Winner, winner… father and son dominate race championship

Father-and-son race duo Nick and Haydon Smith finished the Bemsee Formula 400 series as champion and runner-up.

Nick, number 151, went into the final round at Brands Hatch, having already won the British Motorcycle Racing Club sub 64 class and leading the more powerful, full-blown Formula 400 category.

The achievement was all the more impressive because it was Nick’s first full season of racing after giving up when Haydon was born.

We have helped sponsor the Hi-Precision Engineering team mates on their Kawasaki ZXR400s.

Nick won the sub 64 class at Snetterton, ahead of the seventh round, with 20 wins and two seconds putting him on an unbeatable 540 points which meant he did not contest the class in the final round.

Ahead of the final Formula 400 round at Brands Hatch, he was also leading the full championship on 434 points, 29 ahead of son Haydon, number 25, with four races to go. Both were out of reach of the third-placed rider.

Nick was on pole for the first race with Haydon third on the grid. Haydon made his way up to second but, pushing hard, lost the bike on the last lap and Nick won.

Nick just had to finish the second race to take the title but notched up another win, ahead of Haydon. Race three saw another win for Nick, beating Haydon by a second.

Haydon finished the season on a winner in race four which was red-flagged after Nick’s engine blew and spat oil on the track.

Over the season, Nick had eight wins, 10 seconds and six thirds in the Formula 400 full championship against Haydon’s nine wins, 10 seconds and two thirds. He finished with 509 points, 39 ahead of Haydon and 142 more than the third-placed rider.

Nick, 48, said it was the first time a rider had won both titles in the same season and a father and son had taken the top two places in the Formula 400 series.

“I didn’t really expect it. It was just my consistency and Haydon falling off. We just went quicker as the season went on. I set the Snetterton sub 64 lap record.

“I just got some confidence back. I think I’m faster now than when I was younger. It’s just experience and having that little bit more thought process.”

But he admits racing against Haydon will be tougher next year.

Haydon, who had won the sub 64 class last year, said: “I wanted the championship this year but lack of consistency and a proper solid season from Dad put a stop to that.

“Although it’s not what I wanted I will take away the positives and come back stronger next year.”

Nick will receive his two trophies at a presentation evening at the National Motorcycle Museum this month.