August 20, 2018
Due to the size of the grid the 40 drivers were split into two groups for Qualifying withTommy falling into the Even numbers group. Despite the opportunity to do more than ten laps Tommy needed just five to set a fastest time of 34.34 seconds! Tommy had set both the quickest first and second sector of the session and had not only gone top of his group but also beaten the quickest time set in the Odd numbers group putting him in pole position overall.
The opening heat saw him settle into an early lead despite pressure from big names, BradleyBarrett, Charlie Turner and Gus Lawrence. But as each lap passed Tommy continued to pump in fastest laps and was one of two drivers to lap under 35 seconds. Over 22 laps Tommy was able to build up a lead of 2.93 seconds taking a lights to flag victory.
Heats two and three would produce similar results with Tommy growing his advantage over the rest of the field as each heat had passed. The second heat Tommy stormed off to win by 3.99 seconds and he saved the best until last winning by an astonishing 7.52 seconds in his third and final heat.
Having now faced every driver and beaten them comfortably although Tommy’s confidence couldn’t be any higher going into the final there was also an element of pressure to live up to the high expectations. However, this is not a new situation for Tommy and is something he has had to deal with not only on a National level but also on the World stage at last year’s Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals!
Having led every single lap of every single race Tommy was faced with a new challenge at the start of the Final when he dropped to 4th place after being passed by Morgan Rose, Barrett and Jack Mayle! But Tommy was quickly back passed Mayle and set after chasing down the lead pair who had built up a lead of 0.8 seconds.
Keeping cool it took Tommy just three laps to complete the chase and in two laps he was back in the lead again. But given what was at stake Rose and Barrett were not prepared for a repeat of the heats and went straight back passed Foster on the start of lap seven. In what was turning into a thrilling contest Foster was back into 2nd just two corners later and set back after Rose once again.
Before making his next attempt to retake his lead Tommy assessed his options once again and surprised Rose with his next move on lap ten as he took the lead into turn five. A tricky place to pass but if successful it provides no response and hands the opportunity to build an advantage before hitting the next overtaking spot. Tommy was able to build just enough of a gap over the next lap to take the pressure off himself and from there normal service was resumed as he went on to win by 4.39 seconds!
After the misfortunes Tommy has suffered at points in this years British Championship this is a thoroughly deserved result and there is no one that can argue he was the deserved winner.
Tommy will now be faced with the tough decision of whether to run the ‘E’ or ‘O’ plate, a choice very few have ever had to make in the sport!
Ivan Lomliev – Ivan had a difficult end to his weekend after being involved in a last lap incident in the Final which dripped him from 4th to 9th place. Having qualified 5th for the Final Ivan was defending for 4th on the Final lap before an incident saw him drop down the order losing him valuable championship points.
Luke Watts – Luke put in an impressive performance moving through from 11th on the grid to finish 8th. Involved in a furious battle for 6th Luke had to settle for position come the end of the race and with the championship in mind and season fast approaching decided to settle.
Vinnie Phillips – Vinnie had a solid weekend at GYG qualifying 6th place for the Final before going on to stay in the top ten and finish 9th. With a better start Vinnie could have easily challenged for a podium as he lapped just 0.04 seconds slower than the eventual race winner and was just 0.13 seconds off the fastest lap.
Jodie Fieldhouse – Jodie continued her improvements in the Hel Performance British Motostar Championship which headed to the tricky Cadwell Park for round six of the season. Jodie finished an impressive 10th place in the first race before finished 12th in a tricky second race.