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Champions Kershaw and Clark aiming for strong Brands finale

 

The final round of the 2018 British Sidecar Championship chase arrives at Brands Hatch with a record entry seeing the season out. Such was the interest from the sidecar racing fraternity in this round, that it is likely that qualifying will be needed to whittle the numbers down to a manageable grid size.

The title is safely in the pockets of Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, but the fight for second and third is very much alive and far from decided.

Keen to put on a good show following a double retirement at the previous Assen round, the Santander Salt 1000cc Kawasaki duo will be aiming for two victories in Kent, to finish their season on a high.

However, with double points on offer, the three crews behind them will be hell-bent on maximising the weekend.

Team-mates to the new champions, Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson sit second, thirty-three points ahead of Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde on the GBR Kawasaki, with former champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) a further thirty-one points back. In the 600cc Cup class, Ellis and Richardson are almost home and dry, but once again, Stevens and Charlwood could mathematically spoil their celebrations.

This final round in what has been an eventful season has attracted wild-cards from the World Championship, as well as 2017 World Champions Ben and Tom Birchall.

At the time of going to press, the Mitchells of Mansfield pairing were awaiting the final race of their world title defence in Germany this weekend, and could well be celebrating another world title by the time they get to Brands.

Whilst Birchall cannot influence the situation at the top of the table in Kent, he will be wanting to prove a point, and has already shown a clean pair of heels to the entire entry, on one of the fastest tracks in the country, with victory at Thruxton.

Occupying fifth place in the table, after an extremely successful and consistent season, sit Gary Horspole and James Connell. The Sleaford Quality Foods/Baker Plant Hire Kawasaki has performed well all year, and it will take a major upset for them to be shaken from their fifth place step. Up-ended in Holland, they will be looking to stay on three wheels here and collect as many points as possible to mitigate that possibility.

In the final two races before the championship moves entirely to 600cc power, you can expect to see the superior speed of the big engines down Pilgrim's Drop, and along the start straight.

The sight of thirty sidecars plunging down Paddock Hill will truly be a sight to behold, with many brave moves attempted on the climb up to Druids.

Whatever the outcome, with one race on Saturday, and the second in front of a packed house on Sunday with live Eurosport coverage, the 2018 season will end on a high.

With new rules and a fresh look for 2019, the British Sidecar Championship has never been stronger, and all eyes are already on the new season next year.

Meanwhile, there are still matters outstanding, and they will be resolved in Kent. See you there!!!

 

Media Matters - Barry Nutley - barry.nutley@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

BSB / British Sidecar Championship Partners

Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clarke


Andy Peach and Ken Edwards


Martin Kirk and Shelley Smithies


Phil Bell and Stuart Ramsay

 

 

Photos copyright: Impact Images Photography

 

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