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The FAB Racing Minibike British Championships 2021 season kicked off in sensational style with an action packed two incredible rounds over 4 day “long weekends” racing at the Lydd International Kart Circuit in South-East of England.
MK-MiniGP70 - Round One
After a stunning 2020 season climax, the MK-MiniGP70 class looked to emulate another sublime season as the premier class at FAB Racing. The grid was looking wide-open with the likes of championship third place finisher Mason Foster from 2020 being joined by the GP50 champion Ethan Sparks along with several podium finishers from 2020 and 2021 championship hopefuls.
Race one kicked off with a bang as Ethan Sparks made his way to the lead, and the reigning MK-MiniGP50 and AC40 Pro Champion looked to open his account on the GP70 in perfect fashion. However, it all went wrong into the final corner for Sparks as he made an uncharacteristic error and fell on his own ending his race early. This promoted Mason Foster into the lead and Foster would then hold his nerve through the closing laps and take home the chequered flag and opening race of the season. Second place went to a jubilant Filip Surowiak who’s best result coming into the season was fourteenth in the GP50 championship, but he never looked out of place and came across the line for a first ever podium at FAB. Third place went to 2021 British Talent Cup rider Sullivan Mounsey who held off a late charge from Ben Joliffe to pick up a first podium on the season.
The second race of the weekend saw a reinvigorated Sparks hold the lead into turn one after his first race disaster, but race winner Foster and debut podium finisher Surowiak followed him closely off the line. The trio engaged in a fun but increasingly feisty battle with Surowiak making a bold move on Foster for second at turn four. However, Sparks held his nerve from the pressure as both riders behind had a look at unsettling race leader and crossed the line just under a second ahead of Surowiak, while a late problem for Foster dropped him to fifth and promoted Henry McCartney into a comfortable debut podium.
The final race of round one saw an epic between the dominant trio of Sparks, Surowiak and Foster once again. The three sped away off the line and engaged in an incredible tug-of-war for the race win as all three traded fastest lap times and positions over the race. Yet it was Sparks who once again kept a strong mind and even stronger will to keep his position under immense pressure from Surowiak and Foster coming into the final lap to take the win and recover lost ground after his opening race crash. Surowiak held off Foster for second as he completed round one leading the championship after his surprising appearance in the leading pack, as Mason Foster added another podium to his tally in third as the trio of riders electrified the track with every lap and built for a sensational season.
The premier class of FAB Racing is in store for an epic season if the first round was anything to go off as two-time race winner Ethan Sparks was joined on track with Mason Foster and Filip Surowiak at the helm of the grid.
The opening race of the second round saw a strong start for Foster who took the holeshot into turn one and held the lead over the opening laps, but it took a smart move from Sparks into the final corner on lap three for the 2020 GP50 and AC40 Pro Champion to make his way back into the lead joined all the time by the impressive Surowiak who looked on another level compared to his 2020 campaign.
The three broke away from the chasing pack of Ronnie Harris and Clayton Edmunds and swept around the coastal circuit making their way through lapped traffic.
This is where Sparks timed his lapped bike overtakes to perfection as he put two bikes in between himself and the chasing pair of Foster and Surowiak and gapped a quick one second window and from there he controlled the final lap and made it a third win in succession in the GP70’s as Foster and Surowiak chased him home in second and third in another illuminating race between the early season breakaway three.
The second race of round two had a magnificent battle with the three already accustomed riders as Foster, Surowiak and Sparks lined up 1-2-3 on the grid. However, it was Sparks who made a dream start from third to lead into turn one, whilst Clayton Edmunds made his way from eighth into fourth off the start and looked to challenge the three riders who had locked out the podium in the previous three races.
As they swept around the Lydd circuit Sparks held every his lines perfectly under increasing pressure from Foster who was looking at recovering some points he lost with Sparks taking three wins to his one over the opening weekends racing.
Joined by Surowiak the three started pulling away by half a second each lap on the chasing battle as Edmunds looked to hold of Ben Jolliffe, Ronnie Harris and Olly Horner.
The laps started to disappear for Mason Foster and as they took the final lap the gap sat at a half second, but once again Ethan Sparks showed an impressive defensive awareness to keep every avenue for Foster to close in unavailable and Ethan Sparks came home to take another win ahead of Mason Foster and Filip Surowiak.
The final race of the round for the MK-MiniGP70’s was built up perfectly. The new challenger Ethan Sparks, the experienced Mason Foster and the unknown quantity of Filip Surowiak as the lined up first to third on the grid for one final race at Lydd for the 2021 season.
The race began with a bang and all three tip toed into the first chicane neck and neck, but it was Mason Foster who held the lead from pole ahead of Sparks who jumped ahead of Surowiak on exit of the opening chicane into second.
What ensued then was an on-circuit duel between three riders unwillingly to give any quarter. The final race of the weekend was the one they all wanted to win as to leave with the momentum going into round three, but as the usual suspects of Foster, Sparks and Surowiak pulled away they started trading lap-times and making some bold moves in order to unsettle their rivals in racecraft expected from those in MotoGP.
Sparks made the move on Foster on lap four and crucially took the race lead, while Surowiak hassled the rear tyre of Foster in second and third. The trio fought so vociferously that they were joined in the late stage by a charging Ronnie Harris, Harris who was the runner up in the GP50’s in 2020 looked more that capable to getting involved in the lead battle and the four moved their way around the Lydd circuit and put in some incredibly close lap times as thousandths split them.
However as the chequered flag beckoned, it was Ethan Sparks who made everyone stand up and recognise why this rider had been a double 2020 champion and was well in the hunt for a GP70 title run. He took a hat-trick of wins at round two and made it five in six on the season as he held off a fast finishing Surowiak and Foster, as Ronnie Harris agonisingly missed out of a debut podium.
MK- MiniGP50 - Round One
In the April sunshine of Lydd Circuit the MKGP50’s took to the track and looked to kick off their season in style in the class that introduces riders to geared bikes and a more conventional riding style.
The opening race was comfortably won by Clayton Edmunds as the multi-time winner from last season came into 2021 with his eyes firmly on a championship win, and after securing the holeshot and steaming around the opening lap the 146 machine held a comfortable lead over the impressive Marco Holt who was making his debut on the Metrakit MK-MiniGP50 bike. The pair would get a closer as the weekend progressed as Holt gained more and more confidence with every lap of the Lydd circuit.
Edmunds controlled the race from pole while Holt finished three seconds back and Luke Scofield a further six seconds back as Edmunds would open his account in convincing fashion.
Race two saw much of the same as Edmunds cleared house off the start built a lead early on and only in the final laps took a breather as he made it two-from-two to open the weekend. Marco Holt’s first race podium had clearly built the class debutant’s confidence as he once again managed a solid second paced finished ahead of Luke Scofield once again as the trio built an early season runaway in the championship standings.
Edmunds went three-for-three in the final race of the round as he once again stormed away off the start and left Holt and Scofield fighting away for second place. However this time around it was Scofield who took the second step on the podium ahead of Holt who just managed to stay ahead of a late race charge from Harry Paine.
Round two started off as round one finished in the MK-MiniGP50’s as early season title favourite Clayton Edmunds opened his second round with another convincing win at Lydd. The rider in his second season on the bike looked cool and assured as he made his way through turn one with a good start and almost a carbon copy from round one he would control the race from there, while his break away left a feisty battle between Marco Holt and Luke Scofield for second place as the pair tracked each other nose to tail with Holt just doing enough to hold off the charging Scofield into the final corner as they completed another podium together.
Race two was the pick of the weekend with a scintillating on-track battle took place. Edmunds was looking at continuing his 100% start to the season and led away off the line ahead of Holt, Scofield and a lighting starting Warwick Brady who was making his return after a season ending injury took away most of his 2020 campaign. The weekend had gone all the way of Edmunds, but Holt had started to look much more racy on his new bike and held onto the rear tyre of Edmunds for the entirety of the race and with a final lap tantalisingly close, Edmunds just did enough to hold off Holt as the pair crossed the line split by a tenth of a second. Luke Scofield made another trip to the podium in a lonely third, but crucially keeping himself in the early season title picture.
The final race of the round saw another clash between Edmunds and Holt as the pair that had looked a class above the field over the course of the weekend pulled away from the rest of the field. However, it wasn’t all going to plan for Edmunds who surrendered a strong advantage in the opening stages of the race with Holt closing in lap-for-lap until he was sat directly behind the race leader. It all came down to the final tour of the circuit and holding his nerve and hitting every apex Clayton Edmunds completed a perfect weekend and took six wins from six at an action packed opening two rounds. Marco Holt impressed once again in second, while Luke Scofield made his sixth trip to the podium to open the season.
Minimoto AC40 Rookies (The Starter Class) - Round One
The AC40 Rookie class saw round one dominated by the pre-season favourite Oliver Hall, and off the back of a strong end to 2020 it seemed the six year old will be the one to beat over the course of the season.
The first race kicked off and immediately Hall held the lead from pole position and comfortably extended his lead lap for lap coming home to the chequered flag with a massive sixteen second advantage over debutant Finley Bardell, while Zach Penegar picked up his first ever podium in his second season in the AC40 Rookie class with a strong opening race.
Race two began in the same fashion with Hall leading away on lap one. However, buoyed after his debut race Bardell closed in on Hall and made it a tight finish as he pushed Oliver Hall to his limit as the pair came across the line split by eight tenths with Hall scoring his second win of the weekend ahead of Bardell and Penegar once again.
Race three once again saw the top three of Hall, Bardell and Penegar after another fantastic fight back from Finely Bardell saw him fall just short of a debut win on his first weekend as Oliver Hall made it a hat-trick of wins to open his 2021 account while Bardell and Penegar celebrated podiums in all three races.
After starting the season with a sublime hat-trick of wins in the AC40 Rookies, it looked as if Oliver Hall was going to be the one to beat, but with newcomer Finley Bardell hot on his heels by the end of round one it would be Bardell who would get the better of Hall over round two.
A brilliant start for Bardell saw him jump ahead of Hall on circuit and sweep into turn one leading, and from there Finley would extend his lead and utilising a crash at the infield hairpin for Oliver Hall came home unopposed a massive 28 seconds ahead of Zach Penegar who picked up his fourth consecutive podium, whilst Rex Austin in his first weekends racing on two wheels was delighted to come home in third and on the rostrum.
Race two saw much of the same as Bardell once again, as Oliver Hall’s bike came to a halt on the side of the circuit on the opening lap with the young rider suffering with issues after the first race incident. Zach Penegar’s luck came to an end early as his bike equally suffered a problem which promoted an ecstatic Rex Austin to a second place finish, along with a superb race from Olly O’Gorman, as the younger brother of British Talent Cup competitor (Casey) O’Gorman scored his first podium from tenth off the grid.
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