BMCRC & MRO – Scott Hudson wins The Champion of Brands (Round 11)

Scott Hudson - SnettertonRob McNealy (McNealy Brown BMW S1000RR) wrapped up the MRO Powerbike championship, after a thrilling, weekend long battle with Michael Neeves (BMW Park Lane BMW S1000RR).

Neeves ended up in second in the championship, just five points adrift of McNealy, after the pair entered the final race of the season level on points.

Peter Baker (Morello Suzuki GSXR1000) was back in action, and qualified on pole position ahead of McNealy, Stock 1000 rider John Waghorn (JW Smart BMW S1000RR), and Neeves.

And in Saturday’s race, after a restart for a four rider pile up at Druids, Baker hit the front from the off, and led to the chequered flag. McNealy managed to run with him for the most part, but the former champion kept the BMW at bay, and took the win from McNealy.

Third across the line was Waghorn, who arrived behind 28 points behind Byron Beckett (A. Williams Engineering Yamaha R1) in the Stock 1000 championship, ahead of Mike Goodfellow (Jago Racing Suzuki GSXR1000). Neeves was fifth but third Powerbike, which meant McNealy extended his championship lead to five points. Third Stock 1000 was Beckett in sixth.

On Sunday Baker hit the front again, and built up a healthy lead over the chasing pack. He kept the pace up and set a new lap record on lap five, before it all went horribly wrong on lap eight with a high-speed crash at Paddock Hill.

That promoted McNealy to the race lead, and Neeves to second.

Neeves had been lapping consistently quicker than McNealy, but could not find a way by, until it came to Clearways on the last lap, where he got on the power early, got the drive, and cut to the inside to take the race win and make it all square on points going into the last race.

Waghorn was third and again leading Stock 1000, doing all he could to overturn Beckett’s championship lead, who was fourth.

The final race of the season began without Baker, but it was Stock 1000 runner Waghorn who made the best start, and he led the entire race. However, it was behind were the attention focused.

McNealy sat second with Stuart Wickens (Suzuki GSXR1000) third. Neeves was fourth but pushing hard for a way past Wickens, which he managed at Graham Hill bend on lap eight. He then set about finding a way past McNealy, and tried a similar move at Graham Hill on lap ten, only to run wide and lose out to Wickens.

Riding on red mist, he fought back to better Wickens at Paddock Hill, but couldn’t find a way past McNealy, his final attempt coming out of Clearways and drag racing to the line. But the championship went to McNealy by four hundredths of a second, and just five points.

Waghorn won the Stock race, ahead of Dan Fowler (MG Sear Plant Hire Yamaha R1) and Goodfellow. Beckett was fourth but it was just enough to clinch the Stock 1000 championship.

James Phare (Yamaha R6) returned in the MRO Stock 600s, and put himself on pole position, before taking the win in Saturday’s race from newly crowned MRO Stock 600 champion Jordan Simpkin (Wheelfit Yamaha R6).

Scott Hudson (Yamaha R6) was third and leading Clubman, adding to his points haul toward the Champion of Brands, which is decided over the club’s four Brands Hatch meetings.

There was also a return for 2010 MRO Stock 600 champion and also 2010 Champion of Brands, Tony Coombs (TC Racing Kawasaki ZXR600), back in action after a huge crash at Snetterton at British Superbikes in July, and he finished fourth. Leading Supersport 600 rider was David Heal (Dave Heal Racing Triumph 675).

Sunday hosted some of the closest and most exciting race of the season, as the front four broke away in race one. Coombs hit the front followed by Simpkin, Hudson and Lewis Wright (Wheelfit Yamaha R6). Phare was absent from proceedings.

Hudson went second at Druids on lap two, but Simpkin retook the position on lap four at Paddock Hill, and began hassling Coombs. Simpkin had terrific drive out of Clearways and took the lead, briefly, on lap six, before losing out at turn one.

With more dicing, the order eventually settled on Coombs, Simpkin, Hudson, leading Clubman, and Wright fourth. Heal was fifth and again leading Supersport rider.

In the final race Hudson stormed into the lead, followed by Adam Clarke (JW Smart Yamaha R6) who made a fantastic start. Coombs was third and went second on lap two, but crashed out spectacularly at Paddock Hill a lap later.

Simpkin eventually battled his way to the front and took the win from Hudson and Wright, as Clarke held on to fourth. Heal took his third win in the Supersport class in sixth, however the title was already settled in favour of Dave Shelvey.

Hudson’s dominance in the Clubman class also saw him claim the Champion of Brands trophy by five points from Simpkin.

Luke Helm (SDC Suzuki SV650) sealed the MRO Minitwin championship, despite Dan Couzens (Team V-Speed Suzuki SV650) taking all four wins over the weekend. Helm only needed three second place finishes and a third to take the title by 19 points.

Couzens and Helm disappeared at the front of both Saturday’s races, allowing the rest to battle for third.

In race one it went the way of Dan Wright (Suzuki SV650), edging Charlie King (S&S Panelcraft Suzuki SV650) on the last lap, as third to eighth were split by less than one and a half seconds. And it was a similar story in race two, with King this time going one better and taking third, bettering Sebastian Kelly (Steve Jordan Suzuki SV650).

Couzens did everything right on Sunday, and took another two wins, the opener from Helm and his teammate Sam Cox (SDC Suzuki SV650), the second ahead of much improved King. Luke Helm was third, but it was enough for the 15 year old to clinch the 2011 Minitwin title.

Jordan Gilbert (M25 Copiers Aprilia RS125) had held the MRO Superteen championship lead all season, and arrived 15 points ahead of Max Symonds (J&C Symonds Aprilia RS125).

But it was Symonds who stole the championship at the final round, taking two wins, a second and a third, compared to Gilbert’s disappointing third, two fourths, and ninth.

Oliver Fitz-Patrick (Aprilia RS125) took the other two wins to cement third in the championship.

Michael Smith (Kawasaki ZXR400) cemented second in the EDI Asia Formula 400s, after bettering his rival Richie Welsh (Yamaha FZR400) over the weekend. Welsh occupied second by one point from Smith going into the weekend, however two wins and two seconds for Smith compared to Welsh’s two fourths, fifth and sixth, were enough.

New 2011 champion Steve Murphy looked set to take victory in race one, before Smith punted him wide at Druids on the last lap. Colin Martin (David Simon Kawasaki ZXR400) followed Smith through and it ended with Smith, Martin and Murphy on the podium.

Murphy took the win in race two, from Smith and Martin.

On Sunday Smith took his second win in the morning, from Murphy and Martin, but Murphy ended the season with a race win, snatching victory by four hundredths of a second from Smith, with Gary Henning (Kawasaki ZXR400) third.

Michael Smith also arrived at Brands Hatch already crowned DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters champion, and this weekend he swapped his 350 YPVS for a TZR 250 in preparation for next season.

He qualified pole and won the opening race from Pete Fishwick and Steven King, however in race two Fishwick took the win in the final race of his career, from Smith and King.

In Sunday’s opener, Smith was dicing at the front with King and Graham Higlett, the three of them right together, before Smith crashed out of second at Surtees, forcing Higlett onto the grass. King took the win comfortably, from Higlett and Ben Miles.

In the final race Smith won comfortably from Higlett and King.

In the Freshdrop BMZRC 250 MZs, the title was to be decided by reigning champion Andy Saunders, and former champion Chris Rogers. Saunders just held the advantage coming into the weekend, and on Saturday extended his lead with two wins to Rogers’ two seconds. Giles Spencer was twice third.

Going into Sunday’s opener Saunders held a 24 point advantage, and the championship seemed a forgone conclusion, especially when Rogers failed to make the start with mechanical trouble. However, just a few laps in and Saunders retired at Graham Hill bend with troubles of his own.

That left Darren West to take his first win, ahead of Jonathan King and Dennis Nelson.

Usual service was resumed in the final race, with Saunders and Rogers coming from the back of the grid to finish first and second respectively, handing a second successive championship to Saunders. Spencer was again, third.

The ACU and FSRA British F2 Sidecar championship was in action, and John Holden and Andy Winkle took both wins from Ian Bell and Carl Bell. Frank Lelias and Mike Aylott shared the bottom step of the podium with Simon Neary and Ashley Hawes.

In the Two Stroke GP Classic series, Rich Grinling took three race wins from four, but he could only manage a third in the final race, as the win went to Nigel Palmer.

In the BMCRC F1 and F2 sidecars, Mick Bleakley and Heath Lane sealed the F1 championship with three wins from four, the other going to Kev Cable and Guy Pawsey, who finished second in the championship.

The F2 championship was already settled in favour of Marc and Rik Vanniewenhuyse, but this weekend the four wins were split evenly between Patrick Geffray and Francky Fouet, and Lillie and Chandler.

John Waghorn took four wins from four in the BMCRC Open Championship, and took the title this weekend.