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A fair number of championship contenders fell by the wayside this weekend as Donington’s 1.957 mile National circuit claimed more than it’s far share of scalps. Joe Symonds in the Powerbike…. Joshua Day and Steve Tomes in the 600…. Paul Shook in the Open…. Chris Beverley in the F400 and Dan Kift in the Streetstock all went out whilst in race leading positions.

It was the sometimes-impetuous wild riding Luke Harvey on his RS 125 Honda that managed to grab two hard fought wins on the day. Luke a 25 yearold Plumber from Plymouth was hobbling around in the paddock all morning, barely able to stand…. or sit for that matter. This was due to falling from his Honda at the previous days Derby Phoenix meeting and suffering a suspected ruptured disk in his back. Luke who started racing back in 2003, has often had a reputation of being a bit wild on track with his all action fight-the-bike style. This weekend it was he who kept his head, heading home current Refined Recriutment 125 GP series leader Corey Lewis on both occasions. These two saw their battle take them over 12 seconds clear of nearest rival Sam Burman who herself was having one of her best weekends on the Bartonfield RS.

It proved to be a worthwhile trip across the water for Irishman Scott Rourke as he took his Stokin Stoves GSXR 1000 to the L and J Mechanical Services win. Scott who started from the back row of the grid (position 40) for the qualifier battled trough to take the 6th fastest time and start from the second row for the main final. The first attempt to run the race saw series leader Joe Symonds crash out on his Greendays Developments R1 and force a race stoppage. The second attempt saw the in-form Welshman Paul Shook on his Jack Russell Racing ZX10R crash out of the lead down through Craner as his Kawasaki suffered a freak failure. The front wheel of his ‘05 ZX10 fractured and broke through two of the three spokes, resulting in the machine cart wheeling down through Craner and leaving a massive repair bill for Paul and the team. That left the way open for Rourke, although he did not by any means have an easy ride in the early stages as, Darren Neal, Peter Golden and Shaun Hennessey pressured the Irishman. Rourke eventually broke the opposition…. or so he though, as in the final couple of laps Michael Blank pushed on, on his Gemini Fire GSXR to close in to finish less that 0.5 sec behind winner Rourke, and all this despite starting on grid P28 after qualifying woes. This allowed Blank to close right in on the points table leader Symonds who had to sit out the race after his crash.


Symonds had looked in top form earlier on in the day though after blitzing the rest in timed qualifying for the Phoenix Open with a stunning lap on 1min 11.95sec averaging almost 98mph and almost half a second quicker than anyone else. When the final came to the grid Symonds, along with Paul Shook set off at pace and quickly built up a lead over the rest. When Shook and his ZX10 hit the front, we all thought that Symonds would respond, however the Welshman just kept on piling in with fast laps to put out couple of tenths a lap to pull away from Symonds, who seemed unable to match his mornings times. So Shook eventually took the win by almost 8 seconds from Joe with the hard charging series leader Michael Blank coming in third after a poor start which saw him recover from being as low as 9th in the early laps.

Chris Beverley’s winning run in the A and R Racing F400 class on his France and Li Asia CBR400 Honda came to an abrupt end as he crashed out if the qualifier causing massive damage to the little CBR. Tony Meredith took the chance with both hands on his ZXR and with an uncustomary aggressive first couple of laps to set up a good lead. Novice Anthony Van Looy headed a spirited chasing pack on his Kawasaki along with Tim Bradley and Alan Armour on his RGV, the only two stroke in the field. Although they closed the gap in the latter stages the hugely experienced Meredith had things under control to take the win. Beverley salvaged a few valuable points though as he was lent Shannon Hale’s Streetstock spec Black Lion Transport CBR, storming through on the under powered machine to grab a hard won 6th position.

Billy Mellor took his Form It Construction GSXR to what was probably an unexpected win in the George White 600 class as Joshua Day and Steve Tomes both crashed out whilst battle for first place. Jonathon Dickson did all be could to get past Mellor but had to settle for second just ahead of Andy Lawrence, who was having his best ride of the year into a strong third place with his Vardy Tuned CBR with in ABC Tyres colours.

Richard Troth made it 8 wins from 9 starts in the Race Trader UK 400 Streetstock on his Bunnie Layla Honda, again finishing ahead of Ben Mardsden, who is the only other rider to have taken a win this year.

Nicholas Andrews won the Metzeler DTR 700 Streetstock by just half a second from Marlon Butcher and the injured series leader Andy Hayes to nicely close the points gap at the top of the table between these three to just 4 points. Whilst in the Metzeler DTR 1300cc Streetstock class Hilary Philips did his championship hopes no harm at all on his Fox Enterprises GSXR leading from start to finish, as series leader Dan Kift looked like he had once more made life difficult for himself after crashing out of the qualifier. Kift though managed to carve through to second place taking four riders on the last lap to keep his title aspirations alive.

Sam Coventry took his third win of the year on his 125 Unipart/Purbrook Garage Aprilia to close the gap down to series leader Rowan Miller in the Steve Lynham Formula 125’s. Miller’s 80 Metrakit suffered a lack of speed on the fast Donington Circuit as he came in third, just behind Aprilia rider Thomas Williams.

Darryl Alexander took his seventh win in a row in the Big C Mini Twin class to cut defending champion Nigel Wright’s points advantage to just 6 as we head towards Pembrey…. the scene of Wright’s last win was back in March.

Initially the two 675’s of James Parry and Justin Waite set the early pace in the Team Spidey Sound of Thunder they eventually had to give second best to the Ducati’s of Lee Reveley with his ezeracing.com 1098 and Mark Woods on a 998 model. It could easily have gone any one of four ways but Reveley’s 1098 just had too much power for the Triumphs to cope with at Donington.

Nigel Palmer was pleased to take the win in the Dara Brady 400cc Open on what was only his third ride on his Team Froggy French Racing TZ, taking on and beating riders much more used to the GP machines.  He knocked over 1.5 seconds off his lap times as the day progressed. Series leader Tony Davies extended his series lead despite finishing third behind the hard charging Mike Russell.


Stephen Williamson and Luke Beckwith on the Windle Suzuki lapped just a whisker outside Ben Birchalls lap record to take the CSC Sidecar win from Tim Lobley/Darren Triton and Dean Henry/ Ian Smith. Williamson said that the F2 outfits caused him quite a few problems early on although he enjoyed the frantic action with a good strong sidecar field. Simon Christie and Carl Morgan were unfortunately dropped down out of their second place after a startline infringement that was spotted by the grid officials. Dean Henry and Ian Smith had the win in the Century 2000 F2 class on the Magnam Windle Suzuki.

For his exploits in the 125GP class Luke Harvery was named rider of the meeting by Russ Gardner and his team of judges, whilst RAFMSA rider Anthony Van Looy received the Newcomer of the meeting for his stunning second place in the F400 final.

We now all move on to Pembrey on 9th and 10th August, when any rider who has an eye on a 2008 championship must perform well as there are only to one-dayers at Oulton and Thruxton to follow.

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