Correa, Surowiak and Brown nab victories at Navarra

Correa, Surowiak And Brown Nab Victories At NavarraThe 2024 British Talent Cup campaign kicked off under sunny but cool conditions at the Circuito de Navarra, in the North of Spain, with a bumper triple-header weekend and a total of 75 points available.

After the 2024 Class Photo was taken and testing wrapped up, it was Julian Correa (Microlise Cresswell Racing) who carried his good momentum from last season to the first pole position of the year. He was joined on the front row for Race 1 by Lucas Brown (Sencat Talent Team / Mortimer Racing) and Amanuel Brinton (Kovara Projects / RS Racing), the top rider from the 2023 season returning this year.

Correa took a solid start into turn 1 but Jack Burrows (Burrows Engineering / RK Racing) came out faster to lead the first lap, with Charlie Huntingford (Mototechniks) and Filip Surowiak (Team City Lifting/RS Racing ) jostling to work their way through the grid.

A mistake between Burrows and Josh Bannister (Fibre Tec Honda) saw them fall down the standings, allowing Correa to take the lead into lap 2, with Brown and Surowiak following him close behind and Brinton contesting for a podium position.

A hard-fought battle between Brown and Correa briefly saw the Sencat rider take to the front but Correa used the slipstream down the home straight and recovered the lead into the third lap – a foreshadowing of things to come.

Brinton pressed the leaders hard, overtaking Brown with a sharp inside move, moving into second as the leading pack began to pull away, with Mason Foster (BRP Racing) completing the top five.

A late lap 7 tussle between the front three allowed Brown to jump both Brinton and Correa, the polesitter dropping into third, but Brinton took the slipstream down the straight, overtaking Brown, and allowing Correa to retake the lead and Surowiak to take second.

By lap 9, an 11-second gap had formed behind the top five, Surowiak showing slipstream potential to take the lead from Correa but the Microlise Cresswell Racing rider looked in control, fending off attacks to retain his lead.

Lap 10 brought drama that would determine the outcome of the race; an error by Brinton saw him lose the front and go down, taking Surowiak and Foster with him, leaving Correa and Brown alone at the front and Ryan Frost (Fibre Tec Honda), some 15 seconds adrift, thrust into podium places chased by Clayton Edmunds (City lifting). All riders ok.

From here on in Correa worked to keep Brown at arm’s length to secure his first BTC victory, but the SENCAT Talent Team – Mortimer Racing rider wasn’t going to give in easy, taking a bold lunge up the inside of Correa into the penultimate turn of the final lap but Correa had the straightline speed and slipstream to carry him over the line first, just 0.046 seconds ahead of Brown in second, with Frost rounding out the Race 1 podium.

Correa, Surowiak And Brown Nab Victories At NavarraRACE 2
If at all possible, Race 2 was an even more dramatic affair, with Surowiak getting off the line fastest but Correa able to work the outside lines of turn 2 and 3 and cut inside into turn 4, snatching the lead from the Team City Lifting/RS Racing rider. Brown then edged his way past Surowiak and used the home straight slipstream to contest the lead into lap 2, going P1 out of turn 3.

In an almost repeat of Race 1, Correa, Brown, Brinton, Surowiak and Foster began to work a gap ahead of Frost.

With Lucas Brown in the lead, the front three began to break away, Brinton clearing the line into lap 4 over half a second faster than Surowiak, who was working hard to claw himself back into podium contention.

A crash at the final corner of lap 4 brought out the red flags. Josh Bannister suffered a highside just ahead of Samuel Munson (Wilson Racing) who had nowhere to go also going down, safely avoided by the trailing pack. All riders okay.

Once the track had been cleared, the riders lined back up on the grid for a reduced 8-lap Race 2, with Brown leading Correa and Brinton on the front row, and Surowiak and Foster on row 2, joined by Edmunds who was some 5 seconds adrift when the red flags came out.

Surowiak took a great launch from the line to take the lead, chased closely by Brown through turns 3 and 4, and Correa dropping down to 4th. Surowiak tried to pull the pin and break away, building a 0.3 second lead over Brown into the second lap. Brown, Correa and Brinton tightened up in the competition for the podium, exchanging places throughout the second lap.

Brinton took advantage of the slipstream to take the lead into lap 3 and Correa came flying up the outside through turns 1 and 2, demoting Surowiak to third.

By the halfway stage of the restarted race, Correa was back in the lead, setting up a familiar front battle with Brinton, Surowiak, Brown, and Foster.

Surowiak did a stellar job of snatching the lead, which he maintained for a solid two laps before Correa, in excellent form, cut up the inside heading into lap 7, and Brinton also siezing the opportunity to take a lunge for second.

Into the final lap of the race and Brinton piled the pressure on Correa, culminating in a brave overtake for the front. But the lead wasn’t to last for long as Correa took the inside line out of the final turn leading to a drag race to the line – Surowiak then able to dive past the pair to win by just 0.077 of a second. Correa took second and Brinton bounced back from Race 1 woes to stand on the third step. Brown and Foster rounded out the Race 2 top five.

Correa, Surowiak And Brown Nab Victories At NavarraRACE 3
The third and final race of the triple-header weekend was a far quieter affair but the racing at the sharp end was as tight and engaging as ever. Surowiak got a solid start to lead out of the first corner. Correa got outdragged by Brown whilst Frost launched himself from the third row into the fight at the front.

Through the final turn of the first lap Correa took a lunge up the inside of Brown but the Sencat Talent Team rider was having none of it and brushed him off before taking off down the straight after Surowiak.

An exchange of positions between Brown and Surowiak allowed Correa and Brinton to advance into the thick of the front four fight, with Correa eventually overtaking both Brown and Surowiak to lead.

Further back, some 4 seconds behind the lead group, Edmunds, Frost and Ollie Walker (Fibre Tec Honda) were rubbing shoulders, hoping to secure the final top 10 spots of the weekend.

Lucas Brown with the slipstream on the back straight of lap 7 overtook Correa with a late braking maneuver, taking the lead which he held until the home straight where Correa, once again, showed the straight line speed of his Honda engine.

But disaster struck for the American, a third podium was not going to be for Julian Correa as a technical problem with his bike brought an end to the race on the ninth lap, leaving Brown, Brinton and Surowiak to power down the straight without him, and the melee further back between Frost and Walker suddenly becoming a top 5 fight.

Brown saw this as an opportunity to pull the pin and try to make a break out at the front, but Brinton, who had one of the fastest single lap times of the weekend, was determined to take it down to the wire.

Down the straight into the penultimate lap, Brinton showed his straight-line speed, taking Surowiak and Foster with him in his wake, relegating Brown to the back of the lead group. Surowiak took the lead through the first two corners and Brown did a brilliant job of creeping up the inside of both Foster and Brinton. By turn 7, Brown regained the lead, but all four riders, clear from the rest, proved they were contenders for the top step.

The drag down the straight into the final lap saw Surowiak head into turn 1 first, going on to run wide at turn 6 allowing Brown to shoot through the inside to re-take the lead.

Brinton, meanwhile, had a plan of his own as he picked off Surowiak to go up into second out of the back straight and waited until the final corner to pounce on Brown but ran it deep allowing the Sencat Talent Team rider to recover his position for a thrilling four-rider sprint down to the finish line. Brown clinched the victory from Brinton by just 0.08 of a second and Foster snatched P3 from Surowiak on his BTC debut weekend.

After this victory, Brown leads the championship standings, 13 points ahead of a likely frustrated Correa. Surowiak is third, trailing by 20 points, with Frost in fourth and Brinton rounding out the top five, the pre-season favourite now 22 points behind.

The R&G British Talent Cup will return on May 19th for its first of two visits to Donington Park, promising more thrilling, down-to-the-wire racing on the Road to MotoGP™!

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