Bemsee: All the action from Brands Hatch

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Team Respro MRO 600 and HM Quickshifter Clubman 600

Despite Cedric Bloch having already stitched up the HM Quickshifter-supported Clubman 600 championship, the MRO 600 came down to the final round on the Brands Hatch GP circuit.

Michael Mills, despite a disappointing weekend at Donington Park at the previous round, arrived at the Kentish venue still holding a 44 point lead over Dawid Krawiecki. However, three wins and a second for Krawiecki against a seventh, ninth, fifth and a fourth for Mills resulted in a 55 point swing and the 2020 title going the way of Krawiecki by 11 points.

With little to lose, Krawiecki did everything he could to wrestle the championship lead from Mills, and after qualifying on pole he finished second to Chris Burrage in the opening race, though he was made to work for his silver medal, as Harry Rowlings finished just a tenth behind in third. Bloch, in 10th, added yet another Clubman win to his season’s tally.

After missing out on the win in race one, Krawiecki went three from three in the remaining races of the season to clinch the championship.

A wet race two on Saturday saw Krawiecki race to victory by seven seconds, as he set a best lap time some 2.5sec quicker than anyone else along the way. Second went to Glenn Walsh, with Burrage third. With Bloch crashing out on the penultimate lap, the Clubman spoils went to Alex Barker in fifth.

Sunday’s double header was another wet weather masterclass from Krawiecki aboard his R6, as he set the fastest laps of both races to take a double win and secure the title. In each race Walsh finished second, ahead of Burrage who twice finished third. In the final race Mills’ title bid came to an end with fourth place.

However, consistency was the key as Burrage secured the coveted Champion of Brands title, and he received the AMC Trophy after the last race on Sunday. The gong is awarded to the top aggregated scores of all riders in the MRO 600 and MRO Powerbikes races, and their Clubman classes, over the two rounds that the club managed to hold at Brands Hatch in 2020.

Burrage’s win and three thirds on the GP circuit, allied to the two wins and two seconds at the opening around, saw him take the award for 2020.

BMCRC Rookie 600

In the Rookie 600s Jason Mariette and Mitchell Gilbert arrived tied on points, and after trading wins and second places on Saturday, they remained level-pegging going into the final race-day of the year. Marc Batson was twice third.

Sadly for Gilbert, a second lap crash on Sunday morning ended his championship ambitions., while Batson took victory ahead of Mariette in second. James Hemphill was third.

Gilbert won the final race, but third for Mariette gave him the title. Batson took another podium finish in second. Mariette was also awarded the Mick Whalley Trophy as the club’s Rookie Champion of Brands for 2020. MRO Minitwins

Nine points split Dan Harris and Matt Wetherell at the top of the MRO Minitwin standings going into the final round at Brands Hatch, but a crash in the second race severely dented Harris’ hopes, and while he twice beat Wetherell on Sunday, Wetherell’s brace of seconds and two third place finishes over the weekend handed him the crown.

Harris qualified on pole on his HP Racing Suzuki SV650, but could only manage fourth in the opening race after being pipped to the final podium spot by John Reynolds by a tenth of a second.

Meanwhile, Wetherell finished second to Glynn Davies to reduce Harris’ series lead to just two points.

Disaster struck in race two for Harris, as he failed to complete a lap, and in turn relinquished his championship lead to Wetherell, who collected another second place finish. He took the chequered flag 10sec down on victor Davies, with Richard Harris in third.

On Sunday, Harris did his best to overturn the deficit, and twice beat Wetherell on track, the pair finishing second and third in both of the day’s races, while Davies completed his rout and made it four wins from four.

But the results meant Wetherell clinched the 2020 title ahead of Harris, while the rookie championship was secured by Craig Henstock.

Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Ultra

With three points separating Mark Wilby and Josh Harvey going into the final round of the Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Ultra championship at Brands Hatch – with Wilby on 189 and Harvey on 186 – many assumed it was a two-horse race to become 2020 champion.

Sitting third in the championship on 150 points with nothing to lose, however, was Jamie Thomas, who, three wins and a second later, overhauled his rivals and capitalised on their misfortunes to steal the title.

Thomas and Wilby went head-to-head for the win in race one, the GSX-R1000-mounted pair crossing the line just a tenth of a second apart, as Thomas collected his first win of the weekend. Cecil Dinsmore took third, with Harvey taking the chequered flag in sixth.

After scrapping for the win in race one, Thomas dominated race two to take another victory, eight seconds up on Ande Friend, who was a further seven seconds up on championship leader Wilby. Harvey was again fourth.

Thomas launched himself into title contention with two races of the year to go, winning race three of the weekend as Wilby failed to complete a lap while Harvey again finished fourth, haemorrhaging more points to Thomas. Stacey Killworth finished second ahead of Liam McCarter and Harvey.

Unable to make it a clean sweep of victories, Thomas finished second in the final race to Killworth, the podium completed by Friend with Harvey sixth. But it was enough to complete a shock comeback that gave him the title by 13 points as Wilby slipped to third in the standings.

EDIasia Formula 400

Burrage wrapped up the Formula 400 title with a dominant display at the final round, qualifying on pole and taking all four wins.

The Seton Tuning Kawasaki pilot was in a league of his own in race one, crossing the line 14sec ahead of James Robinson. Sadly for Robinson he was slapped with a 10sec penalty for a jump start and demoted to third, handing second to Paul Fisher. Fourth was James Seath, Burrage’s closest title rival.

Geoff Mook took another step towards the Sub-64bhp class crown winning 25 class points after finishing sixth overall in the 400 class.

Burrage’s race two win came ahead of Mark Thompson, with Seath clinging onto his title hopes in third. Sam Digby-Baker took the Sub-64bhp class win to claw some points back on Mook, but not enough to meaningfully dent Mook’s title bid.

It was a Burrage and Seath one-two in the penultimate race of the year, but the win ensured Burrage took the title with a race to spare, extending his championship lead to 26 points. Thompson was third, as Digby-Baker and Mook finished one-two in the Sub-64bhp class.

Despite being champion, Burrage scooped victory in race four with Thompson in second and Andrew Burscough in third. Digby-Baker won the Sub-64bhp class race, but the title went to Mook.

ACU Team Green Junior Cup & Senior 300

A topsy turvy weekend in the ACU Team Green Junior Cup and Senior 300 races saw the Junior Cup fight go to the wire. By contrast, two wins and a third in class gave Joe Thomas the Senior 300 gong.

Mikey Hardie arrived with a strong, but not insurmountable 32-point lead in the Junior Cup, and Fred McMullan and Jack Kirsch both had a go at taking the championship from him.

Kirsch took two second in class finishes on Saturday – twice to winner Harrison Dessoy – followed by a win on Sunday morning, which, compared to Hardie’s two fifths and a seventh in class ensured it was still to play for in the final race. Sadly for McMullan, despite two thirds on Saturday, a crash on the opening lap of Sunday’s opener ruled him out of the title hunt and the final race.

To win the title Kirsch required another victory, and had to hope that Hardie finished lower than fifth. Sadly for Kirsch, he crashed out on lap three, bringing out the red flag in the process, signalling the end of his title bid. Promoted to fifth after Kirsch’s departure, 13-year-old Hardie wrapped up the ACU Team Green Junior Cup.

Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme

Andy Saunders’ rise to the Thunderbike Extreme throne was almost a foregone conclusion going into the final weekend of the season, as he went to Brands Hatch with a 54-point lead over Jack Sim.

And despite a fourth place finish in race one, behind Sim, Richard Willsher, and David May, he racked up three victories over the remainder of the weekend to seal the title.

Saunders won the second race on Saturday, taking victory from May after keeping him at bay for five laps of the GP circuit. Raymond Stagg completed the podium in third. Any misery for Sim seeing Saunders secure the title was compounded by crashing out on the opening lap of the race.

Already crowned champion, Saunders still saw fit to do the double on Sunday to confirm his position at the top of the points table.

In dominant form on both occasions, Saunders took the chequered flag nearly half a minute ahead of David and Matthew May, as they fought over the two remaining steps on the podium in Sunday’s first race.

It was a similar story in the final race of the year, as Saunders raced to the chequered flag some 38sec ahead of David May while Sim rounded out the year with a rostrum finish.

RKB-F1 and F2 Sidecars

Three class wins gave George Holden and Oscar Lawrence the RKB-F1 sidecar championship, a result never beyond reasonable doubt with the pairing arriving at the final round boasting a 61-point lead. To cap their weekend the Startline Crew chose them as deserving recipients of the Tim McGrane Memorial Trophy for the best performance at the last Brands round.

The F2 series, however, was far from decided, with two points the gap between the pairing of Allan Schofield and Matt Rostrom and Matt Dix and Shaun Parker ahead of the season finale.

On the Apache Developments Baker Honda Dix and Parker seized the initiative in race one, finishing second overall and taking the F2 win ahead of rivals Schofield and Rostrum. However, from there things began to unravel.

In race two Schofield and Rostrum took the overall victory, as Holden and Lawrence finished second, first in the F1 class. Craig Goodier and Mark Stone completed the overall podium, as the second F2 outfit over the line. Crossing the line sixth overall, fifth in class, were Dix and Parker, surrendering their new-found series lead.

Things went from bad to worse for Dix and Parker in race three, as any championship ambitions were quelled when they crashed out on lap five, allied to a class victory for Schofield and Rostrum, as they finished second overall to Holden and Lawrence.

The new 2020 F2 champions rounded out the year with an overall victory in the final race, finishing ahead of Goodier and Stone and Brian Ilaria and Matty Sims, making it an all F2 podium.

Chilton Motors BMZRC 250

Finishing first, second, third, and fourth over the course of the final weekend of the year, Peter Woodall confirmed himself as the 2020 BMZRC 250 champion after winning every race bar one leading up to the weekend.

He won race one around the Brands Hatch GP circuit, beating Andrew Wales and Gary Howlett, but four riders contending for victory were covered by a second in race two, as Chris Kent led home Woodall and Chris Rogers, with Andrew Wales just missing out on the podium.

The MZ class’ close racing continued on the final day of the 2020 season, as 0.07sec decided victory in race three. Robert Dessoy just grabbed the win from Wales, as Woodall finished third.

Sadly for Woodall he wouldn’t be able to celebrate his championship with a podium finish, as he took the chequered flag outside of the top-three for the first time all season, finishing fourth.

He narrowly finished fourth, however, with the top four again within a whisker of each other at the flag, 0.7sec covering a quartet of riders. Kent was the victor, ahead of Dessoy, Wales, and Woodall.

Blue Haze GP and GPF

Phil Atkinson was already crowned Blue Haze GP champion but still took a win at the final round as one of four riders that tasted victory over the weekend.

The South African took victory in race one from Jonathan Stamper and Rik Ballerini, before Ballerini took the top spot in race two, his victory coming ahead of Michael Russell and Gael Machard.

Russell made it three winners from three races, taking the chequered flag first in race three from Ballerini and Paul Toland, who in turn went on to win race four. Russell and Ballerini completed the podium.

Also in action in the GPF races, Toland took victory in race one, on his way to clinching a predictable title, after arriving at Brands Hatch with a 68-point lead. Andrew Burscough collected two wins, while Denis Halil took the other available win.

DFDS Yamaha Past Masters

Peter Branton wrapped up another Past Masters title at Brands Hatch, though with guest rides in the series from Jamie Kelman and former champ Anthony Johnson, he had work to do to keep title rival Scott Carson at bay.

After qualifying on the front row Johnson took victory in race one from fellow wildcard Kelman, the pair six seconds apart. A further four seconds down Branton and Andrew Bown went bar-to-bar for the final spot on the rostrum, with Branton snatching it by a tenth of a second. Carson’s race ended on lap four, and arguably, so did any faint title hopes.

The first race of the weekend for the Yamaha Past Masters class was also for the Paul Hogan Memorial Trophy, suitably bagged by Johnson.

However, that didn’t stop him trying and he bounced back to win race two by over five seconds from champion-elect Branton. With four seconds covering the runner-up spot to eighth, Branton was followed across the line by Scott Grant in third, Kelman, Johnson, Paul Toland, Billy Perkins, and Bown in eighth. The second Saturday race also featured the Danny Whalin Cup, collected by Carson from Len Whalin in the paddock for his win.

Johnson was again victorious in the first race on Sunday, and again ahead of Kelman, this time with Carson third. Kelman, after qualifying on pole, finally took a race win in the last race of the season, after being chased around the Brands GP circuit by Carson, who finished runner-up by a second. Bown capped off the weekend with a podium in third.

Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and MSS Performance Clubman 1000

Mark Bridger, already crowned Powerbikes, picked up another victory at the final round of the season, his fifth of the year, with Glenn Walsh taking the other two.

Bridger, setting off from the front row, won Saturday’s feature race around the iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit, but it was anything but a comfortable victory for the new champion.

Victory came by just over 0.1sec ahead of Max Morgan, with Tom Norton half a second back in third as Ryan Warrington took the Clubman win in fifth.

On Sunday, Glenn Walsh improved from his seventh in race one to take a brace of wins, the first ahead of champion Bridger and Robert Cresswell and the second ahead of Cresswell and Norton. Cresswell was twice the Clubman winner as a result, but the 2020 Clubman championship went the way of Warrington.

A final presentation on Sunday of the Vince Bennett Trophy was made by Viv Bennett, who awarded Walsh the silverware for an impressive performance on the day.

BMCRC Rookie 1000

In the weekend’s four Rookie 1000 races James Crawshaw took all four wins, but three seconds and a third were more than enough for Kenny Fretwell to be crowned this year’s Rookie champion.

Kawasaki-mounted Crawshaw won both of Saturday’s races from champion-elect Fretwell, with James Vincer and Antony Hunter taking a third place finish apiece.

Crawshaw doubled up on Sunday to make it a perfect weekend to cap off the season, as Fretwell and Hunter again flanked him on the podium in second and third, before reversing positions in the fourth and final outing of the year.

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