BTC, Knockhill: Belford knocks it out the park to do the double at Round 2
Evan Belford (City Lifting/RS Racing) started his Sunday in style at Knockhill as the number 52 bolted off at the front and only continued to pull away, crossing the line over eight seconds clear of teammate Johnny Garness for his first win of the year. Garness took his first podium of the season in second, just getting ahead of a fight for third that saw Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) pip Cormac Buchanan (Microlise Cresswell Racing) by hundredths.
There was key Cup drama ahead of lights out for two competitors, too. Casey O’Gorman (Microlise Cresswell Racing), the points leader going in after doing the double at Oulton Park, crashed in FP2 and was sidelined for the rest of the weekend. Then, on a Warm Up lap ahead of Race 1, Carter Brown (City Lifting/RS Racing) found himself on the end of bad luck as a technical issue forced him to bail off his machine and out of the race, also leaving him well down the grid for Race 2.
As the lights went out though, Belford got a great start from pole to get the hammer down early and the number 52 was able to pull out some breathing space even by the end of Lap 1. From there, his advantage only increased as he pulled the pin and, by the time he met the chequered flag, the City Lifting/RS Racing rider was over eight seconds clear for his first victory of 2021.
The fight for the other places on the podium went down to the wire, however, with Scotsman Troy Jeffrey (Stiggymotorsport) getting the jump into second place off the line and duelling with Lucas Brown (Amphibian Scaffolding / SP125 Racing) early on. It didn’t take long for Garness to move up into second, however, before Lucas Brown then crashed out from fourth as James Cook (Wilson Racing) tried to get in on the action. The Wilson Racing rider then ran wide and dropped down to seventh, however, taking himself out the podium fight.
That left Garness in second, with Crosby picking his way past Jeffrey into third. Cormac Buchanan (Microlise Cresswell Racing) then swept past both to take over in P3, and the New Zealander was there to stay in the podium fight.
As the last few laps dawned and Garness started to get reeled in, lapped riders in the latter stages left that Garness-Crosby-Buchanan train split by similar gaps, and it was all going down to the final corner.
Garness was ahead and stayed ahead, the number 57’s speed in a straight line guaranteeing him a first podium of the season. Behind, Crosby attacked Buchanan into the hairpin and got ahead, with the two then tucking in for the uphill drag to the line. Over that line, it was mere hundredths but Crosby took it for his first rostrum of 2021.
That left Buchanan in fourth, with Cook taking fifth at the flag as he was able to get the better of the fast-starting Troy Jeffrey. Bailey Stuart-Campbell (Team 151s) took seventh, just a tenth ahead of Ollie Walker (Moto Rapido / SP125 Racing). A little further down the road, Dutchman Kiyano Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing) held off Jamie Lyons (C&M Motors Ltd/Tooltec Racing) to take ninth as the duo completed the top ten.
There were a number of crashers, including Ryan Hitchcock (Wilson Racing) and Sullivan Mounsey (iForce Lloyd & Jones).
Evan Belford (City Lifting/RS Racing) made it double delight at Knockhill as he repeated his Race 1 disappearing act in the afternoon, taking another 25 points to consolidate his lead in the standings. Another close fight for second decided the rest of the podium, with Johnny Garness (City Lifting/RS Racing) taking it by a tenth. Cormac Buchanan (Microlise Cresswell Racing) took third for his first podium in the Honda British Talent Cup, just staying ahead of James Cook (Wilson Racing).
Belford got the holeshot from pole, with Garness soon up into second from the head of the second row. It wasn’t quite the immediate replay of Race 1, however, as Garness was able to make an attack not long after and the number 57 briefly took the lead. It didn’t last though, with Belford gathering it back up and slicing back through to begin pulling away once again.
That left a big squabble behind Belford, with Garness enjoying some close company from Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing), Buchanan and Cook as they fought it out and the number 52 got the hammer down in the lead.
Meanwhile in sixth, Bailey Stuart-Campbell (Team 151s) was holding off an incredible charge from Carter Brown (City Lifting/RS Racing). Down well outside the top 20 on the grid after not making the start of Race 1, the number 74 made up nearly 20 places in the early stages of the race. Stuart-Campbell then headed a little wide as well, allowing Brown to sweep past to try and hunt down Cook down the road in fifth.
After some shuffles through backmarkers and with five to go, it was still a close squabble but the outcome for Crosby was decided early as the Banks Racing rider slid out of the fight, leaving Garness holding off Buchanan and Cook. That fight went all the way to the wire, but the number 57 was again so quick in a straight line and Garness just took it by a tenth, with Buchanan nevertheless taking a first ever podium in third place. Cook, although close, was forced to settle for fourth although one better than his fifth place in Race 1.
Carter Brown came home in fifth after Crosby’s crash out of podium contention, the number 74 gaining an incredible 21 places. Ollie Walker (Moto Rapido / SP125 Racing) made his way through past Stuart-Campbell to take sixth, with Kiyano Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing) taking eighth. The Dutchman won another close duel in Race 2, this time against Ryan Hitchcock (Wilson Racing).
Jamie Lyons (C&M Motors Ltd/Tooltec Racing) completed the top ten a little further down the road.