With two winners in the opening two races, will the unpredictability continue to Cheshire?
After a thrilling start to the 2022 Honda British Talent Cup season, the field will line-up once again this weekend, alongside the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park. Despite not winning a race during the opening round, it’s Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) who leads the charge with two second-place finishes giving him good consistency, whilst race winners Kiyano Veijer (Microlise Cresswell Racing) and Johnny Garness (MLav VisionTrack Academy) complete the top three coming into the undulating Oulton Park round.
After a titanic start to 2022, Crosby’s consistency has him leading the Cup standings by two points over Veijer, who took his first win in the class last time out at Silverstone. Veijer didn’t score points in last year’s Oulton Park round but will hope to keep his consistency going into this year’s event. For Crosby, he was seventh and sixth last year, but he’s already matched his podium tally of 2021 in the opening two races of 2022. Third in the standings, Garness will hope to rebound after a Race 2 crash on the last lap at Silverstone; he won the opening race of the season and took a best of fourth at Oulton Park last year. Are these the three to watch this year?
Next up, names that have come to the fore at the start of this year. Fourth in the Championship is American Julian Correa (Microlise Cresswell Racing), who took a first podium of his career in Race 2 at Silverstone. He’s level on points with Garness ahead of him, but Garness has a win to push him ahead. Fifth is rookie Clayton Edmunds (MJL Racing), who profited in Race 2 with the crashes ahead of him to finish fourth, whilst completing the top six in the standings is Ryan Hitchcock (City Lifting by RS Racing), who has a best result of fourth in the class, first achieved last year at Oulton Park. For Correa and Edmunds, it will be their first time at Oulton Park in the class – but that didn’t stop them at Silverstone.
Seventh in the standings is Dutch youngster Matthew Ruisbroeck (Microlise Cresswell Racing), who made an impressive debut at Silverstone with a double top ten, finishing seventh and tenth. Behind him, one of the preseason favourites: Carter Brown (MLav VisionTrack Academy). The 2021 runner-up got caught up in a final lap accident in Silverstone’s Race 2, resulting in a DNF. However, a podium in Race 1 and a double podium at Oulton Park last year mean he’s a favourite ahead of this weekend.
There’s plenty more to watch out for: Rhys Stephenson (Rocket Racing) was also impressive and fighting for the podium in both races at Silverstone. Ollie Walker (SP125) contrastingly had a tricky opening round and will hope to come back strong, as will Bailey Stuart-Campbell (Team 151s/Lextec), with both showing good potential in the closing stages of 2021 – in which Walker was a winner.
Finally, Evan Belford (City Lifting by RS Racing) will remain sidelined by injury. The number 52 took podiums at the venue last season, but will need to wait a little longer to try and bounce back from a tough start to the season.
Two 14-lap races await the 2022 BTC field at Oulton Park, with Race 1 kicking off on Sunday at 15:00 local time (GMT+1), and Race 2 on Monday getting underway at 14:55 local time.