Hat-Trick For Higlett As Grant Takes First Podium
Graham Higlett took a hat-trick of victories at Pembrey for the fifth round of the DFDS Seaways Yamah Past Masters championship, his first of the season, with Doug Edmondson taking the other win in a wet race on Sunday.
But it was Scott Grant that was the name on everyone's lips on Saturday morning, the class rookie storming to pole position in qualifying, posting a lap time half a second quicker than Clubman championship hopefuly Steve Higerty and Higlett, who made up the front row.
In the opening race Grant took off from his pole grid spot and led the opening lap, but Higlett soon made his way past and took the race lead on lap two. From there he eeked out his advantage over the 10-lap race and took his first win of the 2015 campaign.
Behind Grant and Edmondson were left to settle the order of the remaining two podium positions, which saw the rookie finish second and Edmondson third. Marc Prentice headed a three-way fight for Clubman class honours, crossing the line in fourth place just half a second ahead of Paul Whitby and Steve Higerty, the trio filling the Clubman podium.
Paul Davies finished seventh but was pushed all the way by Lee Huff, who was the second rookie home, followed by third rookie Giles Harwood and Clubman Kev Higerty, who completed the top 10.
Higlett took his second victory in race two, again pulling a commanding lead of seven seconds come the chequered flag. After taking an early lead, Edmondson had to settle for second place as he and Grant reversed their finishing positions from race one, with Grant again the leading rookie.
Sacha Gyte, who failed to finish the opening race with gear selector issues, came through from the back of the grid to finish fourth, and headed a four-rider train in the battle for Clubman honours. Half a second separated him from Prentice, with Steve Higerty and Whitby a further half a second back again.
Davies and Huff resumed their tussle from race one, this time with Huff coming out on top in the battle for eighth, as Kev Higerty again claimed another top 10 finish as he continues his return from the back injuries he sustained at Snetterton last year.
The overnight rain on Saturday made for a wet race on Sunday morning. Edmondson disappeared at the front and took an early lead, while Gyte worked his way through to second place. With 12 laps of the Pembrey circuit to chase down Edmondson, Gyte set about narrowing the gap. Unfortunately for him he couldn't make a pass on the race leader, and finished second but by less than two tenths of a second, but took the Clubman win.
Grant took another third place and the rookie win, with Prentice and Steve Higerty fourth and fifth and second and third in the Clubman class. Kevin Higerty climbed to sixth ahead of Lee Huff who led the five rider battle for seventh, as the class rookie crossed the line ahead of Whitby, Paul Hensen, Higlett and Davies.
With the track dry for the final race, Higlett returned to winning ways and completed his hat-trick, taking victory by nearly six seconds. Behind, Edmondson settled into second place, before being passed by Gyte and Grant. Despite dropping to fourth, Edmondson was hanging in there but a mistake on the penultimate lap cost him more than 10 seconds, and dropped him down to sixth at the chequered flag.
In the end, Paul Whitby took his best ever result of fourth and second place Clubman, fending off Steve Higerty who finished fifth and completed the Clubman podium. Edmondson's mistake dropped him to sixth but he managed to keep ahead of Prentice who finished seventh. Giles Harwood, Huff and Davies rounded out the top 10.
Photos: Racing Line Photography