Words – Tim Langham (F.S.R.A. Press Officer) / Photographs – Paul Hunt
Following an eventful season opener at Brands Hatch, the series resumes at Donington Park on the 14th and 15th May, once again with host club N.G.R.R.C..
The weekend will not only see teams fiercely battling for championship points, but the winners of race two will be awarded the “Bill Boddice Trophy”, which reigning champions Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie (LCR Suzuki) will be hoping to defend having taken two dominant wins at this meeting last season. However, they did not have things all their own way at Brands, where Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley (LCR Honda) took a brace of wins to top the standings by fourteen points.
John Holden / Jason Pitt (LCR Yamaha) took the runners-up spot in race one, but were denied a further podium finish in the second outing following a retirement, however, they are likely to be amongst the contenders for race wins next weekend. There was a fierce battle throughout the Brands meeting between the father and son pairing of Steve & Matty Ramsden (LCR Honda) and similarly mounted Wayne Lockey / Ben Binns – their consistency sees these crews third and fourth in the current standings respectively, and they will be hoping to add to their tallies before turning their attentions to the upcoming Isle of Man T.T. Races.
Mike Jackson / Jake Roberts (DMR Suzuki); Gary Horspole / Kenny Cole (Baker Suzuki) and Gary Gibson / Tom Christie (CES Suzuki) all enjoyed top ten finishes last time out, and are all capable of running in the upper stretches of the top six.
Rob Atkinson / Mark Middleton (Bellas Yamaha) reaped the rewards of making major changes to their machinery over the winter months, and scored two convincing victories in the F2 Cup, indeed taking fifth and seventh places overall. Brian Ilaria / Arlo Brown (DDM Suzuki) were also in the mix with the top ten in the Super F2 standings, scoring two solid runners-up places in the Cup. Roger & Bradley Stockton (LCR Suzuki), and Chris Schofield / Shane Colbrook (Baker Honda) each scored a third place in class at Brands. As we regularly see, however, the F2 Cup is anything but predictable, with the fourth to eighth placed teams in the table separated by a mere six points!
Former front-running series regulars John Lowther / Sarah Stokoe will be making a return to the grid as a “wild card” pairing, riding an LCR Honda machine, generously loaned by John Shipley. Making their second “wild-card” appearance of the year are Rob Handcock / Shaun Parker (Shelbourne Suzuki) – using the meeting as a final test before the T.T..
Current Lap Records:
Super F2 – Crawford / Hardie – 01:13.673 (15/05/21)
F2 Cup – Payne / Clement – 01:14.908 (16/05/21)
Thanks as ever go to the A.C.U., along with series sponsors A.R.C. (Binchester / Newton Aycliffe); A.V. Craine & Son; Hegarty Plant Ltd; Leeds Parcel Company; Lockside Engineering; Pagid Racing (Breitenbach Rennsport); Rowtec Engineering Maintenance; and Whitby Cottages. Finally the F.S.R.A. would like to thank N.G.R.R.C. and to all their dedicated staff, officials, marshals, medics and all the other volunteers involved in running the event, and for continuing to invite our series to several of their meetings.
There will follow a break of six weeks to accommodate the Isle of Man T.T. Races – the F.S.R.A. wish all competitors the best of luck for a safe and successful fortnight. Round three of the series will be at the scenic Anglesey Circuit, over the weekend of the 25th and 26th June. In the meantime, please keep up to date with F.S.R.A. news, including race reports and up to date championship points on the website – www.fsra.org.uk