EVERY year there is a stand-out youngster in the club racing world. But this year, we were gifted two.
And while Charlie Farrer is well on his way to clinching two championships aimed at rooting out the hottest new talent, for the first part of the season his mate Scott Ogden was as strong a contender.
Ogden has now headed off to the bright lights of the BSB paddock, riding for the Microlise Cresswell Racing squad in anticipation of a full season in the standard class in 2018, but his plans when this year began were very different.
The 13-year-old arrived on the scene this year fresh from winning the British GP70 Metrakit Championship in 2016, as the family purchased a Kawasaki Ninja 300 to contest the Team Green Junior Cup.
“Scott makes his own decisions but I sort of point him in the direction I think will work for him,” explained dad Brad. “We intended to the full season in the Team Green Cup on the Ninja, and then Thundersport GB opened up the Superteens to a variety of other machines so we decided to take part in a couple of those early in the year for some extra track time.”
Along with Farrer, the youngster signed up to contest the first two rounds of Thundersport’s most famous series, to give them a bit of an edge when Bemsee’s Team Greens kicked off.
For the first half of the year the teens dominated both championships, with the pair of them swapping the lead.
But June brought bad luck for the Lincolnshire youngster, when a nasty off at Donington Park with the BMCRC series ended his charge. Ogden had lost the front during qualifying and crashed out, then was hit by another rider while on the ground.
He spent a night in hospital and was released the next day, but due to his age, had to take an enforced 23 day break.
This not only meant the end of his Team Green season but also the end of his Thundersport campaign, which he had been leading up until that point. After some soul-searching and discussions, the Ogden camp decided it was time to knock both series on the head.
Farrer, who was riding stronger than ever, had capitalised on Ogden’s misfortune to build up a strong lead in Team Green and would then go on to take the Superteen lead, but the Ogden crew had already decided it was time for a change.
“His Ninja championship was effectively over, and just before that weekend we had taken the difficult decision to withdraw from Superteens. It was due to funding and the struggle to get the time off, so we’d already decided that we’d stop running in Superteens to concentrate on Team Green.
“It had been a hard decision because he was leading, and so we had to sit down and talk about what was going to be the best move. In the end we decided we should take it as an opportunity to look at Motostar.”
The family purchased James Alderson’s Honda from 2016 with a view to run it in 2018, and were then given the opportunity to join the Cresswell outfit for the remainder of the year.
He had his first outing at Thruxton and despite never seeing the track or racing on slicks before, was able to bring home a nice haul of points with two seventh places.
A steady stream of points finishes have followed, which Scott himself admits he’s pleased with.
“I’ve had a lot to learn, moving up to this series from clubs was a massive step up,” he revealed to UK Clubsport. “It was quite a shock the first time I went out, getting used to a new bike and the pace of the rest of the field, but I really enjoyed it.
“I’ve been happy with how I’ve progressed. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but it’s been good to get the chance to race here early, so I’ve been able to get an idea of what I’m facing next year.”
Having also been selected for the 2018 British Talent Cup, next season is definitely looking to be an exciting one for the youngster, and he hopes to improve every time out as he embarks on a full season in the Motostar Standard class.
But he also admits to missing his club battles with Farrer, which he says really helped him improve this season.
“I think running with Charlie brought us both on a lot,” he adds. “We had some really good battles and I think we have both said that we helped each other get better.
“I had a great start to the year, but after the crash I knew the Team Greens were finished for me, and as we had already decided not to continue Superteens, I think I made the right choice.
“I definitely learnt a lot racing with both clubs this year, and I certainly think it helped my racing a lot. I’d like to have been able to win one of the championships but it was sort of taken out of my hands, and I’m happy with where my season has ended up. I’m looking forward to next year, it’s going to be great.”
*Main image: Scott Ogden Racing
*Action image 1 and podium: Colin Port
*All other images: John Manclark