Brinton vs Belford: the tale of Knockhill!

19 June 2023

Two duels decide the two races in Scotland as Brinton takes a first victory in the Cup

In classic R&G British Talent Cup style, Race 1 at Knockhill was decided at the final corner and on the final lap as Amanuel Brinton (Kovara Projects / RS Racing) and Evan Belford (City Lifting/RS Racing) duelled it out for supremacy in Scotland. Brinton trailed Cup leader Belford throughout the 12-lap restarted race but was able to time his move to perfection to claim a first ever win in the Cup, right back in the mix at the front as he returned to the fold. And at a venue he’s never raced before!

As the race got underway, it was Belford who took the lead with the top four quickly breaking away from the chasing pack, although four soon became three when Rhys Stephenson (Rocket Racing) highsided at the final corner on Lap 3. It allowed Belford, Brinton and Sullivan Mounsey (Wilson Racing / Maddison Media) to scrap it out. On Lap 8, the red flags were shown after a crash for Daniel Goodman (VisionTrack Racing Team).

The race was restarted over a 12-lap distance, but the story was the same when the lights went out again. Belford, Brinton and Mounsey broke away in the opening laps, but the fight for victory turned into Belford against Brinton with Mounsey just behind. Brinton was pushing hard and had a huge moment into Turn 2 on Lap 10 which cost him time, before Belford had his own moments on Lap 12. Brinton used this to close the gap, and he made the race-winning overtake at the final corner on the last lap when he went up the inside of Belford. The pair were separated by just 0.029s at the line with Mounsey securing third place, almost 1.8 seconds down on Brinton.

There was another twist in the title fight too as Harrison Dessoy (Microlise Cresswell Racing / Eastern Garage Racing), who had been in the top three in the standings ahead of the visit to Knockhill, crashed on the opening lap of the restarted race.

There was a fierce fight for fourth as Ryan Frost (Talentum Motorsport By Azure Notions) fended off Julian Correa (Microlise Cresswell Racing) by just a tenth after 12 laps, while Harley McCabe (McCabe Racing) was just another tenth back in seventh place in a hotly contested battle for the top positions. The trio finished around seven seconds down on eventual winner Brinton, but they had a big gap to the riders behind who completed the top ten.

Eighth place went to Scott McPhee (SMP Racing) while Ronnie Harris (Kovara Projects / RS Racing) finished three seconds down on McPhee in ninth. Two riders squabbled over tenth place with Lucas Brown (Amphibian Scaffolding / SP125 Racing) and Alfie Davidson (Banks Racing) battling it out. Brown finished just ahead of Davidson with only 0.016s separating the pair across the line.

After a duel in Race 1, Evan Belford (City Lifting/RS Racing) and Amanuel Brinton (Kovara Projects / RS Racing) once again went toe-to-toe in the second R&G British Talent Cup showdown of the day, and on take two it was Belford who hit back for another 25-point haul as the race was red flagged with a few laps to go. Despite losing the chance for a late attack, Brinton takes another impressive podium in second, with Sullivan Mounsey (Wilson Racing / Maddison Media) taking third and his own second visit to the rostrum on Sunday after pipping Harley McCabe (McCabe Racing).

As the lights went out it was Belford who grabbed the holeshot from Brinton, with Mounsey close in third and McCabe in fourth as the quartet started to break away early. They remained line astern for the first half of the race, but by half distance Belford and Brinton had got the hammer down.

As the duo pulled away, it became a tale of two duels to decide the podium finishers. At the front, Brinton stayed tucked in behind Belford as the laps ticked down, but the fight was hotting up between Mounsey and McCabe as they began trading places.

With only a handful of laps still to go, however, the battle was cut short as the red flags came out – meaning there would be no chance of a late attack for Brinton. Belford took the win after leading the way since the lights went out, with Brinton forced to settle for second.

In the duel for the podium behind it wasn’t as clear cut, but Mounsey took it and another rostrum finish, having been ahead of McCabe in their showdown when the race was stopped.

After another close battle, in Race 2 it was Julian Correa (Microlise Cresswell Racing) who was two tenths ahead of Ryan Frost (Talentum Motorsport By Azure Notions) when the result was declared, with Ollie Walker (VisionTrack Racing Team) taking seventh after just fading off the back of that duel.

Filip Surowiak (FS75 Racing / FAB Racing) was eighth, with Scott McPhee (SMP Racing) and Alexander Rowan (Mortimer Racing Victoria House Academy) completing the top ten.

After another shuffle in Scotland, Belford now has some margin at the top of the standings – but it’s Brinton back on the chase in second. Mounsey is now third after a solid weekend, and McCabe fourth as the two both leapfrog Harrison Dessoy. The number 55 will want to bounce back at Snetterton after following up a crash in Race 1 with another in Race 2, leaving Scotland with nil points. Still, there’s plenty of the season still to go! Who will reign at Round 4? We’ll find out from the 7th to the 9th of July!

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