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By Honda British Talent Cup

Bourne strikes back in a Race 2 duel at Donington

It all comes down to the final chicane after a dramatic second encounter of the season for the Honda BTC

Franco Bourne (Franco Bourne Racing/SP125 Racing) took a late lunge victory in Race 2 for the Honda British Talent Cup at Donington Park, attacking at the final chicane on the final lap to pip Harvey Claridge (City Lifting/SP125 Racing) to the flag by a tenth. Bailey Stuart-Campbell (151s S-C Racing) completed the podium in a shortened ten-lap sprint following an earlier Red Flag.

At the restart, Casey O’Gorman (Microlise Cresswell Racing) took the holeshot, with Claridge and Bourne slotting in just behind the Race 1 winner to try and keep him in check. Evan Belford (City Lifting by RS Racing) went with the trio as a top four breakaway group formed early doors, with Stuart-Campbell the next man down the road in a little clear air in fifth.

Drama hit quickly though, with Claridge striking for the lead and taking it but O’Gorman unwilling to yield. Rumbling over the kerb slightly behind, the number 72 then shockingly slid out of the lead group and the race, leaving the top step of the podium sure to host a different name in Race 2.

Claridge had himself a gap of seven tenths after that, but Bourne was tucked in pushing to catch him. Belford was hanging in there initially as well before a monumental wobble for the number 52, that sending him backwards slightly and towards the clutches of Stuart Campbell. The shuffle had created two duels: one for the win and one to complete the podium.

By Lap 8 of the 10-lap sprint, there was nothing to choose between each in either pair. There was a change for the lead not long after though, as Bourne swept past to take advantage from a small mistake from Claridge; the number 17 starting the penultimate lap ahead. Stuart-Campbell was also starting to consolidate his third place, with a good few tenths in his pocket over Belford.

Claridge struck back to start the final lap in first, however, and the race was on for Bourne to make up a little ground and plan his final assault. Tucked in the slipstream, the number 17 bided his time and stayed stuck to the back of the machine ahead, menacing and looking for a way round the outside. Ultimately though it would come down to the final chicane, with Bourne shooting up the inside in the final braking zone and pitching it to perfection, able to stay ahead to the line for his first win of the year.

Claridge was forced to settle for second, just a tenth back at the flag, with Stuart Campbell completing the podium after managing to escape Belford in the latter stages. The number 52 took fourth, with Eddie O’Shea (WAM) recovering from what seemed like an early mechanical problem to take an impressive fifth place.

Elliott Dufton (D&D Racing) had a lonely ride in the latter stages to a solid sixth, with a three-way battle to the line deciding seventh. Ollie Walker (Moto Rapido/SP125 Racing) came out on top in that, pipping Ryan Hitchcock (Wilson Racing) and Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) as they took eighth and ninth respectively.

James Cook completed the top ten for Wilson Racing; a few tenths in his pocket ahead of Sullivan Mounsey (Lloyd & Jones PR Racing). Gary Scott (Scott Racing) took 12th, with Rossi Dobson (Rossi Dobson) a second and a half behind him. Rhys Coates (Ernie Coates Race Support) won a four-way fight for fourteenth ahead of Calum Beach (Calum Beach Racing/SP125 Racing), Evann Pendrill (VHC Racing) and Lucas Hill (Ashcourt Racing), the latter two of which just missed out on points.

Corey Tinker (Stauff Fluid Power Academy) and Jamie Lyons (Jamie Lyons Racing) were two expected challengers missing from the classification, having been involved in the Red Flag incident following contact with Stuart Campbell in the early stages of the initial race start. Charlie Farrer (Victoria House Racing Academy/Mortimer Racing) also crashed out before the restarted race.

That’s it from Donington, but come back for more Honda BTC action in two weeks as the grid face down Snetterton from the 21st to the 23rd of August.

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