Champions Decided At Final Round
With Graham Higlett already crowned this year's DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters Champion, the final round at Brands Hatch was still the scene for the battle for second in the championship standings, as well as Clubman and Rookie honours.
The Clubman championship was one battle that was set to go to the wire, with just 13 points separating Trevor Sharpe and James Sharpe. However, a crash in Friday practice ruled James Sharpe out of the weekend's races, handing the Clubman championship to Trevor Sharpe, with no one else able of overhauling his lead.
The Rookie class however, was far from decided, with 64 separating Michael Stanley and Sacha Gyte at the top, and it was Gyte who started the right way in the rain in Saturday's opening encounter, finishing eighth and lead Rookie ahead of Lee Huff, another Rookie who rode the Yambits Club Bike at Cadwell Park. Stanley finished 12th and third Rookie, giving away nine points to Gyte.
At the front Dan Wright, back for his second race of the season and looking good at the front, crashed out of the lead, handing victory to Doug Edmondson, who ended up cruising to the win by six seconds, finishing ahead of Matt Barber, the pair both aiming for second in the overall championship. Emma Jarman, having her first ride in the class also crashed out on Pete Fishwick's TZR250.
Higlett finished third, just a tenth of a second ahead of a returning Steve King. Kevin Marshall finished lead Clubman after an excellent ride, and rounded out the top five. Len Whalin finished seventh behind Pete Moore and second Clubman. Trevor Sharpe finished tenth and completed the Clubman podium.
Saturday's second race was another rain-soaked affair, and Stanley's hunt for the Rookie championship took another hit. As the pack charged towards Paddock Hill for the first time, Stanley's over-exurberance on the throttle saw the rear let go, and as he slid towards the gravel, he skittled the unlucky Paul Bowling and Nick Kennet.
With all the riders up and okay, Gyte rode to the Rookie class win in eighth, putting a further 25 points in Stanley's class lead. At the front, Matt Barber fended off Edmondson for the race win in the battle for second in the championship, with Wright coming through the pack to finish on the podium in third. King finished fourth ahead of the lead Clubman, Marshall.
Jarman also came through the field to finish sixth ahead of Moore, Gyte, Paul Davies and Whalin, while newly-crowned champion Higlett crashed out on lap five.
In contrast to Saturday's water-logged affair, Sunday was positively glorious. With the field full from the paddock hogroast the nightbefore, the day's opening 10-lap race saw King take the win, closely followd by Barber and Wright. Edmondson finished fourth ahead of Jarman, who crossed the line in fifth and ahead of Higlett in sixth. Moore finished seventh with a jump-start penalty, however it didn't affect the result, with Stanley eighth and lead rookie.
Paul Whitby took his first Clubman win of the weekend in his fight to regain third in the Clubman standings, finishing ninth ahead of Marshall with Whalin third Clubman in 11th.
In the final race Barber cemented second place in the 2014 championship standings after a race-long dice with King. Barber took the win by just over a tenth of a second. Edmondson took third, coming out on top in a three-way battle for the final spot on the podium. Behind him finished Moore and Wright.
Higlett and Jarman finishd sixth and seventh, with Marshall taking his third Clubman win of the weekend in eighth after what has been a challenging season for the Derbyshireman. Stanley finished behind him as lead Rookie in ninth, ensuring he was crowned the 2014 YPMRC Rookie champion, with Whitby rounding out the top 10 and claiming second Clubman. With Davies finishing fifth Clubman, it was enough for Whitby to secure the final spot on the Clubman championship podium.
The annual BMCRC Dinner Dance takes place on 15 November at the Ashford International Hotel, where the champions will be presented with their trophies.
Photo: E.G.B Photography