Britain’s best supported series, the GT Cup rolled into Wilden Lane near Kidderminster for the second round of seven. The AS17 tweaked circuit proved to be tough and technical, but ultimately a fair contest for all.
A raft of memorable performances highlighted the weekend with the best in many eyes served up by Henry Williams in the Pro Circuit Works Connection 125cc two-strokes. Ill fortune ultimately robbed Williams of the overall win, but this was without doubt the weekend when Williams came of age.
Getting the show on the road, the Judd Racing sponsored Autos hit the dirt first, and over the course of the weekend with the track most difficult for them Kyle Ingram and Charlie Reynolds stood out with two heat wins apiece.
Going into heat five Ingram appeared to have pretty much sewn it up but a final race fifth as Reynolds won it meant a points tie and Reynolds getting the podium top step.
Scoring a best result of second in heat one the section bronze went the way of Ollie Comer, as Bayliss Utting took fourth overall bolstered by one heat win.
Racing on a track he had never even heard of let alone experienced Eddie Jay Wade making the trip over from Spain soon got its full measure in the EHR Junior 65s. A split exhaust in heat one and a third place finish was his only real set back, as he otherwise completely ran riot with four more explosive wins.
Taking the opening heat victory together with four second place returns Louie Kessell was the clear cut Junior runner up. In the scrap for third overall tiny Charlie Heyman did all his best work in heats one to three going 2-3-3. Heyman consistently beat off Jack Grayshon as the Vampires Rock runner took a solid fourth overall, having said this Grayshon was struggling with a recent injury.
With four heats down in a terrific 85 SW tear up the overall result was in the balance as Taylor Hampshire had nailed one heat win and he had the points lead. Josh Peters had run consistently in the top three, carding his first ever national race win and he lay in close second – a remarkable achievement for Peters in his first year of racing.
The winner of the other two heats, Callum Mitchell had proved to be the quickest, but he had some ground to recover following a 13th place finish in heat two. In the final gambit Mitchell held his nerve with a gate-to-flag stormer – Hampshire struggled somewhat into sixth, and it was a total nightmare for Peters as he crashed out of contention with a stone jammed in his rear brake with three laps to go.
All totalled Mitchell won it by one point from Hampshire, as consistent Reece Martin made third overall, Martin’s weekend bested with a runners up spot in heat five.
In the 85 BWs Harry Kimber made up for any first round disappointment as he hit the top step rattling off four terrific heat wins and one second. Harry Pritchard was the other winner in heat four – he never finished lower than third all weekend and he now heads the championship standings with Kimber in second.
Elsewhere in the section a solid show from Chris Nuttall going 3-5-4-3-2 secured podium third as Max Bickers improved through every heat to claim fourth overall.
Tony Saunders (Dantec Husqvarna) hit his best form on day two nailing down a brace of heat wins in the MXY2 Youth Lites, and his overall victory also elevates him into championship first.
Ethan Gatenby rode the wheels off it producing a clear cut win in heat two, and aided by a couple of thirds his reward was a career best National second overall. With a good show including one third and two fourths Kyle Casement took third overall.
The weekend’s hard luck stories in the section belong first to Henry Siddiqui as he wins twice – but then suffers machine problems ending in 11th overall. And Kyle Lane who had machine problems on day one, but then came back with a bang in Sunday action going 2-2-3 making fourth overall. This at least keeps his championship hopes in better shape.
In the 125cc two-strokes Jim Davies – as in round one – piloted his TM to overall victory, this time with a 2-2-2-4-2 card, but even gentleman Jim will be the first to admit the weekend plaudits belong to Henry Williams.
In a show which must be the best of his young life, 16-year-old Williams won four times with only a snapped chain in heat one defeating him. Williams had to settle for third overall as Rob Yates made off with the heat one win and a fine second overall.
Fraser Curtis racing a pretty stock looking Yamaha was the other super charged contender. His up and down weekend was highlighted with moments of brilliance as he hassled both Williams and Davies but ultimately – and with a puncture in heat five – he ended up in fifth overall.
It was wild card entrants who dominated in the British Championship Clubman class as Patrick Major claimed three heat wins and a well deserved overall victory. Jake Preston was the other heat winner who eventually finished in third overall, as Shaun Springer made second overall going 3-3-2-2.
In the championship proper Ben Harrison improved his overall standing slightly with the top points score. Harrison bested with third in heat – in heat three finished three points in front of Rob Wood, but it’s Wood who still leads the way in the series.
With the likes of Josh Waterman (IDS Transport KTM), Rob Davidson (MJW Kawasaki) and Liam Garland (MBO Sport Yamaha) all took the opportunity to warm up for the Maxxis outing at Lyng – the under 23s certainly lacked no pace.
It was wild-cards Waterman and Davidson who broke clear in all four contests but Waterman always had enough in the tank to keep all under control – Waterman eventually scoring four wins. Davidson nailed all the seconds as Ashley Smith gave his usual gutsy performance scoring three thirds. As the leading championship performer at round two Smith is now just five behind Carlton Husband as he finished in championship second on the weekend.
Next round is at Warmington Lane, April 19-20.