RACING at Thundersport roared back into life last weekend as its 2020 campaign kicked off with new records, new winners and new title threats at Donington.
The CB500 army came out of lockdown in full force and it looks like it’ll be more than just Josh Leaning and reigning champ Grant Whitaker in the mix for the 500 Elite crown this season.
While Daniel Swift took pole, Josh Langman grabbed the points lead overall with a win, two seconds and a third after tight battles with last year’s leading duo, as Leaning and Whitaker finished close behind in the tables after a win for the former and two for the latter.
Max MacRae, Rick Jenkinson, Charlie White and Steven Butterworth all grabbed Sportsman 500 victories while Lewis Smart leads the Freshman charge with 70 points, five clear of James McMillan and 11 ahead of their fellow winner Adam Kirton.
British Junior Supersport regular Lynden Leatherland doubled up on Saturday with wins in the opening Superteen races to take the GP2 Cup honours, while Finley Arscott and both of the Lewis Joneses followed up for podium honours.
But Sunday brought two Superteen winners as another BSB paddock regular, Brody Crockford, took race three ahead of the number 25 KTM of Lewis Jones before Jones bagged race four as the latter bolstered his points lead.
It was a clean sweep in the GP1 Cup class as Scott Darnton bagged all four, but Kieran Smith and Oliver Mann couldn’t quite make it four from four. Smith scooped a hat-trick in the GP1 Classic ranks before Ducati man John Dieterman won the final, while Mann also came up just shy of a sweep with three of his own in the Golden Era Superbike class, absent from race two as Greg Lewis took victory.
Ben Grayson drew first blood in the Pre National 600 Sport battle with a dominant 11sec win over Josh Hipwell and Sam Ho, but a DNF in race two denied him the Saturday double as Jack Pearce beat Jorge Halliday and Nick Barnes. Grayson bounced back on Sunday, however, with two more wins to complete his hat-trick over Ho and Clayton Grover.
The 600 Freshman pack was led by Thomas Morris before he lost out on a clean sweep when Keith Stringer pipped him to the line by just 0.062sec, but it’s still all to play for as Josh Humphries, John Tierney and Neville Otter all scored podium finishes.
Army boys dominated to give their branch the edge in the British Military championship as Leon Wilton nosed fellow Army rider Pete Brown by a mere 0.077sec as RAF’s Eric Telger was the first 600 across the line in third overall. RAF Motorsport trails Team Army by 127 points to 155 overall, as the Royal Navy/Marines squad sits third on 78.