THE curtain fell on another year of No Limits Racing this weekend at Donington Park as the final club titles went down to the wire in mixed conditions.
After Andy Ruscoe cruised to the Newcomer 1000 championship, it was Matt Emery, Jamie Cornfield and Scott Stevens’ turns to do battle for the Metzeler Newcomer 600 honours.
The three headed to the final round on Donington’s National circuit covered by just 16 points, but season-long leader Emery drew first blood with a pole position start and the race one win ahead of Alun Brooks and Cornfield.
Brooks made the stronger start in race two on Sunday morning, taking the win ahead of Daniel Forbes and Emery as Cornfield crossed the line sixth just ahead of Stevens after a slide and near-crash down Craner stripped his front-end confidence.
Forbes then bagged the win in race three after a battle with Brooks and Stevens, but the latter’s crash took him nearly out of contention for the title as Cornfield completed the podium behind runner-up Brooks.
Despite Stevens returning to the grid for the very last race of the year to take victory from Cornfield and Brooks, nothing was enough to stop Tigg Racing’s Emery who clinched the championship in fifth.
Even tighter than the Newcomers, the NLR Club 1000 battle was the closest of them all between Mark Bridger and Michael Austin who went tit-for-tat all weekend.
While Dai Beynon powered to a clean sweep with four wins from four, his efforts only put him third in No Limits’ most popular class as he came up short of the crown by just 12.5 points.
Brown Builders Racing’s Bridger took two thirds to Austin’s one, knocking eight points out of his championship lead which in the end brought him up a minuscule three points shy of the title as Austin lifted the club trophy.
Andrew Stockdale, Louis O’Regan, Tony Keilty and Sonny Martin all bagged runner-up finishes.
No Limits Club 600 champ Andy Guy was back out in action with no pressure after securing the title at Snetterton two rounds prior, and he opened his weekend account with a win just 0.365 seconds clear of Aaron King with Ashley Milburn in third.
With Guy missing on day two, Aaron King dominated the second race with a demonstrative 27-second winning margin in the wet ahead of Broderick Whitmore-Wilson and Bruce Wilson.
But National Superstock 600 aces Tim and Tom Neave spoiled the party in the final two races, taking a win each ahead of their Brands Hatch BSB exploits this weekend as King and William White shared thirds.
Despite Dan Nemati’s hat-trick of Pre-Injection 600 sub-class wins alongside the Club 600 runners, Andy Lyle secured the title with just a handful of points needed over nearest rival Matthew Jemmett. Rob Scarth nabbed the other PI600 win while Simon Lacey and Rowan Rollings shared the podium with the other front-runners.
Welshman Phil Bevan finally raised the Pirelli Super Series 1000 trophy after a season-long battle with Daniel Wagstaff even without winning all weekend.
Ash Beech opened Saturday with a win comfortably ahead of Bevan and Wagstaff, but the National Superstock 1000 regular set sail Sunday, leaving the wet weather win to Jack Drury who pipped Tommy Mountain at the line in race two by just 0.067 seconds.
With two hands on the silverware, Bevan settled for a runner-up finish in the final race just under a second behind the S1000RR of Wagstaff as Bevan’s endurance team-mate David Hall rounded out the podium.
Already having clinched the Pirelli Super Series 600 title, Lee Wells hit the Leicestershire track for a final jaunt and beat his championship rival Luke Harris to the race one win by just over a second as Aaron Silvester took third.
But Harris took advantage of a missing Wells in race two and beat Silvester to the line by just 0.3 seconds, with Alan Sainsbury completing the podium.
Silvester finally took his trip to the top step of the rostrum after a race-long battle with the two points leaders in race three saw him take the flag a slim 0.065 seconds clear of Wells with just 0.125 to spare over Harris in third.
*Main and other images: Alex James
*Michael Austin image: Phil Newell