JAMES Hind bolstered his points lead with a double win in the National 250GP ranks this weekend, but he had a fight on his hands with Andrew Sawford back on form.
Sawford, who had suffered a dismal round at Brands Hatch last time out, bounced back at Snetterton to claim his first win of the year while Hind extended his advantage in the championship chase.
After racking up a full house at round one, teenager Hind looked to be continuing his win streak on his Bass Tyres/North Lincs Components TZ after taking the first two ACU National 250GP victories, each time over St Neots Motorcycles man Sawford with Bruce Dunn and John Lea securing a podium each.
But in the third race, it was all action and drama as the scrutineers laid down the law.
Asher Durham was first to the the flag on his Microlise/Cresswell Mahindra Moto3 machine, but the long-time Motostar regular was disqualified in pit lane as the podium presentations were underway as his 250 failed a random noise test. This, however, was all after Lea fell off his TZ whilst in third and Hind retired his TZ in pit lane from second.
All the fuss meant that local hero Sawford, himself a former British and NG 250 champ, inherited the win as Dunn claimed second after starting from the back of the grid while James Hobson then snatched third with his first ever National championship final.
Reigning National 125GP title-holder Gavin Mills took two wins on his Honda RS125, but it could be shaping up to be a strong season of competition for the defending champ if last year’s 250GP champ Phil Atkinson sticks with his foray in the series.
Aboard a Woodford Halse Garage RS125, Atkinson powered to the win in Sunday’s opener five seconds clear of the diminutive Mills, and all signs point to a full season on the little Honda for the South African.
Mills, who was initially reported to be moving up to the 250 ranks this year, says there’s still more to come for him in the 125 category.
*Images: EDP Photo News