MATCH REPORT: Mould and Morton win in competitive start to HSBC UK Elite GP Series

After last weekend’s successful start to the Battle of Britain team competition, it was the turn of individual racing on Saturday with the first of the Elite GP Series at the pacy East park circuit.

Following light rain shortly before the elite men’s event, it made for a slippery surface to begin with. Unfortunately, Team GB captain Paul Heard found this out the hard way, with both wheels giving way on a cautious third bend when in a clear lead, leaving a grateful Lewis Osborne to take the win.

Myke Grimes made full use of gate 1 to beat Josh Brooke in heat 2 and there were also opening wins from Matt Smith and Ben Mould, who then capitalised on his second gate one in heat 5 to beat Paul Heard with Myke Grimes in third.

Charlie Rumbold came into the picture with an excellent win over Josh Brooke and Lewis Osborne, but he was then beaten in his next ride by Chris Timms, making light of his lack of training so far this year through injury.

In heat 10, Ben Mould dropped his first points of the afternoon, beaten off the outside by Josh Brooke and Matt Smith, but a further win took him to 14 pts after 4 races, the same as Lewis Osborne after he had beaten Myke Grimes who was now on 13 pts.

After an eventful heat 16, which saw both Scott Milward and then Josh Brooke excluding for moving at the start, it came down to heat 17 when, after Brandon Whetton off gate one also suffering his second exclusion of the afternoon for moving, Ben Mould took his fourth win of the afternoon to take the round one victory. With Lewis Osborne securing second place in the race and the round, it left Myke Grimes needing a final race win to force a run-off for second.

Elite Men round One Winner Ben Mould. Photo by Andy Whitehouse.

But off grid 4 he could not find a way past Charlie Rumbold, who took the win to leave both riders on 16 points and involved a run off for third, which Grimes duly won from the favoured inside grids. Matt Smith took the final prize money place with a run-off win over Dean Hook as they battled it out for 5th.

Race scores

Ben Mould 18, Lewis Osborne 17, Myke Grimes 16, Charlie Rumbold 16, Matt Smith 15, Dean Hook 15, Chris Timms 14, Paul Heard 14, Josh Brooke 13, Steve Harris 12, Scott Milward 11, Adam Bennett 9, Ashley Hill & Josh Hill 7, Brandon Whetton 6, Charlie Barnett 6

Earlier in the day, light rain throughout the elite junior event meant that it paid riders to take a cautious approach, which was soon apparent with one of the main contenders, Pierce Bacon, taking a tumble in heat one, which was won by Fraser Garnett.

The first round of races saw wins for Wednesfield’s Carl Parfitt and Brandon Whetton, who beat Ed Morton in a two rider race, and home rider Jake White, who made an impressive return after time out recovering from a broken arm.

Parfitt and Whetton took further wins, although Brandon had to work hard for his heat 6 win over the lively Fraser Garnett. Ed Morton took an important win in heat 8 from gate 4 and then took full advantage in heat 10 of gate 1 to end Carl Parfitt’s unbeaten run with Fraser Garnett in third.

Brandon Whetton also dropped a point in heat 12 when beaten by Pierce Bacon. A heat 15 win for Carl Parfitt over Brandon Whetton put him on 15pts after 4 races, with Brandon Whetton and Ed Morton a point behind.

Wins for both Brandon and Ed in their final rides, meant Carl needed a first place in the final race to win the round, but Pierce Bacon made the start from gate 1, and with Carl taking second place, it meant a three way tie for first spot and a run off.

Before that, there was another run off for the minor place cash prizes, with Pierce Bacon, getting some reward after his unfortunate start to the meeting, taking the win ahead of Fraser Garnett, who came from the back to take second ahead of Jake White.

The run off for the top places did not disappoint. Off the start Carl Parfitt from gate two and Brandon Whetton from gate three concentrated just too much on each other as they fought their way round the opening two bends, leaving a gap that Ed Morton needed no invitation to take full advantage of. By the time Brandon had shrugged off Carl’s challenge as he slipped on bend three, Ed had too much distance and went on to take a well deserved win.

Elite junior round one winner Ed Morton. Photo by Paul Devine.

All the riders had their moments and Macie Schmidt deserves a special mention for being willing to mix it with the lads whilst also conceding some years to the oldest juniors.

Race Scores

Ed Morton 18, Brandon Whetton 18, Carl Parfitt 18, Pierce Bacon 16, Fraser Garnett 16, Jake White 16, Devon Campbell 14, Haydn Rowley 13, Max Evans 12, Michael Preston 12, Louis Wright 10, Adam Cooper & Josh Whetton 9, Macie Schmidt 8.

It was certainly an enjoyable and competitive start to this new event with the round 2 being held at Swindon on June 10.

GP Points after one round (provisional)

Elite Men

Ben Mould 25
Lewis Osborne 20
Myke Grimes 18
Charlie Rumbold 16
Matt Smith 14
Dean Hook 13
Paul Heard 11.5
Chris Timms 11.5
Josh Brooke 9
Steve Harris 8
Scott Millward 7
Adam Bennett 6
Ashley Hill 3.5
Josh Hill 3.5
Brandon Whetton 1.5
Charlie Barnett 1.5

Elite Junior

Ed Morton 25
Brandon Whetton 20
Carl Parfitt 18
Pierce Bacon 16
Fraser Garnett 14
Jake White 13
Devon Campbell 12
Haydn Rowley 11
Max Evans 8.5
Michael Preston 8.5
Louis Wright 7
Adam Cooper 6
Josh Whetton 4
Macie Schmidt 3