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After domination from Fenton Seabright in qualifying, it looked like Race 1 could be his to lose but it became a classic group fight at the front in Round 2 of the British Talent Cup, with Cameron Horsman taking to the top step in another solid performance from the now-points leader. Key rival and previous Championship leader Scott Ogden wasn't far behind, however, and he made serious gains through the field after a tough qualifying to cross the line second. Seabright, after a tougher Round 1 at Silverstone, took his first podium of the year from pole.
Seabright got a good start but he was beaten to the holeshot by Charlie Atkins, with the man on the outside of the front row swooping into the initial lead. Jack Hart, meanwhile, dropped down the order after a tougher start and the front row man was swallowed up as the likes of Horsman moved through. The number 23 meant business from the off and he quickly - and successfully - attacked for the lead, with Charlie Farrer another who made quick progress and the number 19 right in the mix at the front despite a third row start. Horsman, Seabright and Farrer would remain key names at the front throughout.
Scott Ogden, meanwhile, had gained a handful of places from his P10 grid position and the former Championship leader set about getting himself in contention. Initially a nine-rider group, he was in seventh and making gains as Farrer vs Horsman vs Seabright raged on at the front.
By half distance it was a front group of six, with Rhys Irwin, Nixon and, crucially, Ogden joining the trio battling it out for the lead. But Atkins and Jack Hart were pushing hard to close back in, and a couple of laps later it was a freight train once again. Plenty of squabbling and some incredible moves - especially from Farrer as he took some two-for-one specials at the final chicane - kept it intense as the laps ticked down, but there was drama coming for the number 19.
Farrer led a front four of him, Horsman, Ogden and Seabright onto the final lap, but in the shuffle at the first corner he was just pushed wide and one of the key protagonists of the race dramatically slid out, taking home no points despite a spectacular performance. That left Ogden in the lead after his impressive recovery from tenth on the grid, but Horsman attacked quickly and took back over at the front. Solid from there on, he defended to perfection to head Ogden into the final chicane for the final time.
That saw him take his second win of the season, with Ogden's second place some solid damage limitation. Seabright, meanwhile, was almost on a par with the number 4 over the line but ultimately had to settle for third. Nevertheless, it's his first podium of the year and some solid points after a tougher start at Silverstone.
Irwin won the fight for fourth ahead of Atkins, Jack Hart and Jack Nixon, with Scott Swann crossing the line a little further back for P8. Harvey Claridge won a close three-way fight for ninth against Brian Hart and Elliot Pinson, with Jamie Davis taking P12.
The fight for top rookie saw some drama as Torin Collins and Corey Tinker crashed out late on, with Jamie Lyons, Zak Shelton and Welshman Osian Jones going on to complete the points.
That's it from Race 1 at Donington Park, make sure to tune in at 10:15 (GMT +1) local time on Sunday for Race 2 as Farrer looks for revenge and Horsman aims for more gains.
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