|BRANDS HATCH APRIL 2012 - REPORT|
Premier 600s, Stock 600s & Clubman 600s
Cooper stakes early claim for Premier 600 crown...
Anthony Cooper arrived at Brands Hatch heading the Premier 600 championship table, and further staked his claim for the title at this early stage of the season by qualifying on pole and taking three of the four wins.The top six qualified within a second of each other, but only two managed to slug it out for race wins. After qualifying pole, Yamaha R6 mounted Cooper stormed to an early lead in race one, and stayed there for five laps, until Dave Heal took the lead. Heal, on the Littlewood Fencing Triumph 675 then held off the championship leader, and took the win by just over a tenth of a second. Former EDI Asia Formula 400 champion Steve Murphy rode to a lonely third. After a red flag in the afternoon race, it was restarted as a five lap dash. Heal hit the front as the lights went out, but Cooper muscled his way past early on. With the gap at the flag just eight hundredths of a second, Cooper edged the drag race to take his first win of the weekend, with Heal second. Murphy was again third after a thrilling dice with Matt Ogden and Dan Helyer.
On Sunday Cooper took both race wins, this time with a little more ease than Saturday, with the gap at the flag a second in race one, and a more impressive five seconds in race two, both times ahead of Heal. Murphy was third again in race one, but was pipped by the Kawasaki ZX6-R of Danny Imberg in race two. He finished fifth behind Matt Ogden in fourth. Murphy took three Stock 600 wins, with Imberg taking the other. Of the Clubman riders, Terry Lewis on his Triumph 675 shared the wins with Yamaha R6 mounted Jed Angles. In race one Lewis took the win from Angles, with Adam Clarke third Clubman, before Angles took his first win in race two, ahead of Nick Hobden and Jim Coyle. Angles bettered Lewis in Sunday's opener, the gap just one tenth of a second, with Chris Paul third Clubman, and in the final outing Lewis made it all square with a win ahead of Angles, with Clarke back on the podium in third.
Premier 1000s, Stock 1000s & Clubman 1000s
Neeves untouchable in Premier 1000s
Despite qualifying second, BMW Park Lane's Michael Neeves was untouchable when it came to the racing, and stormed to all three overall wins in the Premier 1000s class. John Waghorn put his stock BMW S1000RR on pole, ahead of Neeves and Stock 1000 riders James Edwards and Dan Fowler, and when the lights went out for the first race Waghorn hit the front, while Neeves went backwards. After the first couple of laps Waghorn, James Edwards and Chris Burrage were dicing at the front, while Neeves made his way forward, before hitting the front on lap five. He led to the line, winning by just over a second. Waghorn was second and leading Stock 1000, ahead of Dan Fowler. The leading Clubman rider was John Coughlan on the Bikersworld Aprilia RSV4.
In Sunday's opening race Neeves sat pole, and after conceding the lead after the first lap, he regained it on lap four, and led to the line, this time winning by over three seconds. Waghorn was second for the second time over the weekend and again the leading Stock 1000, ahead of the MG Sear Plant Hire Honda Fireblade of Fowler. The leading Clubman was Chris Woolet in seventh on the Suzuki GSX-R1000. Neeves completed his dominant display in the final race, again starting from pole position. He led the opening lap, before losing out to the Honda Fireblade of Edwards. But on lap four he made his move, hit the front, and took his third win by just over a second. Edwards hung on to second, and was the leading Stock 1000, ahead of Waghorn. Jamie Loveday made it three winners from three in the Clubman class.
Four-some Campion dominant at Brands
Danny Campion extended his championship lead in the Rookie 1000s, storming to a clean sweep of wins over the course of the weekend. The A-Skips Yamaha rider, who took three wins from four in the opening round, already looks the solid favourite for the title, taking his first win of the weekend by over 10 seconds, his second by just over three. Michael Honey on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 rode to a lonely second in race one, ahead of Kawasaki mounted Bryan Parish. The pair of them swapped positions in race two, after a thrilling race-long dice. Honey hit the front at the start, before Campion broke away. Parish battled his way from fourth to third, before making a last lap pass to take second.
On Sunday Campion completed his weekend dominance, taking two more wins. Honey took a brace of seconds and extended the gap over third in the championship, just bettering the GSX-R1000 of Alan Wood on both occasions.
Doolan and Angles share spoils in Rookie 600s
Ben Doolan and Joe Angles shared the spoils in the Rookie 600s, Doolan securing a brace of wins on Saturday, before Angles bagged two wins on Sunday. In race one, Doolan rode to a comfortable win, crossing the line six seconds ahead of the Yamaha R6s of Ben Gallaway and Sam Fleetwood. Angels was fifth in race one, but found his rhythm in race two, and moved up the order to finish on the podium in second on his Suzuki GSX-R600. Doolan however, was three and a half seconds up the road, and took his second win of the weekend. Gallaway was third. Angles however, improved further on Sunday, and took two wins in two of the most exciting races of the weekend. Doolan was chasing his third win of the meeting on Sunday morning, and he and Angles endured a race long battle, before being split by just one tenth of a second at the chequered flag. Angles took the win, Doolan was second, and Gallaway third.
In the final race of the weekend, the three podium finishers were split by just over half a second. After a race long tussle, Angels took his second win of the weekend to keep things tight in the championship standings, with leader Fleetwood only making it onto the podium once over the weekend. Gallaway was second and Doolan third.
BMCRC Michelin Minitwins
Couzens extends championship lead
Dan Couzens extended his championship lead at Brands Hatch, taking a third in race one and following it up with three wins over the rest of the weekend. The reigning champion, on the Team V Speed Suzuki SV650, qualified second behind the Suzuki Gladius of Jesse Jones, but it was 2011 Rookie Minitwin runner up Ashley Buxton, who surprised the field and stole the win in the opening race. The podium was covered by just over half a second, with Jones second and Couzens third. In race two Couzens took his first win of the weekend, helped in part by Buxton, who led the race until dropping out on the last lap. Behind him, Jones and Couzens endured a race long battle, before Couzens eventually emerged triumphant, taking the win from Jones and Charlie King, who edged out Jordan Gilbert and Seb Kelly for the final podium position.
On Sunday Couzens secured both wins and extended his championship lead, the first from Jones and King, with Buxton coming from the back of the grid to sixth, and the second ahead of King and Jones.
Kieron Newman took all four wins in the Rookie class.
DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters
Returning champ adds spice to YPM
The opening round of the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters got underway, and even though 2011 champion Michael Smith is choosing not to defend his title, the return of former champion Pat Herron and the introduction of former Superteen and current Junior Minitwin rider Jesse Jones has added some spice to the front of the field. However, it was Graham Higlett, who was third in 2011, who took pole, with the top six split by just over half a second. And it was Higlett who led throughout the opening race, before a missed gear at Clearways on the last lap allowed Herron through to take the win, with Steven King third, the front three covered by just one tenth of a second. The close racing at the front continued into race two, this time with the top four less than a second apart at the chequered flag. Jones, riding the TZR of Keith Roissetter, who suffered a huge crash at Cadwell Park last year, showed his talent, with the 15 year old taking his first win in the class, five hundredths of a second ahead of Herron. Higlett was third and King fourth.
On Sunday it was the same four at the front again in race one, this time with Higlett missing out on the podium, as Herron took his second win of the season, from Jones and King. Youthful exuberance got the better of Jones in race two, and he crashed out on the last lap at Graham Hill, leaving Herron to take another win and the championship lead, ahead of Higlett and King.
EDIasia Formula 400s
Martin dominant in second round
Colin Martin and Richie Welsh arrived at Brands Hatch tied on points at the top of the EDI Asia Formula 400s championship standings, however it was Martin who left the Kent circuit with the advantage. Martin put his David Simon Tuning Honda CBR400 on pole, and followed it up with four wins. In both Saturday's races, Gary Henning kept Martin honest, the pair of the swapping places early on, before Martin held the lead when it mattered, with Henning second. Richie Welsh took third in race one, with Andrew Gill third in race two.
On Sunday Martin took another two wins, both in a comfortable fashion. In race one Henning failed to complete one lap, allowing Martin to get away at the front. Behind, Jamie Runham took second, ahead of the likable Richie Welsh on his Yamaha FZR400. Welsh was third again in the final race, keeping him in the hunt for the title at the early stage of the season, but it was Martin who took his fourth win, this time with Henning back on the podium in second.
Mixed fortunes for reigning champion
Reigning 250 MZ champion Andy Saunders took two wins on Saturday, to add to his clean sweep in the opening round at Snetterton, but suffered mixed fortunes after notching two DNFs on Sunday. His wins on Saturday both came ahead of Dean Stimpson and twice former champion Chris Rogers. On Sunday, Stimpson took a brace of wins, his first ahead of Darren West and Dennis Nelson, his second from Nelson and Andrew Wales.
Kelly takes three from four in Thunderbikes
Seb Kelly put his Suzuki SV650 on pole position in the BMCRC Thunderbike class, and followed it up with three wins and a second. He was second in the opening race of the weekend behind the 955 Triumph of Clive Wood, and ahead of Ben Mills. However he improved in the second race to take his first win, with Wood second and Mills third. On Sunday Kelly took both race wins, the first again from Wood and Mills, but a DNF in the second race for Wood allowed Mills to get second and Kevin Van De Worp to get on the podium in third.
BMCRC F1 and F2 Sidecars
Dominant displays in both classes in opening round
In the opening round of the RBK/BMCRC F1 and F2 Sidecar championships, one outfit dominate the weekend across both classes. The F1 outfit of Rupert Archer and Jason Grimes stormed to all four overall wins across the weekend, ensuring they got their 2012 season off to a flyer, and already look like the outfit to beat in their Yamaha LCR 1000. The overall runner up in all four races was the Honda LCR 600 of Brown and Anderson, who also took all four wins in the F2 class.
Two-stroke GP Classics
Bishop best at Brands
Chris Bishop put in a dominant display at Brands Hatch in the Two-stroke GP classics, storming to all four race wins on his Yamaha TZ350. Three of those wins came ahead of Mark Olding and Chris Rose, both on TZ350s, with the other coming ahead of Nigel Palmer, also Yamaha mounted, with Rose again third.
BMCRC All Comers Open Championship
Waghorn extends championship lead
John Waghorn extended his lead in the 'run-what-you-brung' Open Championship, taking all four wins. He was joined on the podium by the Kawasakis of Michael Blank and James Hurrell in three races, with Hurrell taking one second and two third, and Blank a third and two seconds. In the final race Heal bagged himself a podium, finishing third behind Hurrell.