RIDERS of Thundersport GB were in a serious scrap for points at Mallory Park this weekend as the series now heads into its second half.
After storming to his maiden GP1 win, Hopkins was narrowly beaten to victory in the 600 Elite opener by Arnie Shelton as the latter edged over the line just 0.083sec clear of the teen.
But with a comfortable win in the second race, Hopkins doubled up on Sunday as he beat Shelton in the final scrap by just over 0.050sec, leaving defending champ Dan Frear to share thirds with his team-mate James Hind.
Former No Limits champ Max Stainton controlled the Sportsman proceedings with three dominant wins on the trot, moving to within a single point of series leader Ryan Whitehall, who shared podium honours with Luke Turner.
Aran Sadler cleaned up in the Pre National 600 Sport races with a full house of wins over Stefan Ellis with Gareth Cunningham, Richard Gill and Preston-Lee Cooper all scoring thirds. And in the Freshman ranks, Gareth Roberts was only kept from a clean sweep by a single DNF, which left Zach Tansley to the win.
The GP2 Supertwins class looked to be on for Supermono domination as Krämer-mounted Jacque Foley on the top step in both of Saturday’s races as the Stocktwin of Alberto Solera and the KTM of Jay Bellers-Smith took a second and a third apiece.
But after missing out on third overall and the Stocktwin win by a scarcely-believable 0.001sec in race two, Taylor Rose stormed to outright victory in race three over Smith before Solera made Sunday a day of stocker dominance as he powered to the final win some 1.2sec clear of the Welshman.
It was a perfect weekend for Golden Era Supersport front-runner Tony Waistnage as he bagged four wins from four, with only the steelie of Matty Wheelan coming close – within 0.6sec. But Waistnage now sits just five points off series leader Ashley Thompson, who shared the podium spoils with former champ Luke MacRae, Alex Platt and Liam Vella.
In Steel Frame land, Matty Wheelan notched up a hat-trick and a new lap record, but his clean sweep was halted by a collision with a backmarker in the final race, leaving points leader Ryan Garside to the top spot.
British Junior Supersport regular Chloe Jones looked on for a clean sweep weekend after beating Louis Rendell and Joe Talbot to the opening Superteen scraps, but it was all over for Jones in Sunday’s warm-up as she suffered a snapped collarbone during a morning crash.
It was championship chaser Rendell who clawed back points in the title battle after beating Harris Beech and Talbot in race three, but series leader Talbot was back on top in race four after Rendell was slapped with a 10s jump start penalty, sending him down to third as James Bull bagged second.
Reigning GP1 Classic title holder Ryan Strafford pipped George Pyecroft to the opening win by a mere 0.009sec before sweeping Saturday with another victory, but it was all change on Sunday.
After Pyecroft took the race three win with 1.5sec to spare over Strafford, both retired from race four big-style as Pyecroft’s throttle cable snapped and Strafford got tangled in his machine, walking away with multiple finger breaks as Steve Brittain edged Kieran Smith to victory on the restart by just 0.072sec.
Greg Lewis controlled the Golden Era Superbike action with four wins on the bounce as Andy Challis and Martin Beecham shared thirds, while Thomas Lancaster swept the GP1 Freshman ranks. In the new GP1 Sport category, Ian Norris and Glenn Phillips split victories as the latter bolstered his championship lead.
In the Military Services championship, Pep Brown boosted his series advantage with a double victory for the British Army Racing Team while fellow Army man Leon Wilton, RAF MSA’s Mick Riddle and Navy rider Cemal Oram shared podium honours, but it’s Brown and the Army crew who continue to lead the points.
Bailey Harker moved ahead of David McDonald in the Thundersport 500 Freshman standings with four wins at Mallory, while Eddie Lewis and Morgan Creasey rounded out the rostrum.
*Image: Colin Port