BMCRC Round 02 - Brands Hatch Indy - April 13 / 14
Morello Services Powerbikes - Chapman Excels In Changing Conditions
Barry Chapman put in a fantastic display as the Morello Services sponsored Powerbikes championship got fully underway, despite the changing weather conditions. After the opening round was snowed off at Snetterton after just one race, torrential rain made for difficult conditions for the riders on Saturday, and it was FutureMoto BMW rider Sam Coventry that qualified on pole position ahead of the Highbridge Caravans Kawasaki of James Cox. Barry Chapman and Peter Baker made up the front row, while defending champion, Michael Neeves had a difficult start to the weekend, qualifying down in 14th on his Park Lane BMW S1000RR. And it was Coventry who stormed to the win in race one, taking the lead on lap two and comfortably gapping the rest of the field, lapping over a second quicker than the chasing pack. Chapman had no answer and had to settle for second, but it could have been third, as Cox came through the field and was lapping quicker, chasing him down, with the gap at the line less than a tenth of a second.
Race two and Chapman took his first win of the weekend, leading from the off, gradually gapping the chasing Baker, who finished second. Third to seventh were separated by just over a second at the line, with race one winner Coventry snatching the final podium spot ahead of Daryl Dance, who was the leading Clubman in fourth. He was also leading Clubman in race one in fifth position. Dry conditions on Sunday made for some fast-paced action at the front of the Powerbike field, but it was still Chapman who out-paced the rest of the field, taking two wins. In race one he took victory by just two tenths of a second, fending off the challenge from the number one plated BMW of Neeves, as the pair diced for the race lead. In race two Chapman took the lead on lap three before holding it to the chequered flag, this time with James Edwards his nearest challenger. Sam Coventry took a brace of thirds, while Michael Honey took two victories in the Clubman class with a sixth and a ninth.
The weekend’s action also took in one of the held over races from the abandoned Snetterton meeting, which saw a second separate the top four. Chapman took the win ahead of Baker, Michael Blank and Duncan Gibson.
Michael Neeves' Video Blog for the weekend is here: http://youtu.be/hfmR9_UrheE