DARREN Eaton put on a show in the ACU 50cc Championship’s opening round at Tonfanau, winning all three races in commanding style.
The recently-reinstated series, comprising a mix of classic and modern machinery, proved to be back by popular demand with a 14-bike grid of riders literally buzzing like diminutive bees to get going.
Eaton and his Freetech Honda rocketed off the start line in race one, entering the pinch point of the hairpin first with 2013 National Superstock 1000 champion Hudson Kennaugh on his coattails aboard a Freetech Yamagama and Warren Atkinson’s Metrakit close behind.
There was nothing the two podium contenders could do to catch the Mancunian as he stretched out over 11 seconds to Kennaugh at the chequered flag, almost 26 seconds ahead of third place finisher Atkinson.
It was all too similar a story in race two, as Eaton again charged out to a six second lead at the end of the second lap, this time ahead of Paul Whiting and Mark Pollitt, both neck and neck fighting for the runner-up spot.
Kevin Burton made a charge through on lap three, followed closely by Atkinson, but the two had already lost the battle and had to settle for second and third, respectively, as Eaton doubled up on the day with a massive 18-second victory.
A hat trick looked imminent, but South African Kennaugh was determined to break the chain as he held the point man to an honest 0.4 seconds at the halfway point of the race.
Eaton, however, had other plans, and by lap five of eight he pulled another half second out of Kennaugh, and another half second the next lap – by the eighth and final lap, he had squeezed out 4.5 seconds and yet another victory, with Burton completing the podium.
With Eaton clearly in the points lead ahead of Atkinson and Kennaugh, the ACU 50cc Championship now looks to its second round on May 14 run alongside EMRA at Mallory Park.
*Main image: Gwenda Roberts
*Side image: Alan Moran