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YPM Bound For Big Brands Bash

Brands GP Preview01The DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters racing club is set for Brands Hatch this weekend, as the club gathers for the annual meeting on the prestigious GP layout.

Fresh from his maiden win at Cadwell Park, Manxman Pete Moore will be looking to mount the top step of the podium again this weekend, but can expect to face stiff competition from Graham Higlett. Higlett saw his impressive win-streak come to an end in Lincolnshire, but can wrap up the title this weekend if results go his way.

Matt Barber had an impressive Cadwell meeting, battling in each race with Andy Wheeler, but was unable to challenge at the very front. He'll be looking for better things at Brands, where he took his first YPM win last season, albeit on the Indy circuit. However it was on the GP circuit where he made his YPM bow on the Yambits sponsored Club Bike. Wheeler also has fond memories of Brands, also the venue of his first race win.

The Club Bike, kept on track with the help of the Yamaha parts specialists, will also be in action again this weekend, piloted by Mark Ewans. He'll be competing for Rookie class wins with Michael Stanley, who heads the Rookie championship after four excellent rides at Cadwell Park. Scha Gyte will be looking to get back to his competitive best after a spate of crashes and mechanical issues, while Tim Hall will be looking for more with new machinery this weekend.

A returning Paul Whitby will be looking to recover ground in the hunt for the Clubman Championship. James Sharpe currently leads the chase by 10 points, but both Whitby and second in the standings Trevor Sharpe have gone well at the Kentish circuit in the past. After a strong showing at Cadwell, Paul Bowling will also be one to watch out for in the Clubman class, along with a returning Marc Prentice.

Brands GP Preview02However, all could come down to who handles the weather the best. With rain forecast for Sunday's races, the order could well be a surprise.

The sixth round of the championship takes place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 August on the Brands Hatch GP circuit, with two races on both days plus qualifying on Saturday. Practice takes place on the Friday on the Indy circuit.

Photo: E.G.B Photography

Moore Takes Maiden Win

Cadwell Report01Pete Moore took his maiden race win at the fifth round of the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters championship, taking victory in the second race at Cadwell Park.

The Manxman looked strong from the start of the weekend, qualifying second, just four hundredths of a second slower than championship leader Graham Higlett, who arrived at Cadwell Park with a 14 race win-streak.

In the opening race Higlett extended that winning run after a close, race-long battle with the returning Andy Bown, who reminded everyone of the pace he was capable of running at and the pace he showed during his last outings in the class.

At the flag however, Higlett had managed to pull a two second lead and took his win number 15 of the season with Bown second. Ben Miles, taking part in his first meeting of the season, rode to third, ahead of Moore, Matt Barber and Andy Wheeler.

Seventh went to lead Rookie, Michael Stanley, a graduate of the YPM Club Bike who suffered a huge crash at the Lincolnshire circuit 12 months ago, on the club's TZR250. But he had clearly forgotten all about that as he battled throughout the race with James Sharpe, the pair just ahead of Paul Bowling, Trevor Sharpe and Kev Marshall. Stanley's performance was also enough to earn him the BMCRC Rookie of the Day award.

James Sharpe took the Clubman class win, with Bowling second and Trevor Sharpe third. Also enjoying a scrap through the race was Nick Kennett and Paul Davies, the pair just three tenths apart at the flag, as well as Sacha Gyte and Club Bike pilot Lee Huff, who were separated by just a tenth at the end of the race.

Cadwell CurryDespite a dry race for the Yamaha Past Masters, torrential rain throughout the day caused delays, and ultimately saw the second race held over until Sunday morning. However, the weather abated for the annual Cadwell Curry, with the YPM paddock again coming together to enjoy Louth's finest Indian takeaway.

After a wet warm up, the track dried, for the most part, in time for the opening race of the day. Starting from the second row of the grid, Moore got the holeshot into Coppice, and as the chasing pack rounded Charlie's Two, Moore was off and running down the Park Straight.

Setting a string of quick lap times, his best a one minute 46 on lap four, despite a damp Hall Bends and Barn, saw him pull an unassailable lead.

That left Higlett and Bown to settle the order of the remaining two podium places, the pair inseparable throughout the race. However, a coming together at Mansfield on the last lap saw both crash out, handing second to Miles with Barber claiming third, less than a tenth of a second ahead of Wheeler.

James Sharpe, setting his fastest lap of the race in the early stages as he chased Wheeler and Barber, put enough of a gap into the chasing pack to claim a lonely fifth place and the Clubman win, while Stanley also rode to a lonely sixth place and took the win in the Rookie class.

Trevor Sharpe fended off the attention of Bowling and Marshall to take second in the Clubman class, with Bowling third.

Despite coming from the back of the grid in race three, Higlett came through the field and returned to winning ways, crossing the line one and a half seconds ahead of Miles. Bown was absent from proceedings, with the bike too badly damaged from the spill in the earlier race.

Barber was again third ahead of Wheeler, with Moore struggling to fifth after intermittent issues with his powervalves.

James Sharpe took sixth and the Clubman win, passing Trevor Sharpe and Michael Stanley in the closing stages, after the pair chased down the gap James Sharpe had put into them in the opening few laps. Stanley was lead Rookie in seventh with Trevor Sharpe second Clubman.

Cadwell Report02A close battle also ensued for the remaining Clubman podium position. Bowling took the final pot in the end, with he, Davies and Marshall split by less than a second. Club Bike pilot Lee Huff unfortunately crashed out at the Gooseneck on the opening lap.

With the powervalve issue solved for the final race, Moore looked set to take his second win of the weekend, again storming into the race lead. He held the lead for six laps, and started the final circulation at the front of the pack. However, Higlett's drive through Charlie's Two saw him get the drive on the back straight, where he made the pass and held the advantage to the line, aided by Moore's off-track excursion at the Mountain. He rejoined and held on to second.

Miles took third, with Barber setting his best times of the weekend to chase him round and take fourth, with Wheeler in a lonely fifth.

An excellent start for Trevor Sharpe saw him hold sixth for the opening couple of laps, chased by Stanley, Bowling and Marhsall, with James Sharpe in contrast making a terrible start.

Come the midway point and Stanley had found a way past the number four machine and had started to pull away, while James Sharpe had moved into eighth. A lap later and it had developed into a two way battle for sixth with Stanley leading James Sharpe, with Trevor Sharpe chasing.

A last lap move around the outside at Mansfield however relegated Stanley back to seventh and saw James Sharpe take sixth and his fourth Clubman win. Trevor Sharpe took eighth and his third runner-up finish in the Clubman ranks, with Bowling third.
Higlett still leads the championship, with the potential to wrap the series up at Brands Hatch in a few weeks time. James Sharpe has moved into the Clubman championship lead, while Stanley extended his Rookie championship lead with his trophy haul from the weekend.

The next round is on the famous Brands Hatch GP circuit, with Friday practice on the Indy circuit on August 8, with qualifying and racing on the GP layout on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 August.

Photo: E.G.B Photography / Racing Line Photography

Higlett Looking To Extend Winning Run At Cadwell Park

Cadwell Preview01Graham Higlett heads to Cadwell Park and the second round of the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters championship with the series lead and 100% win record, a run he'll be looking to extend at the Lincolnshire venue.

Preliminary checks of the weather forecast however hint that this could be one of the most fiercely contested rounds of the season.

Despite the warm weather, showers are forecast for the weekend, which will upset Higlett's rhythm, as he openly admits to not being a fan of the wet weather. Two of the favourites to challenge Higlett's dominance again are Matt Barber and Doug Edmondson, with both riders proving fast in both the wet and dry. Others likely to challenge the front also include Pete Moore, who comes to Cadwell with upgraded suspension as he looks to improve his lap times further, and Simon Braby, who has impressed so far this season with a number of podiums. Andy Davies and Andy Wheeler will also be tipped to join the fray at the front. Sadly Mike Wake won't be present after his excellent podium at Donington Park.

Clubman honours look set to be hard fought over the weekend too. Championship leader Paul Whitby will be absent from proceedings, leaving previous points to be had, with both Trevor and James Sharpe, who sit second and third in the standings, looking to overhaul Whitby's lead. Expect close racing at the front of the Clubman battle, with John Walker certain to be in the fray along with a confident Paul Davies and pushing on for Clubman wins. Watch out too for a returning Marc Prentice, while Paul Bowling and Kev Marshal will be in the mix, too.

The closest championship being contested is that for the 2014 Rookie crown, with five points separating Sacha Gyte and Michael Stanley. After mechanical issues at Donington, Tim Hall will also be looking to do battle for top Rookie honours, along with Club Bike pilot Lee Huff.

The action starts with Friday practice on July 18, with qualifying and racing on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 July. The class will also be convening for the annual 'Cadwell Curry' in the paddock on Saturday evening.

Photo: E.G.B Photography

Higlett Dominates Eventful Donington

Donington Report01Graham Higlett dominated an eventful Donington Park meeting for the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters, taking all three wins and extending his 100% record this season.

At the previous round at Oulton Park it seemed the nearest challenger to Higlett's dominance was Matt Barber, who led the opening race before crashing out of the lead as the rain began to fall, handing the win to Higlett.

And it was Barber who again looked most likely to halt Higlett's winning run, qualifying on pole, three tenths of a second ahead of Pete Moore and half a second ahead of championship leader Higlett.

The opening race started how it would carry on. Contact at turn one on the opening lap saw Sacha Gyte and Paul Bowling head towards the gravel, with only Gyte able to rejoin. And as the field arrived at the Melbourne Loop on the opening lap, three of the front runners went down, handing the advantage to early race leader Higlett. Doug Edmondson, Moore and Barber were the three riders involved, allowing Higlett to ride to a comfortable victory, his 12th of the season.

More than half of the field failed to finish, or start, as was the unfortunate case for Pete Fishwick and Simon Braby, the pair plagued by mechanical gremlins. Also suffering from mechanical issues was Kev Marshall, who didn't complete a lap, before Martin Peason, Mark Elleray and Neil Hesman also retired early on.

With Andy Davies and Mike Wake riding lonely races in second and third and John Parbury looking secure in fourth, a titanic mid-pack battle emerged. Paul Whitby and James Sharpe battled it out for Clubman honours and fifth place, before Gyte recovered from his early off-track excursion and joined the fray. However, Rookie championship hopeful Gyte would crash out of fifth on the final lap at Goddards, handing the position to Whitby.

Behind those three was Trevor Sharpe, John Walker, Club Bike pilot Barry Drummond, Paul Davies and Michael Stanley, all providing the spectators with some superb racing. Walker unfortunately crashed out in the closing stages at McLean.

Donington Report02At the chequered flag Higlett took the win, 12 seconds ahead of Andy Davies, while Mike Wake took his first ever podium finish with an excellent third place.

Parbury was fourth ahead of the Clubman podium of Whitby, James Sharpe and Trevor Sharpe, with Drummond taking the win in the Rookie class after Gyte's crash.

Higlett was again the victor in Sunday's opener, crossing the line five seconds ahead of Barber, who came through from the back of the grid to finish second, leaving behind him a four-way scrap for the final podium position.

Andy Davies held the position for the majority of the race, but was pushed to the line by Edmondson, Fishwick and Moore, with just two seconds separating the four of them.

Parbury and Wake were seventh and eighth, before the battle for Clubman honours crossed the line, which saw Trevor Sharpe and Whitby locked in a battle for the race win throughout, half a second covering them at the line, with James Sharpe third Clubman in 11th.

Fourth and Fifth in the Clubman and 12th and 13th overall was Paul Davies and Bowling, half a second splitting them at the chequered flag, as Michael Stanley took the win in the Rookie class, ahead of Drummond and Gyte, Walker, Pearson and Elleray.

The third and final race of the weekend saw Higlett extend his winning run, but the story was of Pete Fishwick taking a hard-fought second place.

Fishwick was less than four seconds back of the race-winner after eight laps of the Donington Park GP circuit, and crossed the line just over a second ahead of Moore and Andy Davies, who were third and fourth.

The Clubman podium occupied positions nine, 10 and 11, with Whitby closing down the early lead pulled by James Sharpe to battle for the win onto the last lap. Whitby held the advantage starting the final circulation, until James Sharpe found a way passed into McLean. Trevor Sharpe followed through and passed Whitby at Coppice and onto the back straight, before the Melbourne Loop saw both Sharpes take a tight line, with Whitby attempting a pass around the outside. A three-abreast charge into Goddards ended with Whitby taking the win from James and Trevor Sharpe, just seven tenths separating the three at the line.

With Michael Stanley absent from the final race with a fuel issue and Hall retiring, Gyte and Drummond went head to head for Rookie honours. Drummond eventually came out on top in the scrap, but when penalised for a jump start was docked 10 seconds, handing the win to Gyte.

Higlett leads the championship on 350 points, a whopping 155 ahead of Edmondson, with Andy Davies third.

Donington Report03Whitby leads the Clubman championship from Trevor and James Sharpe, while Gyte holds a slender four point lead over Stanley in the Rookie championship.

The next round for the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters is Cadwell Park on July 18-20.

Photos: E.G.B Photography / Racing Line Photography

Barry Drummond Takes Club Bike To Rookie Class Win

Drummond WinBarry Drummond took the YPMRC Club Bike to victory in race one at Donington Park at the weekend, finishing as the highest Rookie with an eighth placed finish overall.

Drummond enjoyed a race-long battle with more established riders in the field, swapping places with Rookie championship hopeful Michael Stanley, as well as Clubman riders Trevor Sharpe, Paul Davies, and John Walker.

He was presented with his winner's trophy at the usual Saturday night award ceremony in front of the rest of the paddock, where he received a rousing round of applause from the gathered YPMRC members and other classes alike.

A full weekend report from an eventful Donington Park meeting will be posted soon.

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