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Victorious Santander Salt team returns for 2019

 

Barely have the engines fallen silent from a highly successful 2018 season, before plans are revved up again for a brand new year of competition.

The Santander Salt line-up is unchanged, and boasts a brace of champion crews in the sidecar ranks. Outright Champions Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark return to defend their title, but this time with 600cc power in line with the new regulations, whilst Cup Champions Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, already well versed with smaller capacity power, are relishing doing battle on a level playing field.

Steve Kershaw came to the series and the F1 class some seasons ago after cutting his teeth on an F2 outfit.

He and then passenger Rob Wilson earned the respect of the paddock with their smooth style and obvious potential with a long LCR outfit. Sadly, a huge crash in 2015 at Knockhill resulted in Rob suffering life-changing injuries, whilst Steve himself was extremely lucky to make a full recovery.

After sitting out the 2016 season, the man from Lauder joined forces with fellow Scot and highly experienced passenger Stuart Clark. The pair gelled instantly, and ended the season in runner-up spot, with no fewer than fifteen visits to the podium.

Beaten only by Tim and Tristan Reeves in the title chase, Steve and Stuart knew what they had to do the following year sweeping all before them, taking seventeen victories on their way.

Todd Ellis, at just twenty-two years of age, is the bright new face of top-class sidecar racing. He joined the 2017 season as a rookie, having had a flirtation as a novice in solo racing. Step-son of former F2 Champion and TT exponent Gary Bryan, Todd was steeped in sidecar racing from an early age, so the transition was perhaps inevitable. What was a complete shock to the paddock however, was the speed in which Todd came to terms with three wheels.

Partnered with vastly experienced Charlie Richardson, Todd emerged 600cc Cup Champion with five victories, after missing the opening two rounds in his rookie year. He and Chaz beat Ben and Tom Birchall by a slender two-point margin, taking full advantage of the Birchall brothers absence on World Championship duty.

Todd and Chaz then followed this up with a dominant 2018 in the final year of the 600 class, whilst following their Santander Salt team-mates home to second place in the main title chase. Both crews will embark on a full championship season, with Kershaw/Clark defending their title, and Ellis Richardson attempting to claim the big prize itself.

600cc engines across the board will mean not just a level playing field here in the UK, but also the opportunity to contest selected FIM World rounds if they fit the calender. In a new venture for 2018, Roger Body, principle of the Santander Salt Team, embraced a solo class under his wing, and a new talent in the shape of seventeen year-old Jack Nixon. Son of Brian Nixon a former sidecar racer, brother to 600 Supersport rider Ryan Nixon, nephew to former World Sidecar Champion Darren Dixon, and cousin to British Superbike star Jake Dixon, Jack has motorcycle racing in his DNA, with no shortage of coaching and advice on-hand. His previous experience in the KTM RC Cup in which he finished runner-up in 2017 with three race victories, stood him in good stead when he progressed to the Hel Performance British Motostar Championship for 2018.

His talent had not gone unnoticed, as he was also selected for the British Talent Cup, running top eight at most rounds. He will again contest the GP class in the domestic series, whilst taking any other opportunities which might come his way courtesy of the “Dorna school of young riders”. With an interest in both sides of the paddock, the profile of the Santander Salt team has never been higher, and big things are expected for the new season ahead.

 

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

 

BSB / British Sidecar Championship Partners


Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service  celebrate on the podium
Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service celebrate on the podium


Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service
Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service


Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, Santander Salt
Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, Santander Salt


Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service
Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service

 

 

Photos copyright: Impact Images Photography

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