It was a thrilling finish to the 2016 Cool FAB Racing British Minibike Championship at Mallory Park at the weekend (28th to 30th October) with many of the races going down to the wire.
One of the highlights of the showdown was the battle for the championship title in the MiniGP 70 class between 13-year-old Scott Ogden from Doncaster and 11-year-old Josh Whatley from Evesham, Worcestershire.
Franco Bourne, aged 12 from County Durham, who went into the final round in top spot, unfortunately had to retire owing to a mechanical fault leaving Josh in second and Scott in third to compete for the trophy.
Scott won race one, putting him just 1.5 points ahead of Josh, so in the second heat there was still everything to race for. The pair didn’t disappoint the expectant crowd, putting in a fantastic performance on the famous Leicestershire circuit. Scott and Josh overtook each other several times in the final laps but in the end, it was Scott who managed to win the race in a photo-finish to clinch the title.
In the MiniGP 50, 10-year-old Harvey Claridge from Steyning, West Sussex had already secured the title, ending the championship with a 98.5-point lead. Calum Beach, 10, from Abergele in Conwy and Scott Ogden had everything to do in race two to take second and third at Mallory Park with 386.5 and 357 points respectively.
In the AC40 Pro, eight-year-old Casey O’Gorman from Kent took the top spot in the championship following a strong performance earlier on in the season. Bailey Stuart-Campbell, aged eight from Wokingham, who won both races in round eight, battled it out with Evan Belford, aged nine from Tamworth, in an amazing display of skill and talent to come second and third respectively.
In the AC40 Rookies, seven-year-old Aleksander Merchant from London, who went into the final round in a strong position, won the championship title despite eight-year-old Jonny Garness from Ilfracombe, who came second, winning both races.
MD of Cool Motor Racing Crispin Vitoria said it was a nail-biting end to the season: “We’ve been looking forward to racing at Mallory Park all year as it was the final round of 2016 and the first time many of our riders have competed on a full-size track as opposed to a karting track.
“We had high expectations given how much the kids have improved since the start of the year and they didn’t disappoint. It was an amazing display of talent and skill and we are certain that some of these youngsters will go to on to achieve great things. We may even have a future BSB or world champion in our midst!”
Owing to noise restrictions, racing was not allowed on Saturday (29th October) so instead the riders and their families were invited to take part in a range of activities including family pushbike races on the track, a Halloween-themed fancy dress competition and a T-shirt design competition.
BSB rider Filip Backlund also gave a talk about his experiences of being a professional motorcycle racer while Motorsport Radio commentators Tom Brooks and Lester Forbes gave the riders and their parents some advice on handling the media.
Despite the season coming to an end, the team at Cool Motor Racing are still busy preparing for the End of Season Dinner at the Leicester Marriott Hotel on Saturday 26th November as well as next year’s championship.
Crispin explained: “This year we became an Official BSB Partner Series, following which eight BSB teams agreed to set up and run their own minibike squads to compete in our championship next year, which is fantastic news for us and of course our riders.
“We had a lot of the teams’ awnings at Mallory Park, which looked amazing, but there’s still a bit more work to do before the end of the year getting everyone kitted out with their branded bikes and leathers. The BSB teams and their riders have been incredibly supportive and 2017 promises to be an exciting season.
“I’m really grateful to them and to the team here at Cool Motor Racing as well as to Roger Keys and his colleagues at FAB-Racing. I’d also like to thank the riders and their families for all their support and commitment and hope that we can encourage even more young people to get involved next year as that is what Cool FAB Racing is all about.
“We’ve already seen the likes of MotoGP rider Scott Redding, Moto3 World Champion Danny Kent, BSB rider Luke Mossey, 2016 Hel Performance British Motostar Champion Charlie Nesbitt and 2016 National Superstock 1000 Champion Taylor Mackenzie coming through our ranks and we hope to produce more British and world champions in the future.”
If you missed any of the action at Mallory Park you can watch it back on motorsport-radio.com