THUNDERSPORT GB’S GP1 Elite championship scrap heated up at the weekend as three different winners shared the spoils at Snetterton.
As the series headed to the Norfolk track for Round Three, Billy Mellor, Lee Williams and Dave Brook took a win apiece, keeping things tight at the top of the points tables.
Williams went into the weekend with a slender one point lead over Brook after tough outing at Donington last month which had included a DNF, and needed to bag a nice haul of points if he was to stop the ever-growing threat of Brook creeping up and sneaking into the lead.
The 2016 champion took first blood as he qualified his Team Willo Racing/Hi Tech Kawasaki on pole ahead of the GTR Motorsport GSXR of TT man Gary Johnson, with Jonathan Lodge rounding out the front row on his Earnshaws Motorcycles Kawasaki.
Lodge took an early lead while Mellor made a storming start from the second row through to second as Johnson’s race ended early with an off.
As Williams dropped back to fourth, Mellor took the lead on the fifth lap and led all the way to the flag. Williams was back up to second by Lap 11 of the 15-lap scrap, and in the closing stages Joe Faragher enjoyed a late charge to pass Brook and take third.
Sunday’s opening race was all about Williams, as he enjoyed a lights to flag victory. Johnson had been running a close second until his race ended on the 10th lap, while Brooks kept in touch to finish second. Third man home was Prime Factors Racing’s Michael Neeves.
In the third and final race of the weekend, Brook hit the front at the start and kept command of the whole race. Williams struggled with straight line speed and had to just settle for points as he came home third behind Mellor.
With Paul McClung absent due to a crash at Knockhill a week earlier, the results have given Williams and Brook the chance to stretch themselves a bit of a lead at the top of the championship.
Williams now has 148 to Brook’s 144, with Phil Crowe and Mark Sykes tied in third place on 79, just four points ahead of McClung on 75.
*Main image: Colin Port
*Side image: Ian Boldy Superbike Photography