NO Limits racers descended on Donington Park for the final time this year as championships were still up for grabs this weekend.
It was a weekend of wildcards for the Pirelli Super Series 1000 racers as the grid received a vigorous stir for the final time this season.
Along with British Superbike and Supersport regulars Tom and Tim Neave came an appearance from Scouse-turned-Yank Mark Heckles, who finished second runner-up to Honda World Superbike racer Jake Gagne in the 2015 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 series.
Tom Neave grabbed the holeshot in race one as he took a slender lead, but it didn’t take Heckles more than a few laps to take over at the front, stretching an 11s lead as Neave fell back to fourth at the flag, behind Super Series champ James Edwards and Sam Coventry.
In Sunday’s opener, Neave was once again out front early but was nudged back to third by Heckles as the Lincolnshireman fell to a five-second deficit. But he clawed all his lost time back and beat Heckles to the line by over 15s as Dan Wagstaff took third.
While Tim Neave got the jump on his brother in race three, Tom swiftly grabbed the lead back and stretched another commanding lead as Heckles had to settle for third again, while Tim bagged third on the Aprilia he was testing ahead of his Brands Hatch Superstock wildcard with the EHA squad this weekend.
Having already clinched the Pirelli Super Series 600 crown, Lee Wells sat the round out and left BSB paddock regular Robert Childs to dominate the opening wet race ahead of James Alderson and Cup 600 winner Ben Wotton on the JJR Triumph, with Cup champ Scott Stevens just behind in fourth.
Wotton, however, hit his stride in the damp conditions of race two, beating Ryan Cole and Sonny Martin by over two seconds as he took an outright victory.
He then stamped his authority with another two wins, the first in Sunday’s second scrap as he crossed the line eight seconds clear of trouble as Stevens held off Super Series winner Ross Walker for second. Wotton continued to complete his hat-trick in the final race, beating James Alderson by 1.4s as Walker bagged another third.
After he edged Adrian Bridges to the opening win, Liam Vella controlled the remaining Pre Injection 600 races while Bridges, Matthew Jemmett and NA College’s champion Ian Kirby shared the podium honours.
Max Stainton dropped to third just once on Saturday to break up his Metzeler Newcomer 600 win streak as Daniel Williams took victory over Ryan Cole, but the title holder was straight back on form come Sunday by nine, four and two seconds as Cole took two more runner-up finishes to John Matthewson’s one.
The Ducati Challenge races were dominated by TriOptions Cup man Joe Connolly while Andy Claridge and Andy Booth split the class podium spoils with two seconds and two thirds apiece.
But joining Connolly on the overall rostrum on Sunday were Triumph 765 rider Paul Holden and Krämer 690 pilot Ben Tolliday, both of whom ran without an official rank as their bikes didn’t fit any of NLR’s class specs.
Mark Tomkinson bagged three wins to Phillip Morris’ one in the Supertwin ranks, while Matt Layt was held from a clean sweep by Vinny Branch as Craig Cameron took two seconds and two thirds.
CB500 champion John O’Toole and Martin Radford split the victories in their class, while Scott Adams and Ryan Haw shared the final rostrum positions.
*Images: Colin Port