Dickies Workwear

Rapid Snetterton delivers big-time as impressive Reeves closes in

Rapid Snetterton delivers big-time as impressive Reeves closes in

Tim Reeves lap record was looking threatened by the man himself as he and Greg Cluze (E-Aide Motorsport/Remse Racing Yamaha) blistered round in qualifying to claim pole position. Series leaders Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood were the only crew looking likely, just half a second adrift for second on the grid. When it came to race time however, a wet track made for something of a lottery.

Race One – There are not enough superlatives to describe the demolition job done by Reeves, as from the lights he rocketed into the lead and was never headed. Extensive work done on the air-box, breathing system and fairing clearly solved his earlier power problems and the 2016 R1 Yamaha was a missile. The track dried rapidly, but as each lap unfolded, he and Greg Cluze stretched their margin to twenty-three seconds at the flag, Behind them in the early stages, Ben Holland and Lee Watson (Hannafin Kawasaki) were enjoying a scrap with returning former champions Sean Hegarty/James Neave (Hegarty Racing Suzuki). This came to an end when Holland spun and jettisoned Watson. They re-joined in third just ahead of a rapidly learning Chris Walker/Ashley Hawes (Santander Salt Kawasaki) who in turn headed the 600cc Honda mounted Birchall Brothers. Stevens and Charlwood also had a lap one spin in the difficult conditions from which they never really recovered, claiming just ninth place to retain the title lead. Holland and Watson had damaged their exhaust in their off track excursion with a resultant burn causing acute driver discomfort and a retirement in the closing stages. Walker gleefully grabbed the final podium place with the Birchall boys lifting fourth and the 600 honours. A delighted Matt MacClaurin/Ady Hope brought their Yamaha home in fifth overall, but fourth in class ahead of Gary Bryan/Jamie Wynn (Santander Salt Kawasaki).Chris Walker and Ashley Hawes grabbed an impressive podium finish in the first race

Race Result – 1/Tim Reeves/Greg Cluze, 2/Sean Hegarty/James Neave, 3/Chris Walker/Ashley Hawes, 4/Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall (600 Cup Winners), 5/Matt MacClaurin/Ady Hope (Blue Group AMR Yamaha), 6/Gary Bryan/Jamie Wynn, 7/Rupert Archer/Steve Thomas (Hannafin Kawasaki), 8/Ian Guy/Jed Pilmoor-Brady (L&W Suzuki), 9/Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki), 10/Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (600 Suzuki LCR).

Race Two – Wind speed had increased considerably but conditions were dry for the second race late on Sunday afternoon. Reeves again made a rocket-like start but only narrowly resumed his position at the front. They were chased by a whole gaggle of outfits vying for the precious tarmac at turn one. In the thick of this bunch were Hegarty/Neave, Holland/Watson, Bryan/Wynn, the Birchall Boys, Walker/Hawes and a charging Stevens/Charlwood from row five. Ian Guy and Jed Pilmoor-Brady showed their class by staying very much in touch throughout and were rewarded with a magnificent sixth place (fifth in class). Sean Hegarty had set about chasing the leaders and was looking good in second until a retirement ended his weekend. A dejected Gary Horspole/James Connell took another early bath with their second retirement with fuel issues. Stevens and Charlwood then muscled their way to second spot with all hell breaking loose behind. Ben Holland made up for his race one disappointment by establishing a solid third spot ahead of Gary Bryan. Sadly, Bryan too was to retire with a loose front wheel. A frantic scrap between the Birchalls and Chris Walker/Ashley Hawes ended when an over-excited Ben Birchall spun onto the grass allowing Walker a breathing space. The former BSB star almost did not even start the race as his brake pedal went to the floor on the warm-up lap. Spasmodic brake action therefore hampered what was an impressive ride to fourth place. Reeves margin at the flag was just eight seconds, with another clinical ride bringing him to within three points of the series lead.

A Quest TV audience watched the action on Freeview, and the Motors TV Highlights show will be as per the schedule for Thursday 21st July.

Race Result – 1/Reeves/Cluze, 2/Stevens/Charlwood, 3/Holland/Watson, 4/Walker/Hawes, 5/ Birchall/Birchall, 6/Guy/Pilmoor-Brady, 7/Gray/Christie, 8/Biggs/Ransley, 9/Robinson/Smithies, 10/Cable/Payne.

Standings – Stevens 128, Reeves 125, Walker 111, Holland 99, Bryan 68, Archer 64, MacClaurin 63, Biggs 62, Horspole 46, Holden 40.

600 Cup Standings – Birchall 50, Nicholls 34, Shand 30, Blackstock 18, Sean Reeves 14

Round five on the weekend of 22-24 July, comes from the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire where there are three races and therefore seventy-five points to be won.