Maiden victories and a Championship-deciding crash mark the season’s end in the Donington damp
Filip Surowiak (FS75 Racing / FAB Racing) took an incredible maiden R&G British Talent Cup win in Race 1, with the Polish rider joined on the podium by Julian Correa (Microlise Cresswell Racing) as the American clinched a hard-fought second ahead of Harley McCabe (McCabe Racing). Evan Belford’s (City Lifting/RS Racing) fourth place was enough to secure him the 2023 British Talent Cup, a testament to his consistent performance throughout the season and after one last dash of drama in the penultimate race of the season.
Race 1 was a testament to the indomitable spirit of the young riders in varying track conditions. As the lights went out, Amanuel Brinton (Kovara Projects/RS Racing) showcased a cracking start, but it was Sullivan Mounsey (Wilson Racing/Maddison Media) who charged through to lead the pack.
The lead changed hands multiple times with Brinton, Mounsey, Harrison Dessoy (Microlise Cresswell Racing/Eastern Garage Racing) and Belford all jostling for every inch fn the track in a leading group. Belford did what he could to maintain a minimum points gap with Mounsey in order to claim the crown.
The battle for positions didn’t just stay at the front. Lucas Brown’s (Amphibian Scaffolding/SP125 Racing) daredevil lunges saw him climb from the back of the grid to third at one point, but a Long Lap penalty and a later crash ended his heroic charge. Meanwhile, Correa was silently climbing up, getting into the mix with the leaders.
On Lap 10, Surowiak went up the inside of Brinton and Mounsey at Melbourne Loop to take the lead for the first time. Brinton bit straight back, braking hard into Goddards to reclaim the lead but the Polish rider held on down the straight and reclaimed the front out of turn 1.
The tension ramped up several notches on Lap 11 when a crash involving Dessoy saw him lose the rear and take Mounsey down with him, thus ending the latter’s championship dreams. Belford, now assured of the title, was not just content to cruise; he was eyeing a podium finish to crown his championship.
It came down to the final lap, where it was Surowiak who skillfully navigated the chaos to take his first victory, adding Poland to the list of nationalities that have triumphed in the British Talent Cup, with Correa and McCabe joining him on the rostrum as Belford was forced to settle for fourth. Still, that saw him crowned R&G British Talent Cup Champion!
Race 2 brought a damp close to the 2023 cup season but it was a spectacular display of skill and endurance as Ronnie Harris (Kovara Projects / RS Racing) captured his maiden podium and victory with a stunning 6.566 second lead. Sullivan Mounsey (Wilson Racing/Maddison Media) took second to round off his season with a podium, with Evan Belford (City Lifting/RS Racing) closing out his Cup-winning season on the rostrum in third.
It was Ryan Frost (Talentum Motorsport by Azure Notions) who looked like he’d got the holeshot but Harrison Dessoy (Microlise Cresswell Racing/Eastern Garage Racing) led out of turn 1 in the end. However, the spotlight quickly shifted to Harris, who took over in front and then pulled away from the pack lap by lap, at one point building up a lead of over 13.6 seconds.
The drama escalated when rain started pouring, adding another layer of complexity to the already intense battle for podium spots. Despite the tough conditions, Belford showcased why he’s the champion by slicing through the pack to put himself in podium contention, along with Mounsey. The pair also began to break away, ahead of Goodman, Amanuel Brinton (Kovara Projects/RS Racing) , Dessoy, Correa and Race 1 winner Filip Surowiak (FS75 Racing / FAB Racing), who were all fighting for their place in the top five.
The ever-changing weather played a significant role, causing riders like Dessoy and Ben Jolliffe (Wilson Racing) to have off-track excursions, fortunately both riders were okay.
Harris’ victory was all but decided by the end of third lap, and Mounsey built up a solid lead over the newly-crowned Belford for a safe second, with the champion rounding out the podium, marking a fitting end to his stellar season.
Off the podium, Daniel Goodman (VisionTrack Racing Team) fought valiantly, finishing fourth from near the back of the grid, Surowiak managed to hold onto fifth, capping off a weekend that saw him tasting that maiden victory in Race 1 with another top finish in Race 2.
That’s a wrap on the 2023 R&G British Talent Cup 2023, with Belford crowned Champion and those who ran him closest, Mounsey and Brinton, locking out the top three. Congratulations to the class of 2023 on an incredible season and best of luck to those taking on new adventures, as well as those returning to the Cup for 2024 as the BTC continues to provide an invaluable opportunity on the Road to MotoGP™!