Annual Dinner Dance Closes 2014 Season
The British Motorcycle Racing Club's annual Dinner Dance again capped-off a fantastic season's racing, with the Yamaha Past Masters Racing Club joining in with the celebrations and crowning this year's champions.
Collecting the 2014 championship trophy was Graham Higlett. The 2012 champion started the season as favourite, and showed he meant business from the off, going on an unprecedented winning run that eventually came to an end at Cadwell Park when Pete Moore took off like a scalded cat and stormed to his first YPMRC win.
Joining Higlett on the podium was Matt Barber and Doug Edmondson, the pair going toe-to-toe over the course of the season for that runner-up spot, with the outcome decided at the final round.
Barber's infectious grin and happy-go-lucky approach to his racing - evident from his first foray on the Yambits Club Bike in 2012 - has made him a paddock favourite, backed up by a sometimes wild but always fast style on track. On for his first win of the season at Oulton Park, he crashed out in the changing conditions, handing victory to Higlett. However, he made it to the top step of the podium at the final round at Brands Hatch.
Edmondson was another tipped for championship contention at the start of the season. Battling at the sharp end throughout the year, by the middle of the season it looked as though he might be the only one to catch Higlett. Edmondson got himself on the top step of the podium at the final round, but it wasn't enough to stop Barber taking the runner-up spot overall.
The Yamaha Past Masters Clubman championship was set for a showdown at the season finale, with Trevor Sharpe arriving with just a 13 point advantage over James Sharpe. However, in the end Trevor Sharpe was crowned champion before the turn of a racing wheel, with James Sharpe missing the action after a crash in Friday Practice and with no one else capable of catching him.
James Sharpe finished second on the overall Clubman podium, with Paul Whitby rounding out the top three after getting the better of Paul Davies at final round, the pair still scrapping for the final rostrum position until the last race.
Trevor Sharpe was also awarded the Danny Whalin trophy. Danny Whalin raced with the Yamaha Past Masters with his father Len Whalin. Danny sadly lost his life to the sport, but each year an award is presented to someone Len and daughter Chloe nominate for their services and dedication to the club.
In the Rookie class of 2014, Michael Stanley took the honours. After a steady start to his Rookie campaign, Stanley's run of form in the second half of the season saw him regularly competiting nearer the front, and he will definitely be one to watch in the Clubman Championship in 2015.
Tim Hall - pictured attempting to wrestle the gong from Stanley - finished third overall in the class after an up and down season that saw him riding four bikes over the course of the year. However, he will be back in 2015 on a freshly acquired TZR250. Taking Rookie class wins this year, he will be looking to give a good account of himself next season. Sacha Gyte, finished second in the Rookie class but couldn't make the end of season party. But he too will return for 2015.
The British Motorcycle Racing Club's Open Day will take place on the 14th of December, with fresh rookies taking the necessary steps and filling out the necessary paperwork to attend the Rookie Day in February with a view to obtaining their ACU licence. Full details can be found here.
Photos: Racing Line Photography