Sam Coventry has been crowned the new ‘King of Brands’.
The 20-year-old Waterlooville talent picked up the prestigious title on a dramatic final weekend of MRO Powerbike Championship action at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.
Coventry, who races a BMW S1000rr motorcycle, joins legends such as Barry Sheene, Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, Phil Read and Damon Hill in having his name engraved on the famous AMC trophy.
The South Downs College student, who also finished second overall in the championship, is delighted with his achievements.
He said: ‘We had three rounds of racing at Brands Hatch this year.
‘Whoever accumulates the most points from those meetings wins the ‘King of Brands’ trophy.
‘In the last round it was close between me and another rider – Barry Chapman – but I managed to beat him in the last race and achieve the most points.
‘Winning the trophy is fantastic and it’s a great honour to share it with the legends who have won it in previous years.’
Coventry’s achievement is made all the more remarkable when considering the difficult times he has faced this season.
A broken collarbone at Oulton Park was followed by a gearbox problem at Cadwell Park.
But the speedster still managed 10 podium finishes.
He also enjoyed victory at Snetteron, Norfolk – but narrowly missed out to Peter Baker in the race to become overall MRO Powerbike Champion.
Coventry said: ‘It’s been an up-and-down season.
‘But I am happy with my achievements this year.
‘We’ve had some problems with the bike. At Cadwell I was leading the race before some gearbox trouble, which meant I had to finish in fourth gear, but I still came second!
‘Then, when we raced in Donnington Park, I was in second place.
‘But I had a highside (a sudden and violent rotation of the bike around its long axis) and crashed – so that was bad luck.
‘But I’m also very happy with second place in the championship.
‘It’s a team effort and massive thanks need to go to my mum and dad, Purbrook Garage, Unipart, Continental Tyres, Alan Cook at Road & Racing Performance, and everyone who’s helped me this year.’
Coventry is supported by Continental Tyres, and Graham Matcham, their UK brand manager, said: ‘Sam and the team have demonstrated an absolute determination to succeed throughout, even when the odds were against them.
‘It has been an absolute pleasure working with Sam and the team and their level of professionalism is way beyond expectation.’
Next year Coventry hopes to compete the full British Superbike (BSB) season in National Superstock 1000cc.
Unfortunately, Continental Tyres are unable to support Sam at BSB due to a Pirelli control-tyre rule, so he needs sponsors for 2014.
Any help from local companies would be very welcome.
See the website samcoventry.co.uk for more information or to get in contact with Coventry.