IT was another weekend of close finishes and exciting scraps as the Bemsee pack headed to Brands Hatch GP for the club’s biggest meeting of the year.
Less than a tenth of a second separated Daniel Singleton and Keith Povah in the opening ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins race, as Glynn Davies finished third, just over five hundredths of a second further back – relinquishing his championship lead to Povah.
But he grabbed it back in race two as he beat his rival to the flag as Singleton crashed out from second place and David Twyford finished third.
Davies pulled out another five points on Povah in race three, the pair again covered by the slenderest of margins for first and second as Twyford bagged another third, but he went better for the final race, taking the win from Singleton.
Povah took third and along with it the championship lead, as Davies crashed out. Matt Wetherell took the first three Rookie class wins while the final one went to Tommy Downes.
In the Team Respro MRO 600 and MSS Performance Clubman 600 it was a tough weekend for leader Jamie Kelman, who had arrived with a 15-point lead.
The Phased Out Racing Triumph man qualified on the second row, with pole going to Louis Vallelley, who was joined on the front row by Chris Burrage and Mark Piper – which was the order the podium in race one after a dominant race by Vallelley.
Dawid Krawiecki took the Clubman win from Michael White and Nick Whitcher.
It was another dominant display from Vallelley in race two aboard his R&R Racing Yamaha R6, with Connor Thompson snatching the runner-up spot ahead of Piper, Burrage, and Conor Wheeler. Kelman was sixth and Whitcher 11th, collecting the Clubman win.
Vallelley was a little less dominant in Sunday’s race one, but still claimed victory by a couple of seconds from Burrage and Thompson, before Burrage won the final race of the weekend following Vallelley’s departure from proceedings on lap two.
Burrage, on his Seton Tuning Yamaha, was joined on the podium by Thomson with Kelman third. Whitcher and White split the day’s Clubman wins.
Four wins not only all-but sealed Cedric Bloch as this year’s L&W Contractors Rookie 600 Rookie 600 champion, they also handed the Brigit’s Group and SDC Performance Kawasaki rider the Mick Whalley Trophy, awarded to the Rookie champion of Brands.
The gong was introduced last season and is based on the total points accrued from all Rookie 600 and 1000 races at Brands – with Brands Hatch the British Motorcycle Racing Club’s home circuit – over the course of the year.
Bloch won race one from Toby Reynolds and Elliot Fricker – who was docked 10 seconds for jumping the start and in turn relinquished second place. Fricker nabbed second in race two, swapping positions on the podium with Reynolds who was third.
Bloch was on the box ahead of Reynolds in race three with Tom Vaughn third, before again being joined on the podium by Fricker and Reynolds in race four.
In the Rookie 1000s, Luke Dixon and Seb Jenkins bagged a win apiece, with Chris Cayford picking up two victories.
After surrendering his championship lead last time out, Doug Edmondson showed he meant business at Brands in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters, converting pole position in qualifying to four race wins.
Four seconds was the winning difference in race one, as he left Peter Branton, Scott Carson – who arrived at Brands with the lead in the points table – Connor Behan, Matt Barber, and Paul Whitby to do battle behind him. They finished in that order, less than two seconds covering them.
The Clubman win went to Simon Clark in eighth, Richard Haywards 22nd from 36 starters giving him the Rookie win.
Edmondson added another win to his tally in the second race, winning ahead of Behan and Branton, with Clark again the Clubman victor in seventh, and Hayward’s 18th handing him another 25-point haul in the Rookie championship.
On Sunday Edmondson secured the clean-sweep, winning the first by 10 seconds, but was only just able to keep Behan behind him in the last one, as the returning rider got within a second at the line as Branton was third.
Clark grabbed two more Clubman wins, as Hayward secured two more Rookie wins.
Pole position became four wins for Chris Burrage in the EDIasia Formula 400s, while Glynn Davies racked up four runner-up finishes and 80 championship points to extend his series lead.
Matthew Scott, who sits second in the championship finished third in race one. The Sub-64bhp class was won by Doug Edmondson as he finished sixth on his Yamaha TZR250. Scott was again third in race two and Edmondson the Sub-64 winner, this time in seventh.
It was much the same on Sunday, with Scott picking up a brace of third place finishes, while Edmondson collected two more Sub-64 class wins with a best of fifth.
The top four in the Chilton Motors BMZRC 250 Championship were split by 40 points on arrival at Brands Hatch. At the top of the points table was Chris Rogers, and there he remained after two second place finishes and a brace of victories.
He missed out by a tenth of a second in race one to Peter Woodall, and was only two tenths up on Andrew Wales in third. He then lost out to Wales for the win in race two by six hundredths of a second, as Robert Dessoy finished third.
But he claimed two victories on Sunday, taking the first win by a second from Wales and Dessoy and then beat Woodall and Wales in the final outing.
It was all square at the top between Tom Barrett and Stuart Thurtle coming into the weekend at Brands Hatch in the G-Force Motorcycles Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP series, while Richard Hayward narrowly led the GPF class for road-going machines.
But it was neither Barrett nor Thurtle who claimed any of the weekend’s wins, with three going to Roger Marsh and the other to Mark Whiting.
Marsh beat Whiting and Phil Ellis in race one, with Billy Perkins fourth taking the GPF win to take the series lead from Hayward. Marsh was back on the top step in race two in a repeat podium from race one, while Peter Moore took the GPF win in fifth overall.
Sunday’s opener mirrored Saturday’s closing action, with a Marsh, Whiting, and Ellis podium and GPF win for Moore in fifth overall, before Marsh retired on lap two of the fourth and final race, leaving Whiting to win convincingly from Ellis and John Hogg. Perkins’ fourth gave him the GPF win.
Entries in the immensely popular Steve Jordan Motorcycles-supported BMCRC Thunderbike Sport class were again split into three groups to accommodate, but there was one big winner from the weekend.
Dan Singleton collected four victories – winning every race he featured. The other wins went to Adam Jamison and Tom Watson.
Seeded in group B, Singleton won the A and B race by 10 seconds from Jack Sim and Roger Marsh. He then won B and C race, again from Sim and Marsh. The A and C race was won by Jamison from Watson and Shaun Wallis.
Singleton continued his winning form on Sunday, dominating both of his races to beat both Sim and Marsh each time. In the final race Watson bettered James Seath and Jack Wallis.
The two championship leaders in both the Ultra and Extreme classes qualified fastest respectively, with outright pole going to Ultra championship leader Aiden Patmore, while Andrew Saunders sat in the middle of the front row as the fastest Extreme rider.
It was an all-Ultra podium in the first race as Patmore led Steve Palmer across the line. Ritchie Thornton was a lonely third, while fourth went to Saunders as the Extreme class winner.
It was a similar story in race two, albeit with Thornton and Palmer reversing positions on the podium, as Saunders took the Extreme win in fourth overall.
After the success of Saturday, it was a disappointing start to Sunday’s racing for Patmore, as he crashed out of a slender lead on lap five, bringing out the red flags in the process. Thornton was credited with the win.
Behind, Palmer led a train of riders to take second overall and second in class ahead of Extreme winner and podium finisher, Saunders.
Patmore was ruled out of the last race of the weekend, leaving Palmer and Thornton to duke it out for the win. Palmer was the victor with Thornton second. Saunders rounded out the podium and made it a clean-sweep of Extreme class victories.
*Images: JTW Motorsport Photography