As championship curtain closers go, the 2011 BYMX finale at Milton Park had more than enough variety on offer with seven championships plus an Auto challenge to be decided. The weather held up fine and the meeting ran like clockwork under the guidance of BA Promotions.
In the four Saturday heats that made up the British Auto Championship there were two race wins each for Louie Kessell and Ike Carter. The title was decided in a race four shoot-out that went Kessell’s way as he held off the attentions of super-consistent Dylan Woodhall. Kessell took gold with a gutsy 3-4-1-1 race card, Woodall finished in silver and Carter in bronze. Buster Hart, Sam Davies and James Hyett rounded out the top six in a display of speed and enthusiasm that fully impressed all.
Scottish flier Alexander Brown on the MotoOne KTM claimed the Junior 65cc championship carding another five superb race wins. Brown’s been in a class of his own for much of the season and finished with six of the seven round overall victories to his name. The battle for weekend second went to Calum Meara as he just edged out the championship runner-up, Manxman Jed Etchells. Harry Kimber on the Twisted 7 Kawasaki set an electric time in qualification and backed it up with a spirited day one 2-2-2 card – but a pair of twelfths in Sunday action dropped him to fourth overall. Oliver Costerdine and Archie Osmaston claimed fifth and sixth respectively with a pair of eye-catching performances.
With a similar five-race winning rout, Conrad Mewse riding the Framptons Transport KTM made it look very easy as he wrapped up the SW85cc championship in style. Like Brown, Mewse ended the 2011 campaign with just one single round lost. Both Will Keogh and Jay Hague gave it large in Mewse’s wake but with differing fortunes as the weekend progressed. Keogh went on to claim second overall with three speedy second place finishes to his name. Hague however fell foul to injury in heat four and had to settle for sixth overall with one second and a third as his highlight.
Aaron Piper stepped up to the plate impressively to claim the missing race four second place finish and third overall. Taylor Hammal with a brace of gritty third place finishes claimed fourth and Alfie Mountford finished in fifth with one single third to his name.
In the BW85cc section the championship spoils had the potential to go any one of three ways – however with Liam Knight suffering with machine troubles it soon became a two-horse race. Knight finished in sixth overall as Jack Gardner and Brad Todd went bar to bar for the title. Gardner on the MX World Honda started confidently with the maximum points haul in the opening three races as Todd on the Ian Ridley-backed machine carded 4-2-3.
Effectively a winner-takes-all challenge between the pair, Gardner opened up on day two by winning heat four with Todd in second. The final roll of the dice in this year’s championship eventually went Todd’s way but Gardner was comfortable with second place and the championship in the bag.
Rob Davidson and Matty Callaghan toughed it out in an enthralling battle for third overall – Davidson eventually just getting the nod courtesy of a final race thriller. Tom Neal also featured on the end of day podium with a fine single second place finish in heat three that helped him to fifth overall.
Ben Watson on the HM Plant Red Bull KTM rode as a guest rider in the section and he duly crossed the line first in races one, two and four showing a blistering turn of speed
In the youth Open class with series third-placed runner Jamie McCanney out with a shoulder problem the title race would be between joint series leaders Adam Sterry and Nathan Watson. By the end of day one James Harrison (Twisted 7 Kawasaki) had won the opening race with Sterry on the RMJ Academy Honda claiming the other two wins. Watson had run 2-4-3 and found himself 10 points adrift of Sterry overnight.
On day two Watson opened up with the win in heat four to reduce the title gap as Sterry came second with Harrison in third. The final race of the season proved to be a tense affair with Watson in sixth and Sterry in ninth on the opening lap as Harrison once again headed the field. With five laps remaining however Watson had moved up to second and Sterry found himself in the wheel tracks of third-placed Jake Millward and needing to make the pass to be champion.
A grandstand finish in prospect then – but cruelly cut short when Sterry took a hit from a back-marker that left him in heap with a busted clutch lever and a suspected broken finger. Watson went on to overhaul Harrison at the front, taking the weekend and championship spoils for the HM Plant Red Bull KTM team. James Harrison finished as a worthy weekend runner-up with Millward also extremely impressive in third.
The final two titles of the weekend were settled in an entertaining adult two-stroke thrash where TM-mounted Stuart Edmunds starred with all three race wins. Ably assisted by the spectacular Carlton Husband who went 2 -2-5 and Luke Remmer who claimed the second place finish in race three, in the championship stakes Edmunds nailed the 250cc title and Remmer was a more than worthy 125cc winner.