THUNDERSPORT GB racers have crossed their season’s half-way point after a bumper fourth round of seven at Donington Park last weekend.
While Tomo Burnett took pole for the Elite 600 battles, it was former class champ Dan Frear who dominated with three wins from three by no less than 1.7sec as Max Wadsworth and Ryan Dixon were consigned to second all weekend long.
Just off the overall rostrum was Sportsman 600 hat-trick winner Michael Sterrow, who was less than a second behind Dixon in race one as he kept fellow Sportsman runners Jordan Bannon, Andy Smart and Tommy Fielding at bay.
Over in the Pre-National Sport 600 class, NLR Rookie leader Wilf Turner was out on yet another tear, fresh off his clean sweep at Anglesey the weekend prior, with another four wins among the Thundersport lot. Brandon McCabe and Steven Butterworth were the best of the rest as they shared seconds and thirds, chopping Turner’s gap down over the weekend to end 2.7sec adrift in the final race.
Scottish invader Ross McCulloch, fresh off wins at East Fortune earlier this month, carried his momentum south of the border with a full house of four wins in the cutthroat 500 Elite class. After slipping past Grant Whitaker to win by just 0.035sec, with Josh Leaning just 0.144sec back in third, it was domination for the Scot with three more victories by no less than a second, leaving Whitaker, Leaning and Daniel Swift to pickup the podium places.
Karl Foster beat EMRA front-runner Martin Radford by three wins to one in the Veteran 500 class, with Radford sneaking his victory in less than a second clear of Paul Manning. And in the Freshman ranks, Josh Andrews and Benjamin Knifton shared the spoils as they both broke into the overall top three with Ricky Martin chasing.
After British Junior Supersport front-runner Ash Barnes obliterated the Superteens lap record before dropping out of contention, Lewis Jones took to the front with a Saturday Junior Cup sweep over Jack Smith before Smith took the reins on Sunday and did his own double with GP3 class winners Alex Duncan and Katie Hand banking a second and a third apiece.
Frear was back out for Golden Era Supersport battles where he was close to making his weekend a cool eight from eight, but Matty Whelan was there to pick up the pieces as the two split the honours with one each on Saturday and one each on Sunday. Dave Langley doubled up on podium finishes with two thirds, while Steelsport title favourite Tony Waistnage collected all the steelie spoils ahead of Gethin Edwards, Jamie Gillon, David Young and Andrew Kitchen.
GP1 Cup man Sigitas Cerniauskas bagged all four modern big bike wins with Austen Weber and Phil Palmer in a distant second and third, while Lee Terry fell just short of his own sweep in the GP1 Classics with three from four as Steven Bland took advantage of his race one DNF to scoop the win. Ducati 916-mounted Ant Hart also looked on for a full house in the Golden Era Superbike category, but his absence from race four allowed Nick Williamson to cruise to victory.
Phil Atkinson destroyed the field in the GP Originals scrap with fellow 350cc runners Hart and Glen English only able to get within four seconds of the South African in the final, when Hart only just lost out on 25 points by 0.164sec. In the 250 ranks, it was once again Gary Vines in control of the action with four from four.
Joining the club for its fourth round were the juggernauts of the ACU 50cc and 125cc Streetstock series, where it looked to be a cleanup job for Atkinson after he dominated to take pole position on Saturday. But PDMCC record holder Ryan Garside kept the South African honest as the pair went tit for tat with two wins apiece, separated by a mere 0.008sec in the final race.
While CB500 ace Leaning joined the fight early on, it was 50cc class winner Warren Harvey and Streetstocker Sam Cookson who completed the rostrum across the weekend.
Ducati TriOptions Cup rider Richard Spencer-Fleet was the best of the British Military Inter-Services Championship riders with a strong 7.5sec gap over fellow Army racer Leon Wilton, with 600-mounted Dave Langley rounding out the podium for the RAF squad.