Honda British Talent Cup back in the saddle at Snetterton

The BTC heads from Silverstone to Snetterton for the second round of a triple header run of race weekends

The Honda British Talent Cup raced on their biggest stage of the season last time out at Silverstone, and the action at the British Grand Prix didn’t disappoint. Two stunning duels for the win, some standout steps forward and, in the end, an increased points lead leaves the Cup poised for some decisive races at Snetterton.

Evan Belford (City Lifting by RS Racing) arrives with that increased lead. The number 52 did some solid damage control after, on Saturday, he was left at the back of the grid following a technical problem in qualifying but managed to come home ninth. And on Sunday he was back on the podium, for the first time since his win in Race 2 at Brands Hatch no less. With some bad luck for his closest challenger heading into the weekend, teammate Johnny Garness, the shuffle now puts Belford 23 points clear of Casey O’Gorman (Microlise Cresswell Racing) at the top.

Garness had the speed for pole in qualifying, but a crash out the lead early in Race 1 and then a technical issue in Race 2 made the number 57’s weekend at Silverstone one to forget. All is not lost, however, as Garness remains only 34 points off the top and as fast as ever, although he is now fourth overall as fellow City Lifting by RS Racing rider Carter Brown took a podium and a fifth to leapfrog him. Both, along with Belford, will be looking to take back the leading roles they’ve played for much of the season as we head for Snetterton.

So what of the protagonists in the British GP duels? Jamie Lyons (C&M Motors Ltd / Tooltec Racing) had an incredibly impressive weekend to get that first win, the number 7 taking a huge step forward despite the 5.9km challenge of the Silverstone GP layout. He’ll be wanting to show it’s a step forward to stay, with some impressive results before the British GP, most notably just getting pipped to the win at Thruxton, but nothing quite as much of a statement as Silverstone.

O’Gorman, meanwhile, continued his assault on the top. The number 67 has contested seven races in 2021 and won five, taking second in the other two. Even more impressively, he’s missed three rounds comprising five races and is still second overall, with an average points haul of 23.6 per race contested. Belford’s is 15.6. You have to be in it to win it, but it seems O’Gorman is back from injury with a bang and if their average scoring continued, it would be three races until the number 67 takes over on top. He’s also the only returning rider who took a podium last year at Snetterton, and it was a win.

There were some others notable shoutouts at Silverstone too: Sullivan Mounsey (iFord Loyd & Jones) took his best result so far with P4 in Race 1, and crucially kept further forward for longer. Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) was just off the podium in Race 2, and Ollie Walker (Moto Rapido / SP125 Racing) made a big step forward in pace for Sunday before a heartbreaker of a late crash. They both had solid rounds at Snetterton last season too, as did Corey Tinker (CT Racing), who impressed with a step forward at Silverstone. Rhys Stephenson (Rocket Racing), Lucas Brown (Amphibian Scaffolding / SP125 Racing) and Harley McCabe (MLav VisionTrack Academy) were also on point, securing some season bests.

There are a few left wanting more, however. Kiwi Cormac Buchanan (Microlise Cresswell Racing) is one after a P7 and a crash, as well as his teammate Kiyano Veijer after a tougher weekend for the Dutchman. Bailey Stuart-Campbell (151s Racing) had good speed and an impressive Race 1 before a crash on Sunday, but even including Garness’ double dose of bad luck there was no one who suffered a tougher weekend at the British GP than James Cook (Wilson Racing). One of the fastest in the field, misfortune was back with a vengeance at Silverstone as he suffered two DNFs through no fault of his own. He’ll be more eager than anyone to get back out at Snetterton and take some big points hauls.

Another two races await around Snetterton 300, with another swing in the standings up for grabs for those who come out on top. Make sure to tune in for Race 1 on Saturday at 14:30 (GMT +1), before Race 2 on Sunday at 14:05!

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