James Robinson claimed second and third place.
Haydon Smith returned and finished second in race two, behind title favourite Nick Smith, with Robinson securing another podium finish in third, before Nick Smith made it a hat trick in the first of Sunday’s races, beating Haydon Smith by a second. Anthony Johnson grabbed the final spot on the podium.
It was all over, and despite a DNF in race four, Nick Smith was the champion. Haydon Smith took the race victory. Seath and Major joined him on the podium.
Major also took three Sub-64bhp class wins over the weekend, the other going to Mark Gallagher.
INTA Motorcycles Blue Haze GP
Tom Barrett became the 2023 Blue Haze GP champion, despite doing his best to hand the title to rival John Lea. Lea took two wins and two thirds over the weekend to Barrett’s sixth, ninth, and 10th place finishes, as well as no score in the final race.
Lea won race one from Sean Morrison and Paul Metcalfe, before Morrison was victorious in race two. Phil Atkinson got himself in the mix and finished second, with Lea third.
It was a repeat podium in race three, before Lea emerged victorious in the final outing.
Though he took the 25 points - crossing the line ahead of Morrison and Richard Hayward - and Barrett failed to finish, Barrett clung on to take the crown.
Blue Haze GPF
In the road bike-based two stroke championship David Ball took a solitary third place finish from the weekend, enough to take the title. He stood on the bottom step of the rostrum in race one, secured the title, and withdrew from the rest of the weekend’s action.
There were four winners from the four races, the first Paul Welch, as he took the opening win ahead of Billy Perkins and Ball.
Next it was Johnson’s turn to shine, as he crossed the line first to take the chequered flag ahead of Perkins and Denis Halil.
On Sunday Perkins finally went one better to win race three, as Halil and Mark Haigh completed the podium. Halil then went one better in the final race of the year, with Perkins on the box in second and Haigh again third.