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Repeat after me

15.05.15 1713 (640x427) Cooper does the double and takes 'ten too.

The second of Phil Cooper’s final victories was altogether more straightforward; an untroubled bungee-to-flag victory that belies the ultra-competitive nature of the class.
The class seemingly continues to get a little tougher each year: the entry list may not be huge at each event – certainly nowhere near class eight levels – but the closeness of the racing is often no less exciting. Despite Cooper’s win, it’s Andy Hornshaw who leads the class going into round two thanks to an unbeaten run in the heats and a third in the final.
Cooper said at the start of last season that he wanted to prove the effectiveness of a car-engined special against the ‘bike engines and win the class, and though he took the nationals win the BAS class victory eluded him. He is one of the favourites, naturally, for the class nine title and on no grounds could you discount him here again either.
Despite every single finalist being a proven race winner – there were a couple who didn’t make the cut, too – Cooper made the win look easy, slowly pulling away over the course of the race from Lee Seagreaves with whom he was tied on points after qualifying.
Any chance that Seagreaves may have been able to get to close up on the leader ended when he understeered wide in the pits bend on the second lap, but his position was sufficiently comfortable to be untroubled by those behind, and he took the runner-up spot behind Cooper.
It was a battle between Hornshaw and second qualifier Liam Evans behind that had allowed Seagreaves a little breathing space, which was resolved in Hornshaw’s favour, but Evans too was unthreatened in fourth position..
Chris Ellis was in a fairly distant fifth at first as Lance Bowen and Neil Rawlinson fought at the tail end, but Bowen quickly gave the Scunthorpe driver a dusting and with one of his characteristically spirited drives in a clear midfield, he was able to catch and pass Ellis for position. 
Rawlinson was too far adrift to then challenge Ellis so took points for seventh, making him the last runner on track as eighth qualifier John Whitehouse was a non-starter: a shame as the CGTRO veteran has been rapid in the pre-season and is always a competitive proposition.

We predicted in the run up to round one that Kelly Bishop would be the one to beat, and even though she wasn’t top qualifier due to a non-finish in heat two, her wins elsewhere still prove our point.
As it was in the men’s final, the margin of victory was a comfortable one. Heidi Deeley was her closest challenger in the early stages but she fell down the order, with Libby Cornwell – the winner in heat two – eventually promoting herself to the runner-up spot. Kelly Holroyd continues to get to grips with the new car and was rewarded with a good third place, with Deeley at the tail end having suffered a few spins. Kelly Wetherick was also rapid and had been at the front of the field at one point, but was ultimately a non-finisher.

Main: Cooper made the win look effortless in a very difficult class. Above: Bishop was unsurprisingly the winner against a good ladies field