DFDS SEAWAYS YAMAHA PAST MASTERS ROUND 4
Brands Hatch 03/10/20
What could be scarier than tipping into Hawthorne flat stick? Tipping into Hawthorne in the pissing rain. Saturday gave a very wet welcome to all for the YPM Finale! The last round of the year attracted a few returning fast wild cards, Anthony Johnson lap record holder and Jamie Kelman. Their presence in the class this year has been zero and where Kelman was concerned, that was the chance the rest of the field had of beating him to Pole. Unfamiliar new Bike? Check! Very Wet Track? Check! Two seconds a lap quicker than the rest of the regulars? Check! Class act? Check! Title contender Scott Carson was second and AJ was third. Andy Bown, Peter Branton and Billy Perkins rounded out the second row.
Anthony Johnson was a formidable YPM champion and by the end of lap one, he was once again looking très for-mee-dah-bluh.
Lap one at the line, Johnson, Kelman, Carson, Branton, and that order remained until lap 3 when disaster struck for Carson. His desire to gap Branton and get those vital extra championship points saw him having a nibble at Kelman, but sadly he bit off more than he could chew crashing out at Surtees. Had the championship just come gatecrashing down? By the Flag Johnson had gapped Kelman by 6 seconds and Branton held station in third, his points lead was not unassailable but it had just gotten a healthy Branton bonus boost. Great rides in both 4th and 5th Andy Bown again consistently quick followed by clearly not shy Dennis Halil returning from a nasty crash at Cadwell earlier in the year. Danny Gough was the Clubman champ and the top rookie was Stephen Wimble.
The rain had subsided slightly and the track was almost dry before the smokers sparked up for Race 2. As soon as the flag dropped it looked like an ember had lit a fire under Bike 24, if ever there was time to put the arson in Carson it was now! A red hot flag to finish victory quickly ensued, sadly the ever-present Mr Branton was in second with Scott Grant picking up third. Back in fourth and fifth the gatecrashers Kelman and Johnson were now feeling the heat as the regulars resumed order. Toland, Perkins, Bown, Cooper and Whitby completed the top ten. Billy Perkins and Damian Lee resumed their respective winning ways with subclass wins.
Brands Hatch 04/10/20
As people emerged from tents, campers and caravans on Sunday morning, they felt in their fingers, they felt in their toes! You guessed it… Wet Wet Wet. The rainmeisiters from Race 1 again reigned supreme. Kelman made all, but this time Johnson was not going to let him get away taking the lead on lap 3 where he stayed until the flag. The taste of YPM Champagne had returned for AJ, whilst the other proverbial yellow liquid had just covered Scott Carsons matches in third. We now had our 2020 championship winner, finishing in 5th behind Andy Bown. Well done Peter Branton, it takes amazing dedication and skill to win this championship and you have both in abundance. Commiserations to the great family that is Team Carson, could next year be the one!?
The final race of a very disrupted season, but at least we got out there for some great racing. At the front, yet again the gatecrashers were leading the charge, Kelman and AJ from Scott Carson, until lap 3 when AJ lost it at Clearways. This promoted Andy Bown into third and Paul Toland fourth. The one to watch for next year is Billy Perkins finishing in a great fifth and wrapping up the Clubman Crown with no uncertainty. Burscough, Branton, Whitby, Grant and Gough were the remaining top 10 men. The 2020 Rookie championship victor was the regular front man Damian Lee, congratulations, you have been baptised in to the YPM family! God Speed.
*All photos for this report kindly supplied by Josie Simington