NG Road Racing descended on the historic Donington Park circuit this weekend, a track which has been the scene of many highs and lows for racers over the decades.
History highlighted the weekend as Daley Mathison made electric dreams come true with his win, while Josh Day wrapped up his titles and all the club newcomers did the same.
Gavin Mills was in usual dominant form in the first two races for the Hartsmere 125GP’s, however an uncustomary error meant that he picked up a DNF in the final outing, leaving the door open for Dean Hobson to take his first win of the year.
The IMS 600 series lead has swung between two riders all year, and this weekend it was the turn of Sean Montgomery to pick up the points which put him at the top of the table. Alex Baker took two wins with the other going to Montgomery, but Monty now leads the title chase albeit by just four points over Baker.
Aaron Ridewood, Kayla Barrington and Alex Jones are all still in the mix, but mistakes are punished hard and Barrington suffered on Sunday as her bike stopped in the holding area and sat despairingly as the warm up lap started without her. Despite getting the R6 fired up, she had to start from pit lane but carved her way through to tenth by the flag.
Mike Wilson continued his run of form in the F125 class, taking wins over Samuel Laidlow and Corey Tinker. It was also another win-fest for Tim Bradley in the F400 ranks with three more victories, each time over impressive newcomer Bradley Richman. Unbeaten so far in 2018, Tim Bradley is odds on to lift the title he last took in 2015-16.
Ducati man Andy Blomfield took all three wins in the Desmo Due 620cc A class as Rodney King bagged the triple in the Desmo 600cc B series. The pattern continued in the Mini Twins as Paul Wardell took a 75-point maximum on his SV650, leading William Holland, Dean Ratcliff and fast newcomer Christopher Sinanan as the hat-trickster set a new lap record.
Wardell also doubled up competing in the Super Twins and took one win there too, but this time William Holland had the slight upper hand taking a pair of wins. Not to be outdone, however, Holland also cracked the lap record on his SFV Gladius.
Teenager Richman has already secured the 500 Newcomers crown and is now storming up the points table in the 500 Open after taking two wins, while the other went to Nick Brown as series leader Dave Hampton had a troubled weekend on his 450 Tigcraft. He had been leading race one by some margin before it went bang on the last lap, ruling Dave out for the weekend.
Dave Mackay on the True Heroes 959 Panigale took two Sound of Thunder wins over the weekend but Paul Willis was in no mood to let the chance of showing the youngsters that there is still plenty of fight left in him.
Paul has been winning NG titles since the 1980’s and shows no signs of slowing down, taking Sundays final in drying conditions as he chose slicks with most going safe with wets.
It was a weekend of maximums for Matthew Baker as he took all four Formula Prostocks Suzuki Bandit Challenge races as Harley Prebble, John Bolsover, John Ward and David Greenwood squabbled over the minor placings.
John Tatham took the full complement of FP1 wins with Rob Pragnell and Mark Carels-Watson sharing FP2’s whilst Lewis Rees and Nigel Manning-Morton topped the FP3’s. Manning-Morton was on for three wins but his RC30 went down onto two cylinders in one outing.
Will Bryant and James McHardy fought it out for 700 Pre Injection points with the edge going to Bryant on his CBR600 as he raise himself to the top of the points table, while early season pacesetter Daniel Jones had another big-off and no points – a repeat of Pembrey last time out.
Despite Jon Wright taking two wins in the 1300 Pre Injections on his R1 to Owen Hunt’s one, Hunt extended his series lead to 90 points with just 125 still up for grabs.
Donington Park does not hold good memories for David Irons and the TWR team after having a machine stolen from the paddock last year, but Irons put that to the back of his mind this year to take three wins in the 700 Streetstocks, each time over championship rival Alex Jones, with Russell Hynes in close attendance.
Those wins took Dave to the top of the table with a 13-point lead going into Castle Combe. The 1300 Streetstock class saw Richard Hughes win on Saturday in the dry on his BMW S1000R, but in Sunday morning’s damp conditions he went for the wrong set up and Jason Hill took the flag first.
Hughes was in no mood to give away more points in the afternoon, though, and stormed to another victory to take his 11th from the 15 rounds so far.
*Images: EDP Photo News
*Prostocks image: Steve Snelling