AINTREE racers have just two rounds left to rack up points, and some titles are already dangerously close to being decided after the club’s third round this weekend.
Andy Guy continued his assault on the Formula 600 class with a double victory and while his nearest challenger in the title chase, Russ Mountford, was out of action this weekend, he now holds a comfortable lead over Jason Taylor.
Guy led both races lights-to-flag with 1.1s and 2.6s gaps over Taylor, while Steve Proctor twice held off Stephen Smith to take the final spot on the podium.
Ryan Garside was the man to beat once again in the Pre Injection 600 class, beating Liam Weston and Damian Davis to the line in race one by three and four seconds. And while Garside made it a class clean sweep with victory in race two, Davis moved up a step on the podium to second, beating James Reveley by 0.007s.
The Myerscough College rider carried his momentum into the Steel Frame races where his nearest competition was James Leatham, but Leatham couldn’t keep up and had to settle for runner-up finishes in both scraps, one second off the win, while Weston and Matt Miller shared thirds.
Reigning Pre Injection champ Greg Lewis stormed to two wins on the trot, edging Andy Lovett and Chris Roberts at the line in the qualifier before taking a 3.6s win over Roberts in the final race, while Lovett just missed out on second a mere 0.104s further back.
Lewis was also out to defend his title in the Golden Era Superbike ranks, taking another two wins over Lovett as Reveley and Geoffrey Lunn took a third apiece.
But Lovett was finally on the top step of the podium in the Forgotten Era Superbikes class, sweeping the races while Craig Kelly and Mike Bampton bagged a second and a third each.
Supertwin series leader Bampton opened his weekend account with a win in the 500 Open / 750 Twins race over Kelly and Jamie Obrian, but Obrian got the better of them both in race two, beating Bampton to the line by over a second with Kelly a few seconds adrift.
Bampton also kicked off his Supertwin class assault with a comfortable victory over Kelly and Tony Leach, but Kelly pipped him at the line by 0.232s as Leach took another distant third.
Back in action in the 125GP & 500 S/C category, Obrian was no match for Manxman Dan Sayle, who soared to two dominant wins while Obrian and Steven Howard were forced to settle for podium finishes.
After taking two wins in the Forgotten Era 500GP races, Phil Millard looked to be on for more of the same in the F400 class with a commanding opening win over Tony Griffiths and Simon Cunliffe.
But Griffiths got the better of Millard on the final lap of race two as he bagged the full batch of points to add to his club points tally as he heads into round four leading the way.
Despite relinquishing the first win to Richard Hunt, reigning 650 Minitwin champ Stephen Johnston destroyed the field in the points-scoring race two, beating Brian Bates and Darren Raybould by over 17s to stamp his authority on the class.
Steven Howard took top honours in the 350GP class and snatched the series lead from a missing Ian Perks after beating Paul Owen by 16s in the first race and pipping Chris Moore by 0.064s in the second after a seven-lap battle.
Last year’s Classic Unlimited champ Derek Heap continued his charge with two wins over Barry Davies and Mick Crompton while Ellis Moore took two thirds. In the 500 Classic battle, Steve Ferguson reigned supreme, crossing the line over four seconds clear of James Gerrard both times while John Cronshaw and Meredydd Owen split thirds.
Ferguson continued his winning ways in the 350 Twins class, easily beating Julian Tillotson and Loris Hunt, with Tillotson and Davies sharing the remaining podiums.
Owen snatched the opening 350 Singles win from Keith Dixon and Moore, but Moore finally found the top step with victory in race two just over a second clear of Owen, while Dixon took third this time.
MZ250 ace Chris Kent stormed to a clean sweep, while Ted Cornes did the same in the 250 Twins class. Adam Ward cruised to the opening 250 S/C & 125 victory ahead of Bruce McGeoghegan and defending champ Dave Thorp, but McGeoghegan got the better of him in race two as Dave Wildey followed them home in third.
Stephen Markland and Owen Rigby took top honours in both Sidecar races as outright winners and first in the F1 class, while F2 runners Kev Thornton and Dave Dean crossed the line second both times to win their class.
In the BEARS Sidecars races, Shaun McCain and David Hammond took two wins on the trot by a massive 42 and 49 seconds over Phil Jones and Claire Duplock, their closest challengers.
*Top side image: Roly Grigg
*Main and other images: Chris Swinton