BEMSEE riders rolled into Brands Hatch for their final round of the season last weekend with a mixed bag of weather conditions to spice up action.
With monsoon conditions forecast on Saturday the decision was made to cut a race for each class from the programme. But despite some champions already crowned, a number of classes saw things go down to the wire.
The final round also saw the Champions of Brands crowned. Awarded to the MRO Powerbike or MRO 600 rider that accumulates the most points from the club’s Brands Hatch meetings, this year’s award was shared by Aiden Patmore and Dawid Krawiecki, the two inseparable on points and countback of wins, seconds, and thirds for both Brands Hatch rounds, for the first time in the club’s history. The Rookie Champion of Brands gong was secured by Seamus McGlynn.
ACU Team Green Junior Cup and Senior 300
Jack Kirsch clinched the ACU Team Green Junior Cup with two podiums from three races at the season finale, while Phil Atkinson ended the season in perfect fashion, taking all three class wins to seal the Senior 300 championship.
Atkinson qualified on pole, with Kirsch the second fastest rider and fastest Junior rider in qualifying in damp conditions, but in a wet race one it was James O’Mara who splashed to victory.
In the early stages Atkinson battled for the lead with fellow Senior 300 runner Danny Huskinson, but as the laps ticked by Huskinson dropped down the order while Atkinson maintained his position at the front.
The South African led onto the penultimate lap, but O’Mara and Kirsch were in tow, and he was passed by the pair of them. At the chequered flag O’Mara crossed the line ahead of Kirsch and Atkinson.
Behind, Lennon Docherty and Maximus Hardy finished fourth and fifth, the top five covered by one and a half seconds.
Bright and dry conditions replaced the rain for race two, and Docherty grabbed the early advantage before being passed by Kirsch, who led for a number of laps. However, he was unable to maintain the pace and began to slip back at the halfway stage as Dylan Mellor made his way forward and hit the front.
From there, Mellor was never headed and took victory, in the end, by just over two seconds. Two seconds was also all that covered the next seven riders, with Docherty at the head of the train.
O’Mara was third, to make it an all Junior class podium, with Atkinson fourth and the Senior 300 winner. Kirsch was fifth.
Atkinson picked up his third class win in race three, but topped his championship off with the overall race victory to boot.
Mellor led the way until the penultimate lap when Atkinson pounced and pulled out a slender but significant one second lead. Mellor dropped three further places on the last lap to finish fifth.
O’Mara was the Junior Cup winner, with new champion Kirsch third overall and second in class.
Team Respro MRO 600 and Dart Motorsport Clubman 600
Two wins and a second place cemented Dawid Krawiecki as the Team Respro MRO 600 champion, as Alex Barker secured the Clubman championship.
Krawiecki aboard his Code Blue Ltd Yamaha R6, led a re-running of a wet race one from the start until its early finish, after the first attempt to run the race was cut short due to a crash on the Cooper straight and a bike on the circuit.
Craig Howton was classified second, a result that also gave him the Clubman class win. Andrew Gill was third ahead of Grant Robertson and Doug Edmondson, all four riders just a second apart.
After leading the opening lap of race two Krawiecki could only watch Michael Mills disappear at the front after being passed on lap two. Mills, on his A51 Racing Yamaha, extended his lead to over two seconds.
Krawiecki was a lonely second, while Gill also endured a lonely race to third. In ninth place Alex Barker made sure he was crowned the Clubman champion with a win, and elected to sit out the final race of the weekend.
That race was won by Krawiecki, who capped his championship-winning season off with a victory. He held second from the opening lap to the very final lap, stalking Mills until the last moment before making a pass to take the win.
Mills, half a second down, took the runner-up spot, with a returning Dan Helyer third. Alexander Latham was ninth and the Clubman class winner, as four Clubman riders took the chequered flag within a second.
ProperlyProtected MRO Minitwins
John Reynolds arrived at Brands Hatch with the MRO Minitwin title all-but secured, thanks to his 61-point lead going into the weekend, and after a brace of fourth place finishes, victory in the final race of the season – his sixth of the year – was a fitting way to end the campaign.
The opening race of the weekend was won in convincing fashion by Dan Harris, with Cameron Harris in second, nearly six seconds adrift. Keith Povah, Reynolds’ closest title challenger, finished third.
Povah at least picked up a win at the final round of the year on his way to the runner-up spot in the championship, winning race two with the top four covered by half a second.
His win came ahead of David Twyford, Dan Harris, with Reynolds again fourth.
The new champion ended his title-winning season with victory in race three, but again just over half a second covered the top four. Reynolds win came by less than a tenth of a second ahead of Twyford, with Povah third and Cameron Harris fourth.
A fifth, third, and a second from the three Rookie Minitwin races was enough for Nik Baker to be crowned the 2021 class champion.
His closest rival, Adam Forsyth capped his season off with a win in the final race, with Stephen Perfitt collecting a brace of victories from races one and two.
Chilton Motors MZ250
14 points covered three riders at the top of the Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 championship going into the season finale, and just two points covered Chris Rogers at the top and Andrew Wales in second.
Sadly for Rogers, despite arriving in the series lead, he would slip to third after the three races had concluded, with Wales taking the championship from Pete Woodall by eight points.
However, it was neither of the three championship protagonists that took the opening victory of the weekend, as Scott Grant took his second win of the season.
Woodall was second, some 12 seconds up on Wales in third, who in turn was nearly 11 seconds up on Rogers in fourth.
A more normal service was resumed in race two, as the 10 laps saw the leading group split into a two-way fight for the win and a two-way fight for the final podium spot.
At the very front Wales held off the attentions of Woodall for his first win of the weekend, on his way to the title, as Chris Kent battled – and beat – Rogers for third.
The final race of the season was something of spectacle, with the top six covered by a second as the three title fighters battled for supremacy.
Wales led the opening lap before being passed by Kent who, despite the close racing going on, was never headed from lap two to the chequered flag.
Behind, the positions changed regularly. Wales started the final lap in second place but was passed by both Grant and Woodall, bumping him off the podium to fourth, with Rogers fifth and Alexander Mann sixth.
DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
Scott Carson was crowned the 2021 DFDS Yamaha Past Masters champion, finishing second three times at Brands Hatch to clinch the title.
With a 28 point gap to overcome if he was to halt Carson’s advance to the title, Doug Edmondson’s did all he could by qualifying on pole by nearly a second before winning race one – the Paul Hogan memorial race – by two and a half seconds.
Carson did what he needed to, finishing second to ensure he only gave away five points to Edmonson to go into the final day of racing with a 23 point lead.
Billy Perkins was third in the wet conditions, with eighth placed David Ball collecting the Clubman win.
It was all over after race two, however, as Carson’s second place saw him extend his series lead over Edmondson by four points, after he finished third. It meant going into the final race Carson held a 27 point lead with 25 to play for.
It was so nearly a win for Carson, too, after leading 10 of the 12 laps, only to be passed by Peter Branton on the penultimate lap, who took the win. Richard Haywood in sixth was the Clubman victor.
Carson, running the number one plate in the final race, would have loved to have capped his season off with a win, but despite leading the opening lap he was soon passed by Branton who went on to win by four and a half seconds. A podium would have to do, and Carson took second, ahead of Kevin Wholey. Hayward’s fifth gave him another Clubman win.
Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and MSS Performance Clubman 1000
Aiden Patmore had already sealed the MRO Powerbikes title, but the Clubman championship was still to be decided.
Kenny Fretwell boasted a 52 point lead going into the final weekend, and barring a disaster the title was his, and come the end of the weekend a fifth, second, and fourth in class was enough to seal the deal.
The weekend’s opening 14-lapper was won by Clubman Mark Wilby aboard his Bandido Beer Suzuki GSX-R1000, with newly-crowned MRO Powerbike champion Patmore second on his BMW S1000RR, backed by TBR Performance. Third overall was Kawasaki-mounted Tom Norton. In the wet conditions Fretwell was 11th overall, fifth in class.
Race two saw Patmore take the win but by the narrowest of margins. 15 laps of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit saw the new champion and Norton split by two thousands of a second as they drag raced to the line. The timekeepers only had to wait half a second for third place, too, as Nicky Wilson gave chase to complete the podium.
In ninth and 10th Luke Dixon and Fretwell finished first and second in the Clubman class, though Dixon was some 11 seconds up on title-hopeful Fretwell.
Patmore and Norton resumed their duel in the final race, and again it was fine margins that split them at the flag, this time a comparatively sizeable gap of a tenth of a second. Sam Smith took third. The Clubman win again went to Dixon in seventh, with Fretwell fourth in class in 11th.
L&W Contractors BMCRC Rookie 600 and Rookie 1000
Seamus McGlynn already had the Rookie 1000 series wrapped up, after a dominant season that saw him take 11 wins before the final round at Brands, where he added another two to his tally.
In the 600s, however, it was all to play for with Dan Burnham leading Matt Pallett by nine points with 75 up for grabs, but by the end of race one Pallett had a mountain to climb after crashing out in the wet.
Burnham on the other hand added 25 points to his collection with a race win, though he was pushed all the way by Matt Gathercole and Ross Clarke, less than half a second covering the podium finishers.
While Burnham was again on the podium in race two – finishing third – it went from bad to worse for Pallett, who last 10 of the 12 laps before again retiring.
The win went to Clarke with Ashley Coid second, but Burnham was crowned champion with a race to spare.
In race three he again finished on the podium, this time in second place, behind Clarke with Coid third. Pallett finished sixth.
In the Rookie 1000s won race one from Michael Clarke and Anthony Hunter, before Hunter ascended the top step in race two. Nine seconds back McGlynn and Andrew Williams raced for second, the gap two hundredths of a second come the chequered flag.
McGlynn ended the year on top with another win in race three, in front of Hunter and Clarke.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport
After winning every race bar two before the final round of the season Jack Sim was already crowned a worthy champion of the Thunderbike Sport class. And from the three races to round off the season he picked up another two victories.
He qualified on pole, but was beaten by Adam Jamison in a wet race one. Sim finished in second, in front of Stephen Perfitt.
In the dry, however, he collected two wins. In race two he rode away at the front to beat Jamison and Elliot Fricker by eight seconds. Aboard his Platform Lift Engineers Ltd Yamaha he claimed victory in the final race of the season, this time beating Fricker into second place with David Spencer third.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme and Thunderbike Ultra
Jack Sim arrived at Brands Hatch already crowned the Thunderbike Extreme champion, to go with his Thunderbike Sport title.
And with two class wins – and a best finish of second overall – he demonstrated why he is a double champion.
The Thunderbike Ultra championship was also sewn up ahead of the final round, with Josh Harvey the 2021 champion.
With only pride to race for, Mark Wilby enjoyed an excellent weekend, taking all three overall and all three Ultra class victories.
He won race one by nearly half a minute, as Stacey Killworth finished second in class and second overall, half a second up on Extreme winner Sim.
In race two he beat Sim to the overall win by three and a half seconds, as James Fearn finished third, second in the Ultra class.
As Wilby won race three from Fearn, David May ended any hopes Sim had for a perfect weekend, beating the new champion to third overall by half a second.
RKB-F1 and F2 Sidecars
In a shortened opening race of the weekend for the F1 and F2 sidecars, Adrian Hope and Matt Maclaurin took the overall win and the F1 victory. Lapping at a pace no others could match, they pulled out an 11 second lead in just three laps before being classified the victors.
It was an all-F1 podium, with Ian Guy and Ben Ransley second, and Gordon Pottinger and David Dodd third. The leading F2 outfit was Craig Goodier and Arlo Brown in sixth overall.
A full length race two again finished with an all-F1 podium, but this time it was Pottinger and Dodd on the top step after taking the flag 10 seconds ahead of the chasing duo of Guy and Ransley.
Paul and Tom Kirby were third with Daryl Gibson and Ashley Moore the F2 class winners in fifth.
After two races won by big margins, after 10 laps of racing just half a second decided the victor of race three.
Guy and Ransley took the overall and the F1 class win, with F2 winners Gibson and Moore second overall. Chris Wright and Paul Bailey were third. At the end of the season Paul and Tom Kirby were crowned F1 champions, with Craig Goodier and Mark Stone the F2 winners.
EDIasia Formula 400
This year’s EDIasia championship had already seen James Seath crowned champion, but the Sub-64bhp gong was yet to be handed out.
A wet race one saw Sam Digby-Baker – who arrived lying second in the Sub-64bhp championship – take the overall win ahead of James Robinson.
Despite crossing the line 26 seconds behind the winner, third overall and second in the Sub-64bhp class went to the Alan Cooper, who heads the championship standings.
After giving away five points to Digby-Baker in race one, Cooper rectified things for race two, taking the overall victory ahead of champion Seath, as Digby-Baker finished third.
Fourth overall and second in class was enough for Cooper to take the series win in race four, with Digby-Baker’s third giving him the Sub-64bhp win. The overall victory went to Seath, ahead of Robinson. Conor Murray is the 2021 Rookie 400 champion.
Blue Haze GP and GPF
Rik Ballerini had already clinched the Blue Haze GPF championship, while Kevin Wholey was confirmed as GP class champion without turning a wheel after changes to the weekend’s schedule meant only three races would be ran across the two days.
In the GPF class there were three winners from three races. First Denis Halil won a wet opener from Martin Pearson – the pair Yamaha TZR250-mounted – and James Seath, on an Aprilia.
After qualifying on pole, Billy Perkins won race two from David Abraham, as Halil finished third.
Abraham then made it three winners from three races taking the chequered flag seven seconds up on Seath and Halil, who decided the runner-up by a tenth of a second.
In the GP class Kevin Wholey grabbed a brace of victories, with pole-sitter Phil Atkinson taking the other.
Wholey beat Neil Gregory and Adrian Martin in race one, before Tom Barrett took second in race two, splitting Wholey and Martin on the podium.
Atkinson was victorious in the final race of the year, narrowly bettering champion Wholey by a tenth of a second. Josh Wainwright ended the year with a podium in third.