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Higlett Dominates Home Round

Snet02 Report01Graham Higlett dominated his home round and the penultimate outing for the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters, taking all four wins and securing the 2014 championship in the process. He also set a new YPMRC lap record for a TZR250.

Race one quickly became a two-horse race, as Higlett and Pete Moore pulled a gap on the chasing pack. Split by no more than a couple of tenths all race, Moore was desperate for his first win since Cadwell Park, and crossed the line first starting the final lap, Higlett just over a tenth further back.

As they crossed the line for the final time, that gap was even smaller, this time with Higlett just ahead, taking the win by seven hundredths of a second.

It was a race of close margins, as Matt Barber crossed the line third, five hundredths of a second ahead of the returning Dan Wright, with Doug Edmondson half a second back in fifth. Richard Sawyer, another returnee, finished in a lonely sixth place, ahead of the battle for top Clubman honours.

After a disastrous Brands Hatch GP, Paul Whitby's weekend hardly got off to the brightest starts, with issues plaguing his Friday practice. However, it came together for the race, as he and Paul Davies slogged it out for seventh and third in the Clubman championship standings. The win went to Whitby by six hundredths of a second.

A race-long scrap for ninth between top Rookie Michael Stanley and James Sharpe went the way of Stanley. Sharpe then missed out on 10th place and the final spot on the Clubman podium, out-dragged to the line by Trevor Sharpe, the gap between them five hundredths of a second with Kev Marshall just half a second back in 12th.

Looking at the time sheets alone make Higlett's victory in race two look slightly more comfortable, the winning margin just over a second. However, he was pushed all the way by Barber, who found something between races to enable him to go with the series leader.

Crossing the line to start the last lap and Barber was just a tenth behind the #50 TZR of Higlett. However, the 2014 champion pulled something out the back to set the best lap of the race on his final circulation, gapping Barber by a second in one lap, to take the win.

Edmondson rounded out the podium, albeit four seconds back of Barber, with Moore riding to a lonely fourth place. Wright took fifth, with Sawyer less than a second back in sixth.

Snet02 Report02Paul Davies took his second Clubman win of the season in seventh, slowly gapping the chasing duo of Whitby and James Sharpe, who duked it out between then for second Clubman. That went to Whitby by half a second, the pair eighth and ninth, with Stanley again top Rookie in 10th place. Trevor Sharpe crossed the line just a tenth back in 11th place, with Marshall enjoying a run of finishes after a season of mechanical woes, crossing the line less than half a second behind in 12th.

Saturday's presentation evening saw Graham collect his race-win trophies and was announced as champion. There was also a special mention for Rookie Denise Button, competing in here first ever race weekend. Denise was awarded the Rookie of the Day award on Saturday night. She would eventually find nine seconds in her best lap time, from race one to the final race on Sunday.

What started as a five-way fight for the win in race one on Sunday eventually ended with Higlett winning by three and a half seconds, leaving the others to battle it out for the remaining podium positions.

Barber, Moore, Wright and Edmondson eventually crossed the line with less than one and a half seconds splitting them. Barber eventually pulled the biggest gap, taking second by just under a second, with Moore, Wright and Edmondson in tow. Sawyer again rode a lonely sixth place.

Paul Davies also had a lonely race in the end, riding to his second Clubman class win and seventh place. Behind, James Sharpe eventually pulled away from a close on-track battle with Stanley and Trevor Sharpe. James and Trevor Sharpe finished eighth and ninth, second and third Clubman, with Stanley tenth.

There was disappointment for Whitby, who came off worse in a coming together with Stanley at Coram on the opening lap, crashing out and watching his fight for third in Clubman championship slip away.

However, Whitby's fortunes would take a turn in the final race, and the fight for third in Clubman standings is back on and goes to the final round, as Davies crashed out on the second lap. After passing James Sharpe into Richies at the start of the second lap, he tried too hard into turn three and lost the front.

That handed the advantage to Sharpe, who rode to the Clubman win. Finishing seventh, he was followed across the line by top Rookie Matthew Sharpe, taking part in his first ever race weekend, and Rookie series leader Stanley, the pair enjoying a race-long battle for Rookie honours. Whitby and Trevor Sharpe completed the Clubman podium in 10th and 11th.

1901586 572569882849773 8207751722385020150 nAt the sharp end, Higlett showed the dominance that has won him his second Yamaha Past Masters title this season, clearing off at the front to take the win by nearly eight seconds, setting the fastest lap of the weekend and a new lap record in the class for a TZR250 around the Snetterton circuit.

The final race also saw the closest finish of the day, with just two hundredths of a second splitting Edmondson and Barber at the line. Wright finished fourth, with Moore recovering to fifth after an off-track excursion on the opening lap, trying to run it round the outside of Sawyer into Agostini's, only to find the 2013 Clubman champion was going in way too hot. Sawyer finished sixth.

There was cruel misfortune for a returning Steve Higgerty, who blew his TZR up in the closing stages of the final race, after only submitting an entry for both of Sunday's races. The grid hopes to see him out full-time in 2015.

The final round of season takes place at Brands Hatch on the Indy circuit, with racing on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October. Higlett has already been crowned champion, but the battle for second and third is far from over between Barber, Edmondson and Moore.

Just 13 points separate Trevor Sharpe and James Sharpe at the top of the Clubman standings, with 14 splitting Davies and Whitby in the battle for third. Stanley boasts a 64 point lead over Sacha Gyte in the Rookie championship.

Photo: Bryan Lancaster / E.G.B Photography