Four races, three winners: it’s been a memorable opening two rounds as a tight title fight looks set to continue in the East Midlands
Two rounds down, the 2022 Honda British Talent Cup is ready for its third chapter in what is another close battle for supremacy. Just five points cover Kiyano Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing) and Johnny Garness (MLav VisionTrack Academy) in the battle for top spot whilst closing in behind is Oulton Park race winner Harrison Dessoy (Microlise Cresswell Racing/Eastern Garage Racing). Donington Park beckons next, with the National Circuit layout hosting another captivating spectacle.
With three different winners from the opening four races of the 2022 season, it’s close at the front but Dutchman Veijer just has the advantage. Finishing every race inside the top four so far, the 13-year-old returns to the venue where he took his first ever BTC podium last year in second. However, Garness is right behind him and is the only multiple race winner of 2022. With two wins, Garness has already matched his season tally of 2021 and having scored points in the first Hawkers European Talent Cup round of the season at Estoril, he’s looking to add to his 2022 win count at a circuit he won at last year and was on the podium three times. Off the back of a career-first win at Oulton Park, Dessoy has good form and is 19 points behind leader Veijer.
One of the preseason favourites is up next as 2021 BTC runner-up Carter Brown (MLav VisionTrack Academy) holds fourth in the standings; two podiums in 2022 so far, he heads to Donington Park, where he was a front row qualifier in 2021, although it didn’t translate to podiums. Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) completes the top five overall, having led the standings going to Oulton Park, thanks to two second-place finishes at Silverstone. However, a double crash at Oulton Park means he aims to bounce back for Round 3. 14-year-old Matthew Ruisbroeck (Microlise Cresswell Racing), meanwhile, is sixth overall and is the only other rider to have taken a top ten in every race so far besides Kiyano Veijer... but he's away racing in the European Talent Cup, so there's a chance for his rivals to make some gains.
Seventh in the standings is American rider Julian Correa (Microlise Cresswell Racing), who has been a consistent front-runner in the battle for victory in 2022. A crash in Race 1 at Oulton Park dropped him lower in the standings but he’s just nine points away from the top four. Rhys Stephenson (Rocket Racing) has been in strong form at the front of the field too and missed out on victory by just 0.220s in Race 2 at Oulton Park; he’ll be one to watch at Donington Park. He’s one place ahead of Harley McCabe (MLav VisionTrack Academy), who is ninth and was a race leader at Oulton Park, but he’ll be sidelined by injury – as remains Evan Belford (City Lifting by RS Racing). Completing the top ten, Ryan Hitchcock (City Lifting by RS Racing) has finished every race so far in 2022, his consistency being rewarded.
Other names to look out for after featuring inside the top ten throughout the opening two rounds are Lucas Brown (SP125 / Amphibian Scaffolding), who took sixth place at Oulton Park in Race 1, as well as Harrison Mackay (Wilson Racing / Super Soco) Clayton Edmunds (MJL Racing), Bailey Stuart-Campbell (Team 151s/Lextec) and Ollie Walker (SP125). Walker has finished every race so far in 2022 but chases a first top ten of 2022, something the 2021 race winner aims for at Donington Park.
Sullivan Mounsey (Wilson Racing) will also be in action for the first time in 2022 as he returns to the fold. A consistent improver in 2021, he achieved a podium at Silverstone in second and made a memorable comeback the following day – gaining 26 places after a problem forced him to start from the back and he charged through to the top five. What can he do in 2022?
Two enthralling races await the 2022 BTC field, with Race 1 kicking off on Saturday at 13:50 local time (GMT+1) for a 20-lap thriller, whilst Race 2 on Sunday gets underway at 14:05 local time.