YOUNGSTER Harry Leigh was crowned 2018 RST Thundersport Superteen champion after playing it safe in the opening race at Snetterton.
But it was Northern Ireland’s Cameron Dawson who dominated the action on track as he banked a full house of four wins across the weekend.
Leigh had been eager to clinch the honours as soon as he could after a crash at Cadwell Park last month scuppered his hopes of taking the title a round early and knew the best way was to concentrate on a safe points finish.
Dawson had arrived fired-up and ready to fight for wins aboard his KMR/Dawson Yamaha, qualifying on pole ahead of Cameron Hall with Leigh rounding out the front row.
Dawson hit the front and cleared off into the distance to take his first win of the day with Kyal Tinker second and Hall third.
But Leigh was racing with his head and concentrating on the five points he needed to clinch the title, keeping his cool as the Hopkins Racing rider rode to a steady fifth place and the championship win.
“I just can’t believe it, it doesn’t feel real, I’m just so happy,” he told UK Clubsport. “After what happened at Cadwell I just wanted to keep playing it safe, just get the result, get the championship and have some fun in the final three races.”
But after scoring a third in the second race of the day, Leigh pulled out of Sunday’s races after an infected big toe which has been bothering him for a few weeks became too painful.
This left Dawson – who had also taken victory in Saturday’s second race – to cruise to two more on Sunday to finish off the perfect weekend.
With his first championship now under his belt, Leigh is eyeing a move to the British Motostar paddock in 2019, and says this has definitely been his best season to date.
“I started the season wanting to maybe get on the podium a bit and have some fun and learn a lot more. But to get 17 wins and the title is something else and I can’t believe it.
“I’ve been selected as a British Talent Cup candidate, I got to go to the Red Bull Rookies selection and was one of only three Brits to get to the final day. I’ve ridden all sorts of bikes at loads of different tracks…it’s just been an amazing year.”
*Images: Ian Boldy