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Champions Decided At Final Round

BrandsIndy01With Graham Higlett already crowned this year's DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters Champion, the final round at Brands Hatch was still the scene for the battle for second in the championship standings, as well as Clubman and Rookie honours.

The Clubman championship was one battle that was set to go to the wire, with just 13 points separating Trevor Sharpe and James Sharpe. However, a crash in Friday practice ruled James Sharpe out of the weekend's races, handing the Clubman championship to Trevor Sharpe, with no one else able of overhauling his lead.

The Rookie class however, was far from decided, with 64 separating Michael Stanley and Sacha Gyte at the top, and it was Gyte who started the right way in the rain in Saturday's opening encounter, finishing eighth and lead Rookie ahead of Lee Huff, another Rookie who rode the Yambits Club Bike at Cadwell Park. Stanley finished 12th and third Rookie, giving away nine points to Gyte.

At the front Dan Wright, back for his second race of the season and looking good at the front, crashed out of the lead, handing victory to Doug Edmondson, who ended up cruising to the win by six seconds, finishing ahead of Matt Barber, the pair both aiming for second in the overall championship. Emma Jarman, having her first ride in the class also crashed out on Pete Fishwick's TZR250.

Higlett finished third, just a tenth of a second ahead of a returning Steve King. Kevin Marshall finished lead Clubman after an excellent ride, and rounded out the top five. Len Whalin finished seventh behind Pete Moore and second Clubman. Trevor Sharpe finished tenth and completed the Clubman podium.

BrandsIndy02Saturday's second race was another rain-soaked affair, and Stanley's hunt for the Rookie championship took another hit. As the pack charged towards Paddock Hill for the first time, Stanley's over-exurberance on the throttle saw the rear let go, and as he slid towards the gravel, he skittled the unlucky Paul Bowling and Nick Kennet.

With all the riders up and okay, Gyte rode to the Rookie class win in eighth, putting a further 25 points in Stanley's class lead. At the front, Matt Barber fended off Edmondson for the race win in the battle for second in the championship, with Wright coming through the pack to finish on the podium in third. King finished fourth ahead of the lead Clubman, Marshall.

Jarman also came through the field to finish sixth ahead of Moore, Gyte, Paul Davies and Whalin, while newly-crowned champion Higlett crashed out on lap five.

In contrast to Saturday's water-logged affair, Sunday was positively glorious. With the field full from the paddock hogroast the nightbefore, the day's opening 10-lap race saw King take the win, closely followd by Barber and Wright. Edmondson finished fourth ahead of Jarman, who crossed the line in fifth and ahead of Higlett in sixth. Moore finished seventh with a jump-start penalty, however it didn't affect the result, with Stanley eighth and lead rookie.

Paul Whitby took his first Clubman win of the weekend in his fight to regain third in the Clubman standings, finishing ninth ahead of Marshall with Whalin third Clubman in 11th.

BrandsIndy03In the final race Barber cemented second place in the 2014 championship standings after a race-long dice with King. Barber took the win by just over a tenth of a second. Edmondson took third, coming out on top in a three-way battle for the final spot on the podium. Behind him finished Moore and Wright.

Higlett and Jarman finishd sixth and seventh, with Marshall taking his third Clubman win of the weekend in eighth after what has been a challenging season for the Derbyshireman. Stanley finished behind him as lead Rookie in ninth, ensuring he was crowned the 2014 YPMRC Rookie champion, with Whitby rounding out the top 10 and claiming second Clubman. With Davies finishing fifth Clubman, it was enough for Whitby to secure the final spot on the Clubman championship podium.

The annual BMCRC Dinner Dance takes place on 15 November at the Ashford International Hotel, where the champions will be presented with their trophies.

Photo: E.G.B Photography

Lee Huff Joins YPM Grid For Final Round

Brands ClubBike Preview01Lee Huff will line up on the YPM grid for the second time this season, the Club Bike graduate taking part in the final round of the season at Brands Hatch.

Huff, who rode the Yambits sponsored Club Bike at the fifth round earlier in the year, took a 15th and a 10th at Cadwell Park, before crashing out at the Gooseneck on the opening lap of the third race.

However, it wasn't enough to deter Huff, who hails from Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire. After securing a TZR250 for the final round, he has his eyes firmly fixed on the 2015 YPMRC Rookie championship.

The final round takes place on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on October 4-5.

Photo: E.G.B Photography

Higlett Dominates Home Round

Snet02 Report01Graham Higlett dominated his home round and the penultimate outing for the DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters, taking all four wins and securing the 2014 championship in the process. He also set a new YPMRC lap record for a TZR250.

Race one quickly became a two-horse race, as Higlett and Pete Moore pulled a gap on the chasing pack. Split by no more than a couple of tenths all race, Moore was desperate for his first win since Cadwell Park, and crossed the line first starting the final lap, Higlett just over a tenth further back.

As they crossed the line for the final time, that gap was even smaller, this time with Higlett just ahead, taking the win by seven hundredths of a second.

It was a race of close margins, as Matt Barber crossed the line third, five hundredths of a second ahead of the returning Dan Wright, with Doug Edmondson half a second back in fifth. Richard Sawyer, another returnee, finished in a lonely sixth place, ahead of the battle for top Clubman honours.

After a disastrous Brands Hatch GP, Paul Whitby's weekend hardly got off to the brightest starts, with issues plaguing his Friday practice. However, it came together for the race, as he and Paul Davies slogged it out for seventh and third in the Clubman championship standings. The win went to Whitby by six hundredths of a second.

A race-long scrap for ninth between top Rookie Michael Stanley and James Sharpe went the way of Stanley. Sharpe then missed out on 10th place and the final spot on the Clubman podium, out-dragged to the line by Trevor Sharpe, the gap between them five hundredths of a second with Kev Marshall just half a second back in 12th.

Looking at the time sheets alone make Higlett's victory in race two look slightly more comfortable, the winning margin just over a second. However, he was pushed all the way by Barber, who found something between races to enable him to go with the series leader.

Crossing the line to start the last lap and Barber was just a tenth behind the #50 TZR of Higlett. However, the 2014 champion pulled something out the back to set the best lap of the race on his final circulation, gapping Barber by a second in one lap, to take the win.

Edmondson rounded out the podium, albeit four seconds back of Barber, with Moore riding to a lonely fourth place. Wright took fifth, with Sawyer less than a second back in sixth.

Snet02 Report02Paul Davies took his second Clubman win of the season in seventh, slowly gapping the chasing duo of Whitby and James Sharpe, who duked it out between then for second Clubman. That went to Whitby by half a second, the pair eighth and ninth, with Stanley again top Rookie in 10th place. Trevor Sharpe crossed the line just a tenth back in 11th place, with Marshall enjoying a run of finishes after a season of mechanical woes, crossing the line less than half a second behind in 12th.

Saturday's presentation evening saw Graham collect his race-win trophies and was announced as champion. There was also a special mention for Rookie Denise Button, competing in here first ever race weekend. Denise was awarded the Rookie of the Day award on Saturday night. She would eventually find nine seconds in her best lap time, from race one to the final race on Sunday.

What started as a five-way fight for the win in race one on Sunday eventually ended with Higlett winning by three and a half seconds, leaving the others to battle it out for the remaining podium positions.

Barber, Moore, Wright and Edmondson eventually crossed the line with less than one and a half seconds splitting them. Barber eventually pulled the biggest gap, taking second by just under a second, with Moore, Wright and Edmondson in tow. Sawyer again rode a lonely sixth place.

Paul Davies also had a lonely race in the end, riding to his second Clubman class win and seventh place. Behind, James Sharpe eventually pulled away from a close on-track battle with Stanley and Trevor Sharpe. James and Trevor Sharpe finished eighth and ninth, second and third Clubman, with Stanley tenth.

There was disappointment for Whitby, who came off worse in a coming together with Stanley at Coram on the opening lap, crashing out and watching his fight for third in Clubman championship slip away.

However, Whitby's fortunes would take a turn in the final race, and the fight for third in Clubman standings is back on and goes to the final round, as Davies crashed out on the second lap. After passing James Sharpe into Richies at the start of the second lap, he tried too hard into turn three and lost the front.

That handed the advantage to Sharpe, who rode to the Clubman win. Finishing seventh, he was followed across the line by top Rookie Matthew Sharpe, taking part in his first ever race weekend, and Rookie series leader Stanley, the pair enjoying a race-long battle for Rookie honours. Whitby and Trevor Sharpe completed the Clubman podium in 10th and 11th.

1901586 572569882849773 8207751722385020150 nAt the sharp end, Higlett showed the dominance that has won him his second Yamaha Past Masters title this season, clearing off at the front to take the win by nearly eight seconds, setting the fastest lap of the weekend and a new lap record in the class for a TZR250 around the Snetterton circuit.

The final race also saw the closest finish of the day, with just two hundredths of a second splitting Edmondson and Barber at the line. Wright finished fourth, with Moore recovering to fifth after an off-track excursion on the opening lap, trying to run it round the outside of Sawyer into Agostini's, only to find the 2013 Clubman champion was going in way too hot. Sawyer finished sixth.

There was cruel misfortune for a returning Steve Higgerty, who blew his TZR up in the closing stages of the final race, after only submitting an entry for both of Sunday's races. The grid hopes to see him out full-time in 2015.

The final round of season takes place at Brands Hatch on the Indy circuit, with racing on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October. Higlett has already been crowned champion, but the battle for second and third is far from over between Barber, Edmondson and Moore.

Just 13 points separate Trevor Sharpe and James Sharpe at the top of the Clubman standings, with 14 splitting Davies and Whitby in the battle for third. Stanley boasts a 64 point lead over Sacha Gyte in the Rookie championship.

Photo: Bryan Lancaster / E.G.B Photography

Higlett Crowned 2014 Champion

Higlett ChampGraham Higlett was crowned the 2014 DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters champion this weekend at Snetterton, wrapping up the series with a round to go.

Higlett took both wins on Saturday, ensuring he could not be caught and claimed his second YPMRC title. He was pushed all the way, his first victory coming by seven hudredths of a second from Pete Moore. Matt Barber then pushed it close in the second outing.

With the championship already decided, Higlett then went out and won both of Sunday's races, setting his fastest lap of the weekend in the final race, where he stormed to victory by seven seconds.

Higlett was also crowned Formula 400 Sub-64 champion, too.

Full YPMRC race report to follow.

Photo: E.G.B Photography

Higlett Eyes Championship Crown

Snet02 Preview 01Graham Higlett could win his second DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters championship at this weekend's penultimate round, with the 2012 champion eyeing victory at his home track.

Set for the second visit to the Snetterton 300 circuit, the venue for the opening round of the 2014 season, Higlett boasts a championship lead of 157 points. If he can score enough points to leave with a points advantage of over 100, he will be crowned 2014 champion.

However, it is by no mean a formality, with Higlett recovering from the injury he sustained at the previous round, as well as a number of other riders eyeing race wins.

Fresh from his two victories at Brands Hatch, Matt Barber will be looking to taste victory again at Snetterton, where he was the only rider able to push Higlett at the first round, while Pete Moore will also be hungry for race wins after his impressive win at Cadwell Park. Don't count out Doug Edmondson either, while a wild-carding Richard Sawyer will also be looking to mix at the sharp end at his home circuit.

The battle for Clubman honours is also primed to ignite at Snetterton. Trevor Sharpe now leads the championship standings, with a 26 point advantage over James Sharpe. After an excellent weekend at Brands Hatch, where he took his first ever Clubman win, Paul Davies now sits in third place, and will be eager to try and wrestle second place in the championship away from Sharpe. However, he will have his work cut out, as Paul Whitby is looking to bounce back to form after a torrid weekend at Brands last time out and recover his top three position in the championship.

10614213 557629477677147 4294608291397986648 nWhile those look set to fight it out amongst themselves, fellow Clubman Paul Bowling and Kev Marshal will be be looking to join the fray, while Rookie Michael Stanley will also be looking to ruin a few weekends for people by battling for positions again too. Stanley currently sits second in the Rookie Championship, but with Sacha Gyte absent from proceedings, he and fellow Rookie Tim Hall will be hoping to take advantage ahead of the final round at Brands Hatch. But don't discount this weekend's Yambits Club Bike pilot Keith Cotgrove, who, with a racing history from a few years ago, might just throw his hat in the ring for some trophies, too, along with wild-carding Rookie Matt Sharpe, guesting on Paul Whitby's number two bike.

It's set to be an entertaining weekend through the field, with everyone keen to be the one to stop Higlett from celebrating a championship win just yet, and plenty to fight for down the order too.

The penultimate round of the 2014 DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters Championship takes place on the Snetterton 300 circuit, with practice on Friday 5 September, with racing on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September.

Photo: E.G.B Photography.

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