Thursday August 30, 2018 at 3:58pm
More championships were sealed at the eighth round of Bemsee’s 2018 season, despite the country’s changeable weather doing its best to disrupt the schedule at Snetterton. Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and Clubman 1000 Anthony Johnson wrapped up the Reactive Parts MRO Powerbike title, winning all three races to seal the crown with two rounds still to go. Setting pole on his Bexhill Gearboxes BMW S1000RR, Johnson also benefited from the absence of his closest championship challenger, with Joe Morphett absent from proceedings. Over a second faster than anyone else in qualifying, Johnson went on to take a start-to-finish victory in race one, comfortably edging away from Michael O’Brien in second, himself racing to a comfortable second position on his Yamaha R1. Third went to Steve Heneghan on his Reactive Parts-sponsored Yamaha. Kevin Silvain and Paul Wilby battled for the Clubman win, just half a second the difference at the chequered flag, as they finished fifth and sixth respectively, with Silvain adding 25 Clubman championship points to his tally, narrowing the gap to Wilby in the championship chase. It was another flag-to-flag win for Johnson in race two, although this time he was kept honest by O’Brien. O’Brien was able to follow closely in the opening laps, keeping the gap down at under a second. However, Johnson set the fastest lap of the race on lap seven to pull away and break the tow, extending his lead to over a second for the first time. O’Brien remained in second, but couldn’t prevent Johnson taking his second win of the weekend. Peter Baker beat Michael Neeves to third by less than three hundredths of a second. Chasing Wilby further down the field, Silvain crashed out in the closing stages, undoing the hard work from race one and allowing Wilby to extend his Clubman championship lead by 25 points, after he took the class win in fifth place. The rain arrived for the final race of the weekend, but it was a masterclass from Johnson in how to handle the conditions, as he won by nearly 40 seconds from Baker. Silvain raced to third and the Clubman win, recovering five points on Wilby in fifth. In the Rookie 1000s Daniel Johnson took two wins, the third going to Mark Kendle. Team Respro MRO 600 The weekend at Snetterton started well for Luke Hopkins, the youngster posting the fastest time in qualifying to start race one from pole, before he went on to take a brace of victories on Saturday, as he looked to kickstart a late challenge for the championship. Off the start in the first race of the weekend he slotted into second on the opening lap, as Harry Rowlings - himself sitting second in the championship - took the lead. A lap later however and Hopkins was in front, while Ben Wotton also passed Rowlings and sat second. Wotton couldn’t challenge Hopkins, however, who raced to victory. Wotton finished second and first in the clubman 600 class, with Rowlings third. Hopkins made it a double in race two, this time leading from the off to take a second win. It was also a repeat of the podium from race one, with Wotton second and Clubman winner, and Rowlings third. The weekend would take a turn for the worse in Sunday’s opener. Held in dry conditions, Hopkins retired on lap one, as Rowlings took the race lead. Sadly for him it would only last for a lap, as Wotton took over at the front on lap two and went on to take victory. Rowlings finished second, with Clubman championship leader Philip Baker third. The rain had set in for the fourth and final race of the weekend, with Rowlings splashing his way to victory. He snatched the lead on lap one, chased by Andrew Smith. Rowlings steadily extended his race lead, stretching it to nearly two seconds at the halfway stage.
Smith wasn’t out of it yet, and closed right in in the final stages, in the end only losing out by a tenth of a second as they drag-raced to the line. However, Smith’s second did hand him the Clubman win. Rookie Craig Howton took an excellent third place the class win. Philip Baker finished fourth Clubman, in 11th place overall, to secure the championship on his Ashford Accident Repair Centre Triumph 675. Baker has 10 Clubman wins to his name so far this season, with a comfortable lead over Andrew Smith, despite two rounds still to go. ProperlyProtected MRO Minitwins It was a bad weekend for Daniel Singleton in the ProperlyProtected MRO Minitwins, as he surrendered a 10-point championship lead coming into Snetterton, leaving the Norfolk circuit 28 points adrift. His title rival Mason Williams qualified on pole on a drying track, but it was Keith Povah who won race one, albeit by two tenths of a second. Williams lead the early laps, but Povah attacked on lap three, but he was re-passed two laps later with Williams back in front across the start/finish line. Povah stalked his prey for the final laps, waiting for the last lap to make his move and snatch the win, relegating Williams to second. Mark Williams finished third, himself leaving it until the last lap to pass Sam Elkins. Half a second was all that split the podium in race two, and just two hundredths of that covering Williams and Povah, as they raced to the chequered flag. Williams reversed the result from race one, and with the win claimed the championship, as Singleton finished third. While Williams and Povah resumed battle in race three, Singleton could only watch from the sidelines, the sole Kawasaki-mounted rider failing to finish the first lap. Williams was the winner, this time by three hundredths of a second, from Povah. Paul Witherington made it onto the podium in third. Soaking conditions for the final race saw Singleton recover to take the win, recovering five points in the championship to Williams, who finished second, the gap 28 points in Williams’ favour. Kevin Lilley picked up third place. ACU Team Green Junior Cup and Senior 300 Leaders of the respective Senior and Junior championships qualified on the front row in first and second for the weekend’s races, with Jamie Kelman on pole and Owen Jenner alongside him. Kai Dickinson made up the front row, the Senior 300 runner the only one capable of stopping Kelman lifting the Senior championship. However, that looks an increasingly difficult task, with Kelman winning race one from Harry Fowle, as Dickinson took third to make it an all Senior 300 podium. James Dutton bettered Jenner by two tenths of a second to take the Junior win. Kelman was again the victor in race two, with Fowle also picking up another second place. Jenner and Dutton resumed their battle for the Junior win and the final overall podium spot, this time with Jenner coming out on top. Dickinson’s fifth gave him third in the Senior class. A wet race three was a two-rider dice for the win between Jenner and Kelman, and despite Jenner edging it, Kelman added another Senior win to his tally in second place. Dutton was third, losing further ground to Jenner in the title chase. Dickinson was a bigger loser still, failing to finish and giving away 25 points in the Senior championship. It was a repeat podium in the final race, and Dickinson again lost ground with another DNF, allowing Kelman to get within touching distance of the championship crown. Steve Jordan BMCRC Thunderbike Extreme The penultimate round of the BMCRC Thunderbike Extreme championship saw series leader Barry Chamberlain arrive with a 51-point lead over David Abraham, and it was Abraham who set pole. Come race one though, and it was Alan Wood who would prove untouchable, taking a commanding win. Behind, the two championship protagonists battled it out for the runner-up spot, with Chamberlain narrowly taking the position and 20 championship points by half a second. It was much the same in race two, albeit with a closer finish between the podium men. Wood took victory, with the Chamberlain and Abraham battle only three seconds behind the winner. Chamberlain again took second with Abraham third. While no one could get near Wood again in race three, Abraham recovered some lost ground to Chamberlain, taking second as the series leader missed out on the podium in fourth. Less than half a second covered Abraham in second, Ross Dunning in third, Chamberlain, and Richard Willsher in fifth. Abraham’s title ambitions suffered a serious blow in the final race, as he crashed in the wet conditions while battling Wood for the lead. Wood, meanwhile, made it four wins from four starts with Chamberlain second and Daniel Singleton third. Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 Chris Rogers took a hat-trick of wins in the Chilton Motors BMZRC, winning the first three races of the weekend, but it was championship leader Mark Taylor who took victory in the final race to make it nine for the season. With less than a second covering the podium in race one, Rogers bettered Taylor for the top step, with the championship’s current runner-up, Chris Kent, third. It was a Rogers and Taylor one-two in the second outing, but a DNF for Kent saw his championship challenge suffer a setback, as Gary Howlett stood on the final podium step. Rogers took win number three in race number three, as Kent came through the finish second, with Taylor third. But the championship leader finally made it onto the top step of the podium in race four, extending his lead as both Kent and Rogers crashed out in the rain. Howlett was second and Graham Garriques third. DFDS Yamaha Past Masters Peter Branton all but secured this year’s DFDS Yamaha Past Masters title, and takes a 191-point lead into the penultimate round at Pembrey after the weekend at Snetterton. Branton won race one after coming from behind in the opening stages. Stalking Neil Macqueen and Jamie Kelman who had pulled away at the front, he reeled them before passing them both on the last lap to take the chequered flag. Macqueen finished second with Kelman third and top Clubman. Scott Carson was lead Rookie in eighth. Two thousandths of a second was all that decided the winner in race two, as Macqueen and Kelman crossed the line side-by-side. Branton finished third, less than a second off the win. Kelman’s second also gave him another Clubman win, as Carson’s 10th handed him the Rookie spoils. A damp start to Sunday’s proceedings ended with both Macqueen and Kelman on the ‘not classified’ list, as Branton took the win. It was another last lap move that saw him pass Andrew Burscough for victory, relegating Burscough to second. However, he did claim the Clubman win. Third went to impressive Rookie Carson. With the final race taking place in wet conditions, Burscough took victory, his first of the season, fending off a late charge from Doug Edmondson, who finished second. Branton was third, and now has one hand firmly on the championship title. Burscough was also the Clubman winner, with Carson taking another Rookie win in fifth. EDIasia Formula 400 It was an almost perfect weekend for championship leader Andy Gill in the EDIasia Formula 400, with only pole position in qualifying missing as he took all four race wins. The RMKD Racing Kawasaki rider put another five points into his championship rival Gary Henning in race one, with Henning second on his ZXR400 Kawasaki, and Matthew Scott third. Harry Fowle in fifth was the leading Sub-64bhp class winner, and James Seath in eighth was the Rookie victor. It was a repeat podium in race two, Gill again finishing ahead of Henning and Scott, while Fowle took another Sub-64bhp class win, this time in fourth, as Seath added another Rookie winner’s trophy to his collection in seventh. Sunday’s opening race managed to get underway in dry conditions, and Gill was again a class above the rest of the field. He took the win by 11 seconds, leaving Henning and Scott to dice for second, a tenth of a second splitting them at the line. Hayden Wood clawed back some points in the Sub-64 class, finishing fourth to take the class win. Seath was again the lead Rookie inside the points in 14th. The champion-elect made it four from four in the final race, conquering the wet conditions that arrived for the last outing of the weekend to win ahead of Scott, with the Sub-64bhp machine of Wood on the podium in third. Henning finished fourth, with Seat the Rookie winner in eighth. RKB F1 and F2 Sidecars F1 championship leaders Craig Clarke and Craig Andrew Clarke narrowly snatched the overall race win in the opening outing, less than a tenth of a second splitting them from the F2 winners and championship leaders Sean Reeves and Paul Thomas. Third was the F2 pairing of Will Smith and Steve Sanderson. It was a repeat podium in race two, but F2 duo Reeves and Thomas grabbed the overall win in race three, with Clarke and Clarke second. David and Jayne Blackwood finished third and second in the F2 class. Reeves and Thomas took another overall win and F2 victory in the last race, with Smith and Sanderson second, and F1 winners Clarke and Clarke third. Report by James Sharpe