EAST Midland Racing Association riders will descend on Mallory Park for the final round of nearly all classes this weekend, with almost all titles still to be decided.
While two of the club’s championships, the Buildbase Mallory Trophy and the EMRA 500, will continue both this Sunday and at next month’s Race of the Year, the other series will be decided in just a few days’ time.
The Buildbase Mallory Trophy has been led by Paul Westerdale from the beginning and his lead over Curtis Wright is 55 points at present, with Mikey Leeson 57 points further back, but this weekend’s races are unlikely to settle the title with the final round still to run in four weeks.
Wright won both races in August from Westerdale, with Leeson third just ahead of Michael Tustin in race one, while race two saw Westerdale just edge out Tustin for third place by seven hundredths of a second.
Providing some of the tightest battles all season, fans will be glad to see the Complog EMRA 500 class out for another two rounds. In the August scraps, Ben Bailey showed how close the racing could be as he won both 500 races between the Devil’s Elbow and the finish line.
Race one included a five-way scrap for the lead until three riders went down together at the hairpin, leaving Bailey to chase Scott Adams until the final corner when he went round the outside of Adams at the Elbow to win by 0.08s. The second race had an even closer finish when Bailey did exactly the same to Wayne Sutton, winning by 0.029s and taking an eight-point lead in the title chase.
Westerdale has a 31 point lead over Leeson in the Tamworth Yamaha Allcomers championship, and with double points on the final two races it’s possible for the Kawasaki rider to make up the deficit, but Westerdale only needs to finish second twice to win the title.
The Marine Fabrications 600 class is much closer, however, as Curtis Wright’s double victory in August gave him a 12-point lead over Jed Bird, with Andrew Wilkinson still very much in contention 17 points behind Bird.
Chris Ashfield has dominated the Minitwin championship all year and extended a 98-point lead over Duane Bliss, meaning Bliss’ only hope of victory is to win both races with Ashfield failing to finish either race. But the battle for second is a very different story as Ben Russell is only five points behind Bliss, with Richard Saunders another ten points back.
Lightweight leader Roger Neep holds a twenty point lead over Andrew Bailey, who beat Neep in race two in August, but Alan Clarke is only fourteen points behind Bailey and still in with a fair chance of taking the top spot.
Lewis Jones has almost sewn up the 450 Open class but Jodie Fieldhouse, who totally dominated the most recent races, is the only person with even a mathematical chance of taking the title away from him.
Newbie champ Luke Penny may have sewn up the Ducati Coventry/JHP Rookies title in August had he not crashed out of the race lead in the opening scrap and given the win to Tim Hudson. But after starting at the back of the grid in race two, Penny got up to third by lap three, albeit too far away from Hudson and Penny’s eventual second place left him 77 points clear of trouble.
Two more wins for Andy King and Andrew Sigsworth have put them 81 points ahead of the Chandlers in the Sidecar series, and the trophy looks very likely to bear the same name yet again.
This weekend’s meeting is also the final round of the ACU 50cc series, and the penultimate round of the Classic and Modern 50 championships. Kevin Burton has already tied up the blue riband crown, but second place is currently a tie between Paul Whiting and James Widdowson with Michael Houghton a close fourth.
In the Classic championship, Burton has taken his Minarelli to victory in eight out of the ten races so far and holds a 44-point lead over Derbi rider James Widdowson, but as there are still four races to run, James can still catch up.
Michael Houghton has won every race in the air-cooled class while the post-1983 class has been dominated by Shane Norval on his RSK.
Aside from the Mallory Trophy and EMRA 500 classes, which will run at next month’s Race of the Year, all races this weekend will be worth double points.
*Main and sidecar images: Sid Diggins
*Top side images: Chris Gration