Brands BSB: Double delight for Garness in BTC

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MLav VisionTrack Academy’s Johnny Garness scored a perfect weekend at Brands Hatch with double victory in the British Talent Cup.

Taking his win tally to six for the season, Garness left the Hatch with a 58 point advantage in the standings after a dramatic weekend of racing.

Saturday kicked off the fifth round of action with an eventful sprint after race one was shortened following a red flag - a first lap crash on the exit of turn two for fast-starting Sullivan Mounsey (Wilson Racing/J&S Racing) after a sudden mechanical problem. The #4 was hit from behind by Harley McCabe (MLav VisionTrack Academy), leading to a multiple rider crash which bright out the red flag. Thankfully, riders involved were okay, although some were taken to the medical centre for further check-ups.

After the stoppage period, race one was reduced from 14 laps to 10 and with a heavily depleted grid, Garness grabbed the holeshot ahead of Mortimer Racing/Victoria House Academy’s Amanuel Brinton. Both pulled away from the battle behind and ran together for the opening few laps before drama struck for Evan Belford (City Lifting by RS Racing). Having already been forced to start from pitlane he soon re-entered the pits with a clear mechanical problem, re-joining again on lap six to get vital track time.

In the battle for third, Banks Racing’s Harrison Crosby was being pushed hard by championship contender Carter Brown (MLav VisionTrack Academy), Matthew Ruisbroek (Microlise Cresswell Racing) and Harrison Dessoy (Microlise Cresswell Racing/Eastern Garage Racing) with plenty of fierce moves being made.

At the front, Garness had broken clear of wildcard Brinton, who was having a strong ride. However, on the penultimate lap, a turn two crash denied him from a safe second. That left Garness to take a dominant victory, his fifth of the season and extend his points lead to 33. Brown looked like he was on for the runner’s up spot, but he was out-dragged to the line by Crosby who ultimately got second. Fourth place went to Ruisbroek whilst Dessoy completed the top five. Harrison Mackay clinched sixth ahead of Ryan Hitchcock, both separated by less than half a tenth with Rhys Stephenson (Rocket Racing), Lucas Brown (SP125/Amphibian Scaffolding) and Kiyano Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing) completing the fastest ten.

Sunday’s race saw Garness make a perfect start as he grabbed the holeshot from pole, ahead of Dessoy and Brinton, with the three riders making a small breakaway on the first lap. It was a bright start from Veijer who was up inside the top four before being passed by Crosby by the end of the first lap. Brinton was into second at turn one on lap two following a mistake by Dessoy. However, out front with a lap of around a second advantage, Garness was looking to repeat his Saturday success.

Whilst Brinton chased after Garness, the battle for third intensified between Crosby and Dessoy, although their constant battling saw them more than two seconds adrift of the top two by the end of lap three. The battle for fifth was equally as enthralling with Ruisbroek, Veijer, Stephenson, Mackay, Lucas Brown, Ryan Hitchcock (City Lifting by RS Racing) and teammate Belford. After his big opening lap crash on Saturday, Mounsey was impressive as he made up 14 places to run 13th while championship contender Brown retired at the end of lap five.

Entering the second half of the race, Garness had built up a lead of over four seconds. The battle for third took a dramatic twist as Ruisbroek got himself in the fight for the rostrum but at the start of lap eight, he launched up the inside of teammate Dessoy at turn two but the two tangled, leaving Dessoy on the ground. After a quick race direction investigation, the incident didn’t result in a penalty, whilst the battle for the final rostrum position was now a group of seven, with Stephenson at the front with three to go.

Further podium drama saw second-placed Brinton repeat his race one tumble and crash out on the penultimate lap, this time at turn four. That promoted Ruisbroek into second and Crosby into third, although Crosby was dropping back rapidly to Belford behind. Going into the final corner on the final lap, Belford made a bold move and got the job done, pushing Crosby back to fourth.

At the front, it was another victory for Garness, his sixth of the year and his first double of 2022. Second place was Ruisbroek who took a second consecutive personal best finish and a first podium of his Honda British Talent Cup career, whilst Belford’s late charge saw him complete the podium. Crosby took fourth whilst Hitchcock rounded out the top five, ahead of Veijer, Lucas Brown, Mackay, Stephenson and Julian Correa (Microlise Creswell Racing), with the American rookie completing the top ten. Mounsey was able to come up to 11th, a fine performance after his crash on Saturday. Garness leads by 58 points overall whilst Veijer’s sixth place puts him just one point behind second-placed Carter Brown in the standings as the pack prepares for its MotoGP appearance in a fortnight’s time.

Picture: BTC
Picture: BTC