Young gun Osborne wins shootout to lift title

Newhaven's Osborne (#198) jostles for position with Hampton  from Seaford
Newhaven's Osborne (#198) jostles for position with Hampton from Seaford

After a quiet winter programme by his own high standards, young Stock Car driver Brandon Osborne, returned from Suffolk with the East Anglian title to add to his collection.

Seventeen year old Osborne from The Bears team in Newhaven had travelled up to Ipswich, along with fellow Arlington regular Phil Hampton from Seaford, both eager to do well for very different reasons.

Brandon Osborne lifts the East Anglian title and trophy

Brandon Osborne lifts the East Anglian title and trophy

Whilst the young Bear was enduring a mixed series of races at the Wimbledon Raceway, Hampton had been working his way back from an injury sustained at Arlington, late last season.

Race one went to plan for both drivers as they were soon in the thick of the action. One by one, they picked off their rivals as they surged towards the leading group. On the final lap, Osborne had reached second position, with Hampton just behind in fourth.

Race two was more testing for the pair. Halfway through the field, Osborne found himself nudged into the safety wall. He managed to fight his way back and on lap 7 he overtook Hampton, who was also struggling.

Osborne secured third place, whilst Hampton did well to cross the line in sixth.

The final was always going to be a torrid affair and so it proved. With plenty of local drivers wishing to claim the regional title, for either of our South Coast drivers to win, they would need a degree of luck.

In a feisty contest, the Sussex drivers were up to the challenge. With five laps remaining, Osborne had fought his way through to third place, Hampton up to fourth. The youngster worked hard to pass into second, but the leader Bobby Pooley, was a quarter of the track ahead and pulling away.

Then came the luck that every driver craves. With just two laps to go, a back marker flew into the wall and lost a wheel. The race was brought to a controlled halt. With the cars now bunched up together, and with a single lap remaining, the restart was always going to be lively.

As the pace car left the track, Osborne snuck inside Pooley on turn one to head the pack. Seeking immediate retribution, Pooley lunged vigorously at the young Bear on turn three, only for him to sail off into the wall himself.

Whilst Osborne held his nerve to take the title, behind him a Battle Royale had broken out with Hampton punching through into an incredible fourth spot.