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NG Road Racing’s first visit to the Cheshire parkland was graced with warm autumn sunshine, and a mouth watering situation in the 250 National Championship title hunt.  With 5 riders still in contention and only 50 points on offer, there was simply no room for error at the sharp end of the table.  
When timed qualifying settled down it was Bedfordshire’s Andrew Sawford who set the early pace on the St Neots Motorcycles Yamaha, continuing on from his previous round domination at Castle Combe. But within a couple of laps, local man Jason Davis put his Pete Marquis Demolition TZ onto the all important pole position with a 1:44.59 lap which was enough to keep him there for the remainder of the session.

Barnsley’s Mark Davies was third on another TZ supported by Signs Xtra and Somerset’s Alex Kenchington – Championship leader by just 1 point from Sawford - rounded out the front row on the Dennis Trollope Yamaha. Ben Johnson, sitting third in the series and only 3 points adrift of the leader could only put his Double M Racing Honda in 8th on the grid.  Chesterfield’s Johnson was feeling the pressure after leading the series for the majority of the year only to see it slip away following a disastrous Castle Combe points duck!  Ant Hodson’s Yamaha, Newark’s Rich Grinling and Peterborough’s Bruce Dunn -returning from injury made up the 2nd row with Johnson.  The NG Cup challenge on the National runners was headed by Mike Wilson on his CLV Racing RS Honda.  Wilson sat in a very respectable 12th on the grid with newly crowned Cup Champion Paul Lumb back in 16th following a difficult qualifying session on a track he was not familiar with.

The 10 lap Championship race got away in sunshine and it was Jason Davis who took the lead with fast starting Mark Davies quickly settling into second.  Ben Johnson got away with the leaders from his second row slot and set about staying with the ultra fast Yamaha duo. Alex Kenchington and Andrew Sawford were well in the hunt at the end of the first lap but on lap 2 the Championship took a twist as Sawford’s Yamaha crawled into pit lane and out of the race.  A simple broken spade connector to one of the ignition coils being the culprit..
With the race settling into a pattern, Davis and Davies fought for the lead with Jason always just in control but by no means able to relax, once Johnson and Kenchington had been dropped off the back of the two leaders they also settled into a race long battle and on lap 6 Kenchington took over the final podium slot with Ant Hodson a lonely 5th with Rich Grinling, Ben Miller Darrell Higgins and Bruce Dunn having a good battle for 6th.  The luckless Miller was another victim of mechanical gremlins and retired his Yamaha from 7th position with just 2 laps remaining.


Paul Lumb struggled from his low starting position but lapped consistently to pick off his rivals and moved to 10th with a lap to go, and found himself in a real dog fight with Steve Pond, Tony Davies and Paul McCullagh on the road.

At the flag, Jason Davis won it by 2 seconds from Mark Davies with Alex Kenchington holding off the intentions of Ben Johnson in 4th.  Ant Hodson secured 5th with another strong performance making him one of the most consistent scorers in the series.  Rich Grinling held off Wiltshire’s Darrell Higgins in 6th and 7th respectively, then Peterborough’s Bruce Dunn in 8th, Steve Pond and Tony Davies rounded out the top 10.  Jason also set the fastest lap of the race almost a full second inside his pole time.

Paul McCullagh won the NG Cup battle by mugging Paul Lumb on the last lap in a determined struggle to beat his championship rival, which he has only seen the back of so far this year!.  McCullagh from Chippenham in Wiltshire was delighted with his 11th on the road and to have, at long last ushered his Amethys T Yamaha home ahead of the Cup Champion.  Jonathan Stamper took the final step on the Cup podium in third place with his best performance of the year on the Graham File Tuning TZ.  Paul McCullagh was delighted to receive the Dunlop performance of the day award for his efforts and collected his rear GP tyre courtesy of Dunlop Motorsport.  

The series heads to Thruxton in Hampshire for the Championship finale on Saturday 4th October and what a superb end to the season we have in store!  The point’s situation is nicely poised with Kenchington leading on 152, Ben Johnson up to second on 146, Jason Davis up to 141 and Andrew Sawford still has an outside chance in 4th on 135. All 4 have 2 wins each! The ultra fast Mark Davies has promised revenge for being beaten at Oulton and will take the start and although he is out of contention for the championship, you can bet he will be up there at the end of the race upsetting the series leaders points calculations.  Don’t miss it – a fitting showdown to a superb Championship.

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