IT was a game of two halves for Bemsee racers when the club rolled into Silverstone for its second round, as both dry and wet weather divided the event in two.
Saturday’s dry conditions and Sunday’s rain made for a shake up in the order of all ten classes that hit the International Circuit this weekend.
Three riders tasted victory in the Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme class, including series leader Barry Chamberlain, who qualified on the front row on his Goldline Maintenance Services Suzuki GSX-R750 while Titan Elevators’ Tony Russo snatched pole.
But it was Ross McLurg who took a narrow victory in race one on the EDI Building GSX-R, less than 0.1s ahead of Matt Hinnells with Chamberlain crossing the line third
McLurg made it a double with a lights-to-flag win in race two while Hinnells and Chamberlain followed him home again as Rob Kuschel took the Rookie-class win after Tommy Hemphill nabbed it in race one.
The Thunderbike Extreme racers escaped wet weather in Sunday’s first race – and although McLurg looked like he could be on for a hat-trick, a retirement left Chamberlain to the red-flag-shortened win after a nip-and-tuck battle with Carl Tucker and Ande Friend.
While Tucker and Friend managed second and third again in the final race, Doug Edmondson put on a masterclass to take a lights-to-flag victory while Robert Breen and Alexandru Traxler split the Sunday Rookie spoils.
Steve Topping arrived at Silverstone with the Thunderbike Sport points lead, but it was Paul Holden who took the win in race one, clawing back points on his championship rival as Topping finished second, with Thomas Watson in third.
But any damage done to Topping’s championship lead was reversed in race two as he took a narrow win following a last lap overtake on Holden, who crossed the line just a tenth behind while third went to Stewart May.
Malvern May took Sunday’s first race win just under a second clear of Watson, with Stewart May again third. But Watson finally found the top step of the podium in the final Thunderbike Sport scrap to make it four winners in four races.
Seven different riders stood on the ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins podium, but only one rostrum included Paul Witherington, who had a trying weekend after arriving with the series lead.
Byron Kirk kicked things off with a win in race one by just a tenth of a second, crossing the line ahead of Mason Williams, himself just two tenths ahead of Jake Povah.
But race one pole-sitter Dan Singleton’s fortunes improved in race two after he pulled a nearly two second lead following a scrap at the front, taking victory ahead of Richard Hickling and Keith Povah.
Dan Harris added his name to the weekend’s winners list on Sunday morning after the HP Racing Suzuki rider took the lead on lap three, while Williams and Hickling were back on the rostrum in second and third.
Following a dice with Hickling in the early laps of race four, Jake Povah took a comfortable win as Witherington finally made it onto the podium in second ahead of Hickling. In the Rookie Minitwins Charlie Crawt and Stuart Jarvis took two wins each and sit first and second in the championship.
It was a hat-trick of wins for Mark Taylor in the Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 championship as he extended his championship lead, but it wasn’t all a straight-forward affair.
Chris Kent took it to the wire in race one, finishing second by just 0.1s as third went to Chris Rogers. Taylor was again made to work for it in race two, but this time Rogers was just a tenth off victory as he beat Kent to the runner-up spot.
Taylor started the last lap of Sunday’s first race in the lead, but he lost out by less than a second at the chequered flag as Rogers finally stole victory after the pair went head-to-head all race, with Andrew Wales just behind.
Wales went one better in the final MZ scrap, but it was Taylor who was back on the top step of the podium, with CB Racing’s Rogers in third.
Despite the fast sections of Silverstone’s International Circuit, the F2 outfit of Alan Founds and Tom Christie enjoyed the most success in the RKB F1 and F2 Sidecar races as they took home a hat-trick of wins.
And it was a F2-dominated weekend, with pole and the other race win going to Sean Reeves and Paul Thomas, also in an LCR 600 outfit.
Reeves and Thomas were quickest in qualifying, and converted that pace into victory in the weekend’s first race in dominant fashion, while F1 duo Craig Clarke and Andrew Clarke and the F2 machine of Marc and Rik Vannieuwenhuyse completed the podium after Nick Webb and Paddy Byrne retired from second place.
From race two onward, however, Founds and Christie were untouchable. After failing to finish race one, the Brian Gray Powerbiking boys came from the back of the grid and pulled away at the front to take the win from Reeves/Thomas and Webb/Byrne.
The two swept Sunday, making a repeat podium of race two in the first sidecar battle of the day before Munro and Masters followed Webb and Byrne across the line for third in race four to make it an all-F2 podium.
Making its first appearance with the BMCRC in 2018 was the Lansdowne Classic series, and it was former MZ 250 and Yamaha Past Masters champion Dean Stimpson on pole.
He backed up that speed with a victory in race one onboard his Izzard Racing Norton, taking the win ahead of Sam Clews and Chris Firmin before doubling up in race two as the podium, completed by Clews and Keith Clarke, was covered by just half a second.
Stimpson went three for three on Sunday morning, with teammate Clarke backing him up in second on the other Izzard Racing machine as Duncan Fitchett claimed third.
But a clean sweep wasn’t to be when Clews stormed to the front of race four while Stimpson had to settle for second ahead of Matchless-mounted Firmin.
Andrew Gill was unstoppable in the EDIAsia Formula 400 class, dominating all four races on the RMKD Racing Kawasaki as he took three from Gary Henning and one from Mark Thompson.
Henning, Thompson, Dave Harviek and Paul Fisher also took a third each while Eddie Croker took three Rookie wins to James Seath’s one.
*Images: Jenny Wells