Published: 06:00, 22 July 2021
Finn Smart-Weeden was joined by his half brother Tom Weeden for the weekend’s bike racing at Brands Hatch - and both picked up a trophy.
Brands hosted round four of the BMCRC championships around the longer and more technical GP circuit.
While year nine QE Grammar School pupil Smart-Weeden was experiencing his first taste of the GP track it was Tom’s first trip around the faster circuit in nine years, the Maidstone road racer taking the opportunity to claim valuable track time while Covid restrictions put a pause on his own racing career.
Finn went into the weekend leading the championship but had to get used to the new track, while those around him in the ACU Team Green Junior Cup class had experience there from last year.
Having qualified eighth, Finn’s Kawasaki Ninja400 developed a clutch problem in the opening lap of the race. But with two attempts at the race red-flagged, the rescheduled third restart later in the day allowed for dad mechancic to get the bike back in track. Finn managed a respectable seventh overall and in class - fighting for fourth place with three others.
A blistering start in race two saw him lead at one stage before eventually passing the chequered flag 0.09 seconds behind the leader. Unfortunately he was awarded a 10 second jump start penalty, which he unsuccessfully disputed, and this pushed him back to seventh overall and sixth in class.
Race three led to him finishing third overall and in class to clinch a trophy. He was running second for part of race four but ended up fifth, 0.2 seconds behind the third place finisher and 0.1 seconds behind fourth. A subsequent dyno check showed Finn's bike 2hp down on normal which explains the reduced speed he was experiencing.
Finn still leads the ACU Team Green Junior Championship by 39 points but may not be able to compete in the final two rounds as they clash with the British Junior Supersport Championship meetings being held alongside British SuperBikes.
Finn said: "I really enjoyed the challenge of the fast, technical GP circuit and would like to thank Tim at Faversham's 'E Street Music School of Rock' for contributing to the costs of this weekend's racing - I've been having guitar lessons at E Street since I was six.”
Tom Weeden, meanwhile, the ManxGP 2016 senior champion, entered in the Team Respro MRO 600 class on his Yamaha R6. He was competing with a stock engine having blown the tuned engine at an ill-fated and short outing at Cadwell Park earlier in the season.
It was a similar weekend for brother Tom. He qualified eighth and in Saturday's first race took fifth. He crossed the line sixth in race two and had to settle for eighth in race three, dropping two places after also having a disputed jump start penalty. Tom gave it all he had in his final race of the day, crossing the finish line half a second behind the winner in third place to ensure he left the Kent circuit with a trophy.