Riding the no.47 KTM RC 390 ‘Cup’ specification machine, the 15-year old has been a consistent title challenger throughout his first year in the KTM-supported series. From the 19 races it took for him to win the championship, Fenton stood on the podium 15 times with eight of those on the top step. To put the icing on the cake, he won the final race of the year after an epic battle with title rival, Jack Nixon.
Nicknamed El Guiri (pronounced L´giddy) which means the foreigner, Fenton is originally from Chelmsford, Essex, but has lived in Spain since he was two-years old. Amazingly, 2017 is only Fenton’s third ever season racing on tarmac circuits and despite winning racing scholarships in Spain, the Seabright family chose the KTM RC Cup to help boost his profile in 2017. With the added pressure of a ‘racing commute’ which has required his entire family to travel from Spain to the UK to each of the eight rounds and 20 races, Fenton’s incredible debut season racing in the UK has seen him manage to maintain his school work along with competing in the PREM OTO4 250CC & IMR PITBIKE 14 0CC championships at home.
Fenton came into the eighth and final round of the championship as title leader with the slimmest advantage over Jack Nixon of just half a point, due to half points awarded at Knockhill for Round 3. With 50 points up for grabs over two races, it was all to play for.
Saturday hosted the first race of two from the weekend and launching off the line, Seabright along with Nixon on the no.14 machine, were separated by less than 0.1s throughout the race on the full-length Brands GP circuit. However, on the penultimate lap, disaster would strike Nixon as he crashed out of the lead unhurt at Clearways, handing the race and title to Seabright. Rounding out the podium was Matthew Bower and Kade Verwey, returning to form after injury.
Almost a carbon copy of the first bout, the final race of the year was a straight fight between Seabright and Nixon but this time going all the way to the flay. The pair laid down an impressive pace to quickly break away from the chasing pack; a dramatic, eight-strong battle for third. With differing lines around the Kent circuit, the two youngsters traded places multiple times each lap but it was Seabright – now riding with the no.1 plate on – who held Nixon off for the win. Matthew Bower finished the year in impressive form with another podium – his fifth of the campaign.
Fenton Seabright said: “It means so much to win this – what a year! My first season racing in the UK and learning all the tracks and the travelling has been full on.
“We joined the Santander Consumer Finance KTM RC Cup as it a high-profile, competitive and fair championship to boost my career. All the bikes are equal and there’s no cheating. The support from KTM is unbelievable and the camaraderie in the KTM village is fantastic; everyone shakes each other hand after a race and supports each other.
“I was disappointed for Jack and for the first race to end like that – it was close to us both coming off. But Jack has been one of the best people to race with this year; he’s a fair rider on track – one of the cleanest racers with passes. He’s fast and confident. I’m disappointed for him but happy for me and we will see each other again on track a lot in the future.”
Simon Roots, KTM UK Marketing, Events & Motorsport manager, said: “What another incredible season of RC Cup racing. The series is as popular as ever and we are clearly seeing the championship used for its purpose – a platform for future talent to improve and demonstrate their skills in a fair, affordable and high-profile way using KTM RC 390 in its Ready to Race ‘Cup’ specification.
“The championship is nothing without the amazing riders, their families and teams that have helped produced arguably the best season of RC Cup racing to date. Congratulations to everyone involved and especially Fenton Seabright on his incredible season.”
There’s no time for some of the riders to celebrate, especially Seabright and Nixon who head straight to the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup try-outs in Almeria tomorrow (Monday) before continuing on to the KTM RC Cup World Final in Jerez, where they’ll be joined by Matthew Bower and Connor Thomson for two races on October 21-22.
Discover more at www.ktmrccup.com
SANTANDER CONSUMER FINANCE KTM RC CUP
Final championship positions after Round 8 of 8
1. Fenton SEABRIGHT 380
2. Jack NIXON 349.5
3. Brian HART 315
4. Matthew BOWER 243
5. Connor THOMSON 165.5
6. Kade VERWEY 157
7. Connor MOODY 141.5
8. Jordan McCORD 137.5
9. Adam DUNN 108
10. Will LATHROPE 107