TITLE chases came to an end this weekend as Thundersport GB riders descended on Oulton Park for the final round of the season.
And the one-day flyer in Cheshire proved to be all action as championships were decided both on and off the track.
The battle for the GP1 Classic title, however, went down to the final race as Ryan Strafford and Kieran Smith went head-to-head as Strafford went into the final race a point behind after Smith bagged the first win by just over half a second.
But Smith hit the deck on the opening lap of race two as Strafford led the pack and while the reigning champ missed out on the class win to John Dieterman, it was celebrations all around as the new dad defended his crown.
Meanwhile, already-confirmed GP1 Sport champ Glen Phillips split wins with Steven Bentley, while the GP1 Freshman honours were shared between Oliver Towl and Jamie Sykes. In amongst it all was Greg Lewis, whose clean sweep of the Golden Era Superbike ranks gave him the title with 60 points to spare over Andy Denyer.
Joe Talbot also scored two healthy wins in the GP3 Superteens races, but some 20sec behind each time was a tight scrap for second as Finley Arscott pipped Jack Bednarek in race one before Kam Dixon edged Arscott by a mere 0.133sec in the final.
Preston-Lee Cooper demolished the opposition in the Pre-National 600 Sport class, beating Aaron Lord by almost 50sec before crossing the line some six seconds clear of Gareth Cunningham in race two with Josh Hipwell not far behind.
In the Freshman 600 category, Michael Holden also dominated race one, missing out on an overall second place just 0.221sec adrift of Aaron Lord, but it was Danny Cartwright who pinched victory from Holden in race two as they crossed the line battling with Sport riders Stefan Ellis and Gareth Roberts with little more than half a second between the four.
Former Thundersport RRV450 champ and National Superstock dabbler Zak Corderoy returned to the club, scooping a brace of wins in the 600 Elite class, but the championship belonged to Luke Hopkins after he notched up a second in race two ahead of Arnie Shelton and held off the final advances of vice champ James Hind to top the tables.
Last year’s No Limits Racing Newcomer 600 champ Max Stainton carried his 2018 momentum into the 600 Sportsman series with two wins over Luke Turner and Shaun Bailiff as he pulled clear of Ryan Whitehall to become champion.
Stocktwins front-runner Taylor Rose stretched a three-second gap over GP2 Supertwins man Alun Brooks to bag the overall victory in race one with Dean Armstrong pipping stocker champ Alberto Solera to third, but the big story was Supertwin favourite Jacque Foley’s diminishing points lead after the Krämer rider high-sided himself into hospital.
And despite not being able to do anything about Solera’s chances of taking his GP2 title as his nearest rival, the Irishman’s championship advantage was enough to hold on and be crowned champ as Solera retired from race two while Stocktwin rider Ryan Redman again led Brooks to victory with more than nine seconds to spare over he and Liam Bassett.
Just behind, Zak Shelton beat Joe Duggan and Polly Richardson to the GP2 Cup honours to secure his title with a clean sweep, 13 points ahead of Duggan.
Army rider Pep Brown dominated another Military Challenge scrap to solidify his standing at the top of the championship with fellow Army man John Miller and Navy’s Stuart Goodson following him home in a close-fought scrap for second, but there was no stopping the British Army Race Team from taking the overall team title almost 200 points ahead of the RAF Motorsport Team and Royal Navy/Marines Motorsport.
*Main and bottom images: Colin Port
*Strafford image: RS Racing