The penultimate round of the Honda British Talent Cup promised it could be pivotal, and after a dramatic trip to Silverstone it proved to be true.
As drama hit for key contenders, it was Moto Rapido’s Ollie Walker who came through to take his first win on Saturday, getting some deserved reward for running at the front after late heartbreak in a few recent rounds. Second was another first as Sullivan Mounsey (iForce Lloyd & Jones) stood on the rostrum for the first time after another standout ride, with Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) taking his second podium, in third place, once the dust settled in the wake of the shake-up.
Sunday’s outing saw some more usual suspects return to the rostrum with Carter Brown (City Lifting by RS Racing) coming out on top - and taking the points lead with it. He struck late to seal the victory and Jamie Lyons (C&M Motors Ltd / Tooltec Racing) followed him through to get back on the box, Johnny Garness (City Lifting by RS Racing) completing the final podium celebrations.
Saturday started with what’s become the standard at lights out as Johnny Garness (City Lifting by RS Racing) took the holeshot from pole, with Casey O’Gorman (Microlise Cresswell Racing) slotting into second and an early breakaway forming as the duo were joined by Mounsey, points leader Evan Belford (City Lifting by RS Racing), Carter Brown (City Lifting by RS Racing), James Cook (Wilson Racing) and Jamie Lyons (C&M Motors Ltd / Tooltec Racing).
It didn’t take long for that first bout of huge drama though. Heading into Maggots, lap 3 saw Belford suffer a moment and the points leader tagged closest competitor O’Gorman as, shockingly, both the top two in the standings went down. Riders ok, but the door suddenly wide open for those on the chase to capitalise.
Garness led the five remaining, with a small margin by the next lap around but the chasers soon closed in, with someone else closing in too: Walker. He and Crosby were on a charge and well in the mix in the front group by a third of race distance run.
Lap 8 saw more drama as Cook overcooked it right after taking the lead, the number 34 sliding out and losing his shot at glory. The group that had gone from seven to five to seven again had become a six-rider freight train - with Mounsey in the lead.
Saturday’s rollercoaster was far from over, however, and heading over the line to start the final lap, it was Garness in the lead with Brown fighting off both Walker and Mounsey. Brown hooked back onto the leader and by Luffield, he was close enough to attack - and went for the outside. Locked together initially, there was contact as the number 74 tagged Garness and it was Garness who was forced to sit it up and run on, the number 57 out of the race.
In the aftermath, Walker and Mounsey swept through to finish 1-2, both putting in their best races yet and hitting some impressive milestones having been right there in the battle throughout. Brown crossed the line in third after the final drama, seemingly having made some big gains, but the day’s dramatics were far from done. For the incident with Garness, he was given the equivalent of a Long Lap penalty, a three-second time deduction, and dropped to fifth.
The duel between Crosby and Lyons went all the way to the wire and became the fight for third after the penalty for Brown, with the number 15 taking it by 0.075. Lyons forced to settle for fourth, and Brown completing the top five in the classification.
Sunday’s race again saw drama from the off or rather before it as Mounsey faced problems on the grid forcing the number 4 to start from the very back. O’Gorman and Belford continuing to suffer from race one by sitting down in P18 and P20 for take two.
At lights out it was Garness who once again got the holeshot. Race one winner Walker slotted into second with Brown in third, but it was a big group from the off as the three were joined by Lyons, Crosby, Rocket Racing’s Rhys Stephenson and Cook.
The comeback was on though and by lap four, O’Gorman was at the head of the group chasing to catch the lead gaggle, in eighth, and the 67 cut the gap quickly. Next it was the turn of Mounsey - up from 31st and the very back - as he led Belford and tucked in to push forward, both managing to bridge the gap before long.
Heading onto the final lap the number 67 was in the lead, with Brown threatening just behind. The number 74 lined up a key move and made it stick, taking Lyons with him. Both sliced past O’Gorman and crossed the line just ahead, but there was an extra kicker for the number 67 on the drag to the line, as Garness pipped him by just 0.009.
Silverstone’s shakeup sees Brown head into the finale as the points leader with six in hand over Belford, but O’Gorman is now only five behind. Garness and Lyons remain in mathematical contention too.