CLOSE racing was the order of the day at EMRA’s second round this weekend with winning margins of less than half a second in five races.
And with plenty of last-lap dashes to the chequered flag, there was plenty of action on at Mallory Park.
With a number of British championship paddock regulars on hand for the opening JHP Coventry Allcomers race, Leon Jeacock took the lead from the start but as the race progressed Luke Stapleford closed the gap and with six laps gone he was just a quarter of a second down when the race was red-flagged, giving the win to Jeacock with Tom Ward third while Billy McConnell came out on top of a battle with Louis Dawson to take fourth.
Local ace Jeacock took the lead again in race two as history repeated itself and the race was stopped after six laps, with Stapleford second again ahead of Ward and Dawson.
The same cast of characters lined up for the Chase Accident Repair/King Dick Tools & Dunlop Mallory Trophy, but this time it was Stapleford who got out in front and powered clear while Jeacock and McConnell fought over second place with Tom Oliver bagging fourth ahead of Ward.
With many of the national championship regulars out for the final Trophy scrap, the race was between Dawson and Andrew Fisher with the pair emerging from Devil’s Elbow side-by-side more than once until Fisher managed to get away to win by four seconds, while Luke Burnett won a very tough scrap for third from Ryan Cole.
At the wet May meeting, Sam Leach ran away with both Rookie races, but Sunday’s opener was far from the same. As the lights went out, Leach opened up a 1.5sec gap over Alex Pearson in the first four laps, but the gap then began to shrink and on lap nine Pearson came past in the lead by inches, holding on to win the race by just a few tenths of a second.
Aaron Staniforth and Steve Brittain had a race-long battle in the first Properly Protected Pre-Injection race as Staniforth took the lead early on and held on until half-distance, when Brittain got ahead and with a lap to go was half a second clear, only for Staniforth to steal the win on the very last lap. Steelie man Staniforth was back ahead early on in race two until Carl Morris, who scored third place in race one, powered past to stretch a lead of 2.7sec as he took victory.
The Binley Woods Car Sales Twins race began with Richard Saunders leading from Andrew Corkett, John Bolsover and Andrew Herd, but by half distance Herd was up to second place, just a second down on Saunders. Two laps later, however, the gap was down to almost nothing and on the final lap it was Herd who squeezed by to take the win by 0.3sec with Bolsover beating of Corkett for third. Herd’s victory earned him the Alan Tolton trophy, in memory of a long-serving EMRA marshal, but in the second scrap it was a lights-to-flag win for Jamie Kelman as Saunders was never far behind.
Thundersport 500 champion Josh Leaning led the first Dunlop CB500 race from start to finish, with Martin Radford in second and Richard Blunt finally levering aside Darren Faulkner for third. Leaning led once again in the second CB500 race with Sam Palfreyman second, but James Lee recovered from ninth place on lap one to take second on the final lap. It was all change in race three, however, as victory went to Faulkner with Radford second ahead of Blunt.
Blunt and Lee fought over first place for almost all of the Marine Fabrication Open 500 race until Blunt was able to open up a gap in the last two laps as Palfreyman caught Radford for third at the finish. But it was Marcus Tatchell who won the second race from Leaning before they were both forced to work much harder in the final race after a wheel-to-wheel battle where Tatchell only just clinched the win.
Ricky Tarren beat Jed Bird in both Tamworth Yamaha 600 races, the first time by 1.2sec before stretching a lead of six seconds in race two while Bird was busy fighting off former Manx Grand Prix podium finisher Steven Procter.
John Lea completely dominated the Alamo Racing Sound of Music Two-Stroke races on his TZ250, beating Alan Moreton’s production 500 Suzuki by over 20sec as he lapped all but five of the 28 riders in the field, before winning the second race by a whopping 38sec. On the same grid, Harrison Dessoy won the 450 class on both occasions aboard his Moto3 standard machine as John Chambers scored the Earlystock class victory in race one before coming second to Stu Poulton in race two.