Silverstone BSB: Garness and Veijer share BTC spoils

| | BSB Support
Picture: BTC

Johnny Garness took the opening 2022 Honda British Talent Cup victory with Kiyano Veijer heading the podium in race two.

Grabbing the holeshot in the opening race of the new season, Garness, the polesitter, capitalised on his strong qualifying and eventually took victory in fine style, beating Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) and his MLav VisionTrack Academy teammate Carter Brown by just less than a second for his third win in the class.

As the 13-year-old led the way, Harrison Crosby and Julian Correa (Microlise Cresswell Racing) battled hard in the opening corners and the ensuing laps. Garness originally broke clear at the front but soon his lead was reeled back in, and Harrison Crosby hit the front on lap five for the first lead change of the race. Meanwhile, back in eighth place, Carter Brown had set the fastest lap as the #74 aimed to get back amongst the leading group. The pack saw the likes of Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing), Rhys Stephenson (Rocket Racing), Ryan Hitchcock (City Lifting by RS Racing) all exchanged positions, whilst Peter Willis (MLav VisionTrack Academy), Matthew Ruisbroeck (Microlise Cresswell Racing/Easterm Garage) and Clayton Edmunds (MJL Racing) were inside the top ten.

Just before half-race distance, Harley McCabe crashed out at Luffield having started from a superb fourth place, ending his race prematurely. There was then a disaster for Harrison Mackay (Wilson Racing/Super Soco) who suffered a dramatic mechanical issue with smoke pouring out, thankfully with no fluids on the circuit.

As the closing stages of the race beckoned, it was Garness who took the lead back and, with a backmarker of Troy Jeffrey (Mortimer Racing/Victoria House Academy) getting between him and the chasing pack as the last lap started, pulled the pin to break away. Having finished fifth in the 2021 Honda British Talent Cup, the rider from Devon took the opening honours of 2022, impressively setting his personal best lap of the race on the final of the 22-lap encounter. Harrison Crosby was second with Carter Brown taking third; Brown set the fastest lap of the race to start race two from pole position, ahead of Crosby and Garness. Veijer, Hitchcock, Stephenson, Correa, Willis, Ruisbroeck and Edmunds completed the top ten, with Ruisbroeck finishing as top rookie.

Sunday’s battle saw Veijer hold on for victory ahead of Crosby, who is the new Cup leader in another thrilling 22-lap encounter. It was a six-way fight for victory, with the Dutch teenager avoiding last lap drama to take a career-first win ahead of Crosby and American Correa, whilst Saturday’s winner Garness crashed out of the battle on the final lap.

Starting from pole, Brown got a good getaway, but it was race one winner Garness who grabbed the holeshot. Veijer also made a bright start and was up into second from sixth on the grid; before taking the lead on lap two ahead of Garness, Correa, Crosby, Brown and Stephenson, with the leading six now a group of their own. On lap six, it was Crosby who took over at the front, with Veijer and Garness swapping places with the Banks Racing rider. At half-race distance, Brown began coming back into the mix, in a similar pattern to the opening contest, with the 2021 runner-up in third place. The top six holding five seconds over the rest of the field, led by Wilson Racing’s Mackay.

In the final five laps, it was anyone’s guess as to who would clinch victory; Veijer, Garness and Correa were the leading three, whilst Brown, Crosby and Stephenson were now keeping a watching brief, all six in contention. With half-a-second covering the group, Garness hit the front on the penultimate lap and attempted to break free as he led onto the final lap. Heading into Becketts, Correa came storming through from fifth to first, but teammate Veijer blasted through on the back straight, with Garness coming into second. However, in the braking area for Brooklands, Garness highsided out of the action, Stephenson doing likewise on the exit and taking out Brown. This left Dutchman Veijer out front ahead of Crosby, whilst across the line, it was Correa who bagged a first podium of the year.

With three of the leading six crashing out of the race in the final three corners, this promoted the second group right up the order. Fourth place went to rookie Edmunds, ahead of Harrison Dessoy (Microlise Cresswell/Easterm Garage), Ruisbrocke, Mackay, McCabe, Willis and Hitchcock all rounding out the top ten. Notably, it was a fine ride for Luca Hopkins (SP125/Barnsdale Leisure), up from last on the grid to 12th. In the Championship standings, Harrison Crosby sports a two-points lead over Veijer, whilst Garness is third, 15 behind.

Picture: BTC