LAP records went out the window this weekend at Anglesey as the action continued to heat up in the Formula Prostocks Racing ranks.
But rounds 10 and 11 didn’t start off so well for some of the club’s racers, as NG Road Racing’s Friday test day was the scene of a number of accidents that took some out of contention all together. Scott Holmes didn’t make it through the first turn before crashing out in damp and blustery conditions in the very first session.
Shortly thereafter, Anthony Surtees highsided at Rocket corner, earning a trip to Bangor Hospital with a broken thumb, collarbone, ribs and a suspected wrist. Sean Meakin and Brian Warburton also had offs, but luckily escaped with mere bumps and bruises.
With bikes rebuilt and ready to rumble on Saturday, Prostocks powerhouse John Warwick took the early lead in a delayed race one with confidence in the mixed conditions. FP1 Black Widow Exhaust Bandit Challenge leader James McHardy fought to keep up, but was no match for his closest points rival.
But the already-shortened race was stopped prematurely when Scott Holmes lost control on the start straight, resulting in a broken collarbone and suspected fractured foot/ankle, and his Suzuki spectacularly cartwheeled up the track.
Warwick took the red-flagged win from McHardy and Matthew Baker, while Scottish new boy Duncan Muirhead impressed the field with a fourth. Properly Protected Insurance Post Classic leader Phil Webber continued his perfect run of performance with an unsurprising win in the FP2 ranks.
The rain cleared for Saturday’s second race and allowed McHardy to close the gap to Warwick, but even a new lap record of 1:16.807 didn’t allow him to catch up and pass the CRMC front-runner. McHardy once again settled for second and Baker another third, while Meakin narrowly edged out Muirhead for fourth by a slim 0.006 seconds.
Another win and another lap record, a 1:16.979, went to FP2 king Webber with Andrew Howe and Rob Pragnell completing the Post Classic podium.
Both the action and the weather heated up Sunday, allowing Warwick to drive even further away from McHardy, who all but destroyed his tyres in a bid for victory. But once again he just couldn’t keep up with Warwick’s blistering pace or his new 1:16.673 lap record, and had to settle for the runner-up spot 12 seconds off the lead.
Baker bagged another third, with Muirhead, clearly learning quickly, less than a second off in fourth. In the Post Classics, Phil Webber took the win once again from Howe and Pragnell, securing the title with three rounds still to go.
With new rubber fitted for the final race of the weekend, McHardy was determined to put a stop to Warwick’s dominance. It looked to be another Warwick victory when the lights went out, but a tenacious McHardy snatched the lead away on lap three of eight.
The points leader held steady at the front for the next three laps, but pushed his pace a touch too far and lost the front on lap six, avoiding a crash by digging into the tarmac with his knee slider. The slip-up allowed Warwick to regain the lead, however, and he was long gone at the chequered flag some 10 seconds clear of McHardy.
Baker took his fourth rostrum of the weekend, only 0.15 seconds clear of Muirhead. And with another lap record of 1:16.729, Webber put the icing on his championship cake with a continued win streak.
The Formula Prostocks are back out at Pembrey on September 2 and 3, but are already preparing for 2018 and the new Classic Superbike Series.
*Main image: EDP Photo News
*Side images: Leanne Pennell