Championship rivals fall by the wayside as Whilton Mill Circuit in Daventry played host to the Cool FAB-Racing British Minibike Championship
A favourite circuit for riders and fans alike, the weekend was expected to be filled with high drama and intrigue and in true Cool FAB-Racing fashion, it didn’t disappoint.
With mixed conditions all weekend giving every rider challenging track conditions, the form book was thrown out of the window.
34 points covered the top 3 in the standings with Evan Belford more than a race win of points ahead of Eddie O’Shea and James Cook, and both O’Shea and Cook were tied on points. The pursuing pair needing a strong weekend to close the championship deficit to Belford.
It was Bailey Stuart-Campbell however that put pressure on early race leader Evan Belford in Race 1, with the pair opening up a gap to the chasing pack and Stuart-Campbell making a move on the championship leader. With the two setting a fast pace the existing lap record was lowered several times, with Belford eventually taking the lap record with a 50.314 as he tried to chase down Stuart-Campbell.
The number 99 of Stuart-Campbell soaking up the pressure from Belford, held on to take his maiden win of the season. Belford picking up an important 2nd to extend his championship lead, while O’Shea could only manage 4th and Cook 7th.
Sunday’s action was affected by rain. O’Shea was caught out by the conditions, crashing from the lead in Race 2. Belford could only manage 6th, three positions ahead of Cook. The stand out ride came from MiniGP50 championship leader Harrison Crosby, the number 69 rider finding grip where others couldn’t and taking the race win after starting 14th on the grid.
Race 3 would provide more drama with Evan Belford taking victory ahead of Ryan Hitchcock. Hitchcock held a 12 second lead on lap 5 before sliding off, re-mounting and recovering to a fine 2nd place. His last lap 2 seconds quicker than any other rider in the field.
Evan Belford’s consistency has given him a 66 point advantage over O’Shea in the standings, with Cook is 7 points further back. This gives Belford the opportunity to win the championship next time out.
Five points separated Josh Bannister and Harrison Crosby at the top of the standing ahead of the weekend.
Bannister took the early advantage from pole position. Kyle Payne, starting from 3rd on the grid moved ahead of Crosby into second. The number 2 of Bannister opened a gap to over one second but after the halfway stage was slowly closed down by Payne and Crosby. Payne made his way past the championship leader with a few laps remaining and holding on to win the race, while Bannister narrowly held off Crosby for second.
Disaster would strike for Bannister, missing Sunday’s racing after injuring his elbow on Saturday night. This allowed Crosby to take advantage of his rival’s misfortune. He took the opportunity with both hands, converting what was now pole position into victory in Race 2 ahead of Ryan Hitchcock and Kyle Payne.
Ryan Hitchcock would chase Crosby all race long in Race 3 until Crosby opened a gap of 1.9 seconds over the number 43 of Hitchcock. The wet conditions caught Crosby out, pushing too hard, the new championship leader fell from the lead with only a few laps remaining. He would remount to finish in 7th. This left Hitchcock to take the win ahead of Kyle Payne and Alfie Davidson.
Josh Bannister missing the action on Sunday has seen him drop to 2nd in the championship, 25 points behind Crosby.
Junior LC 40 Elite – Johnny Garness converted pole position into a double race win during races 1 & 2 to record his 13th and 14th wins of the season. The rain-affected Race 3 and Samuel Munson took his 2nd race win of the season, holding off Garness and Mason Foster.
AC40 Pro – Reigning champion Mason Foster extended his lead in the standings, picking up a hattrick of race wins, taking his total to 15 wins for the season.
AC40 Rookies – Championship leader Archie Gibbs took victory in Race 1. Struggling in the wet conditions in the following two races, he could only pick up 1 further point. Ollie Sims scored a double podium as his title rival struggled and retook the championship lead. Casey Sparey showed good form, picking up his first win of the season in Race 2 and making it a double in Race 3.
The championship heads to the North of England for Round 7 on the 14th and 15 of September at the Rowrah Circuit in West Cumbria.
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