Enjoying a blue sky weekend with championships in the balance and with Hilton Park stepping up brilliantly to National track status, round five of the GT Cup delivered the goods.
Remodelled by Alfie Smith and his AS17 team in the run up to the event the new circuit Nr Essington, Staffs is still in the development stage but even so some called it their favourite round so far.
In the MX2 under 23s a superb all around show coming from Carlton Husband, Alfie Smith, Ashley Smith and Scott Elderfield rated as the best action of the season.
Alfie Smith won the opening gambit by some distance but after that even though Smith was to win again in heat three Husband was the outstanding weekend star. Going 3-1-2-1 doesn’t anywhere near tell the whole story as Husband won a race two head-to-head thriller with Scott Elderfield and then came back from dead last to pass everyone – except Smith – in a titanic race three.
Capping all that had gone previously, race four saw Alfie Smith go down in turn one but then recover brilliantly to eventually finish fourth. Initially Eldefield had the advantage up front, he was chased and harried fiercely by both Husband and Ashley Smith and with places changing hands the three of them put on a show of some magnitude.
At the flag Husband had won a classic with Smith second and Elderfield in third. In the overall result it was a Husband, Alfie Smith, and Ashley Smith 1-2-3, and quite some result for Ashley Smith riding weekend long on Husband’s spare machine.
Ben Harrison was the worthy winner of heat one in the Open class British Clubmans, but he then had to give sway as wild card runner Shaun Southgate hit a magnificent groove. Southgate filled his weekend card going 2-1-1-1 as Championship leader Harrison finished in second overall.
A spirited effort from two-stroke pilot Will Worden claimed third overall, Dan Maxey made fourth, but there was not much luck for the early rounds series leader Rob Wood as he lost both his exhaust and valuable points in heat four.
Just as in the previous two rounds Jack Brunell was simply too hot to handle in the Adult 125s. Never putting a foot wrong and breaking clear in each encounter smooth running Brunell racked up five scintillating wins. Championship leader Jim Davies nailed one third and four seconds taking the runner-up spot as Bridgestone Yamaha pilot Rob Yates claimed a hard-fought third following a full on battle of youth in the leaders wake.
The opening heat of Youth MXY2 Lites saw Henry Siddiqi lose out in a bar-to-bar skirmish with championship leader Tony Saunders. After this however, Siddiqui took the section by the scruff of the neck, bulldozing his way to the next four heat wins and overall victory.
After winning heat one Saunders along with Kyle Lane then fought hard in something of an up and down weekend as they finished in second and third overall respectively. In a debut performance of note which included a third place finish in heat five 13-year-old George Grigg Pettitt nailed fourth overall. Also looking tasty at times was Jake Edey and especially so in heat one as he scorched to a third place finish on the M Tech 125.
With Harry Kimber away on Euro duties and the Big Wheel 85’s co-leader, Harry Pritchard only making fifth overall, Todd Richie, Max Bickers and Tommy Lockhart made up some championship ground.
Richie was a class apart at times and he nailed the overall taking the first three heat wins. Bickers ran a series best 3-3-2-2-2, he was ‘on it’ all weekend taking section silver as awesome ‘air time’ Lockhart claimed a brace of spectacular wins and third overall. Finishing just one place below with a highlight of second in heat two relative youngster Reegan Brookes also deserves a mention.
In the Small Wheel 85s, run away section leader Calum Mitchell faced his toughest task so far as National favourite Rossi Beard came to town. Beard was definitely superior as he won heat five, he possibly should have won heat four too, but with Mitchell actually winning the three previous encounters podium tops was emphatically his.
The opening heat win and third overall went to Luke Woodhouse as Beard took second overall. In the close battle for section fourth Connor Fish just edged out Sam Nunn, both boys bested with one second as did sixth overall finisher Josh Peters.
Laying down four pulsating wins in the EHR 65s, Eddie Jay Wade continued his relentless march towards retaining his Junior crown. In heat five Bobby Bruce was the jubilant winner but only just as following a start line take out a blistering run through the field to make second was some show from EJW.
In the race for the podium places it was another good weekend in the office for Louie Kessell taking section silver and Charlie Heyman bronze.
In the Judd Racing Autos, top step on the box went to Charlie Reynolds following four excellent heat wins. Ollie Comer finished in second overall going 3-1-2-2-2 as both boys mastered the deep sand well. In the scrap for third overall, Bayliss Utting, aided by a couple of third place returns made it his as James Parker fought his way into fourth with one second as best.