Fenton Seabright is on a roll. After his first win last time out at Donington, the number 22 obliterated the opposition in Race 1 at Snetterton to cross the line a stunning 13 seconds clear of the battle for second, keeping him in Championship contention and sending a serious message to the competition ahead of Race 2. That battle for second saw Cameron Horsman just hold off Championship leader Scott Ogden and gain a few points on his key rival, with the number 4 nevertheless impressing as he stormed through the pack from 19th on the grid after a costly crash in qualifying.
Brian Hart took the holeshot from third, with Seabright slipping down to second and Horsman moving up into the top three from the second row of the grid. Ogden, starting from the back, had already made his way up into tenth on Lap 1 and soon set about slicing even further forward as key Championship rival Horsman suffered a twitch and dropped back to fourth, the two beginning to converge on track.
Back at the front, by at the start of Lap 2, Seabright had struck for the lead and from there the number 22 didn’t look back. Putting the hammer down immediately, he started reeling off the fast laps to pull away and soon had a sizeable gap. By then, Ogden was up to seventh and then sixth as Brian Hart slid out of second just up the road.
Horsman was back in a lonely second place by then, and Ogden had moved through to lead the second group on the chase, gaining 16 places in only a couple of laps. With Seabright seemingly uncatchable, the fight for the podium was heating up as Scott Swann kept Ogden honest despite the number 4’s rapid trajectory through the pack. The two got a little close for comfort on Lap 4 but there was no harm done, and a couple of laps later they’d managed to reel in Horsman, joined by Jack Nixon.
Swann struck quickly but Horsman fought back, and the group remained close until a mistake from Swann on Lap 9 saw him head wide onto the grass, able to stay on but leaving it as a three-way fight for second. By three laps to go Ogden had made his way through into P2 and led the battle, with Horsman then swooping around the outside of Nixon to tag onto the tail of the Championship leader before they headed over the line to start the penultimate lap.
Horsman attacked for second and held it, with Nixon then following him through and Ogden suddenly shuffled back to fourth. The number 23 then pulled the pin and managed to pull out a gap as his key rival remained behind Nixon, but not for long. Back into third and with just over a lap to go, Ogden then set his sights on the number 23 machine ahead of him. Was there enough time?
The gap seemed to come down in inches rather than feet, with Ogden determined not to give up but Horsman putting in an equally impressive final lap to hold it together. Ultimately, the number 4 wasn’t able to quite get back on terms with him, but it was close over the line as Ogden finished just 0.281 off his key rival. Tomorrow, however, he’ll have to do it all again…
Ahead of that squabble, Seabright had already crossed the line to complete his utter demolition of the field, and the number 22 took the win by a staggering margin of over 13 seconds. That pulls him back to within 49 points of the top, with Horsman also gaining on Ogden but only by four points as the number 4 remains an impressive 17 points ahead.
Nixon was forced to settle for fourth but nevertheless impressed, with Swann crossing the line in fifth and ruing that run off whilst in the podium battle, having shown top pace late in the race too. Charlie Farrer took sixth and was able to pull clear of an impressive rookie ride from Torin Collins, who took his best result in seventh. He fended off Jack Hart and Charlie Atkins. Corey Tinker completed the top ten ahead of Harry Leigh, with Edward O’Shea holding off Irishman Rhys Irwin by less than a tenth just behind them. Jamie Davis and Harvey Claridge completed the points.
That’s all from Race 1 and the gap came down once again, but Ogden remains in control of the Cup despite his back of the grid start. Will that change in Race 2? And can anyone catch Seabright? Find out at 10:40 (GMT +1) on Sunday as the BTC race around Snetterton for the second time this weekend.