Cooper vs. Evans

06.10.14 1539 (640x381) A brief fight and a penalty decides the order in class ten.

If Phil Cooper’s run to the class eight seemed fairly straightforward in the end, then his victory in class ten was altogether more difficult, and ultimately short-lived.
Lance Bowen came into the final round with very little to do to secure the title, and his was a strong run to second place after the heats behind Andy Hornshaw. Bowen is an incredibly worthy recipient of a first title, and the fact he was only seventh in the final didn't matter as by that point he had already taken the title, so it was the subsequent positions that were being fought for.
He was slow away in the final, leaving the rest of the field to fight amongst themselves. Paul Coles made a sensational start but carried too much speed into turn one and ran wide, with Lee Seagreaves doing likewise a little further back.
Liam Evans was tucked in tight to the cones with Hornshaw and Cooper equidistant behind, and the trio were able to get past Coles in the first two corners. As they went into turn one for the second time Hornshaw drifted fractionally wide, but that was all Cooper needed to execute a deft manoeuvre and promote himself to second, then immediately put himself inches from the rear of Evans.
The race immediately had potential to be a thriller, but the battle for the lead only lasted a lap. As Hornshaw had done, Evans slid a little wide in turn one which gave Cooper a chance to look up the inside; then, as Evans came back across on to the racing line he got tangled up with Cooper, his rear wheel running next to his rival’s sidebar. The pair went up the back straight leaning on each other, fighting for the same line, and when Cooper braked for the pits bend Evans rode over his rival’s front wheel and went wide which allowed Cooper through into the lead.
Evans recovered well from his briefly airborne moment and fought back immediately, attacking the back of the Cooper machine as they exited the pits bend, but his efforts were in vain as Cooper slowly extended his lead over the remaining distance. In the closing stages it was communicated that the leader had received a green flag for the incident which subsequently handed the win back to Evans after the chequer. Seagreaves had been given a gap by Hornshaw after the incident at the front and he moved through into third, but was unable to catch up to Evans as the laps counted down. His third place then became second at Cooper’s expense.
Hornshaw was fourth behind Cooper, but despite having preceded this with the strongest run through qualifying he couldn’t stop Evans from taking second place off him in the championship, as the latter took his best score of the year so gained an extra advantage with the doubled score.
Neil Rawlinson got caught up in the first corner traffic and held sixth at first behind Coles, but by the end the positions were reversed. Coles had been third in the standings going into the final round ahead of Evans but dropped to fourth overall – equal on points with Cooper – after Evans’s promotion.
Paul Fackrell was another to get squeezed out in the first corner melee, and he circulated at the tail end before retiring at mid-distance.

Sue Herdman already had the title secured before this weekend, but had another easy run to a trio of victories.
Herdman and Charlene Hankey were the only two entrants and both non-started the first heat, but the former’s 165 point tally increased her winning margin in the overall ladies title and she added this to the class victory.
After consistently low numbers in class ten again this year hopefully there may be a few more regular entrants in 2015; this was Herdman’s last season in the ten before moving to class seven next year - an exciting prospect for arguably the most exciting ladies class.

Main: It was a brief battle between Phil Cooper and Liam Evans that resulted in a green flag for the former. Above: Sue Herdman has had an easy run this year and will move to class seven for 2015 (Photos: Dan Moffatt/Sam Barrett).