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Round Seven - Cadwell Park 16-18 August 2019

It's “GAME ON” as Kershaw and Clark home in with Cadwell double

 

It was back to Cadwell for the second time this year for the series, with plenty at stake. Weather conditions were predicted to be very mixed over the weekend and free practice took place on a slightly damp track, with Steve Kershaw/Stuart Clark (Molson/Express Tyres Yamaha) coming within two seconds of Ben and Tom Birchall's lap record.

They were followed by the Santander Salt Honda of championship leaders Todd Ellis/Chaz Richardson, Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (Barnes/Silicone Racing Yamaha) and team-mates John Holden/Lee Cain. Chris Walker and Ashley Hawes grabbed fifth fastest on the final lap with the TAG Racing Yamaha LCR.

Bad rain then set in, determining that qualifying be postponed until early Saturday morning.

Qualifying – Saturday morning was bright, sunny, and above all dry. What a difference a day makes.

The twenty-minute session saw a complete mixture of tyres by the different teams, but it quickly became very clear that slick tyres were the way forward, and those teams who were shod that way leapt rapidly to the front. Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney set the early standard, with team-mates Holden and Cain in close company.

TAG Racing Yamaha's Walker and Hawes were looking good, going third fastest mid-session, but then the Santander Salt/Molson bikes of Ellis/Richardson and Kershaw/Clark raised their game. These two crews finished first and second with almost identical times ahead of Holden, Blackstock and Walker. Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz made row three. Clearly, when the track dried completely, there would be much more to come, as pole time was three seconds off lap-record pace.

Grid – 1/ Ellis/Richardson, 2/ Kershaw/Clark, 3/ Holden/Cain, 4/ Blackstock/Rosney, 5/ Walker/Hawes, 6/ Biggs/Schmitz, 7/ Founds/Lowther, 8/ Cable/Masters, 9/ Peach/Edwards, 10/ Kirk/Smithies

Race One – Dry, blustery conditions were perfect for this twelve-lapper.

Todd Ellis and Chaz Richardson made no mistake from the lights and led the pack into Coppice on lap one, followed by Kershaw and Clark. Slotting into third it was the Silicone/Barnes Racing outfits of Blackstock/Rosney and Holden/Cain. Both these crews are something of Cadwell specialists, having had good results here in recent meetings. Lap two and Kershaw was in front, never to look back. Chris Walker and Ashley Hawes took the TAG Racing Yamaha briefly to fourth, and were looking strong throughout. They came under pressure and eventually succumbed to a hard charge by the JG Speedfit/Quattro Plant Kawasaki of Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood.

Meanwhile at the front, Ellis was desperately trying to hold onto his team-mate Kershaw, but had to pit with a front wheel problem, rejoining one lap down. He and Charlie Richardson were eventually credited with fourteenth place for two precious points. Ben Holland and Lee Watson had also been motoring well early on making up places, and were in the mix with Walker/Hawes and their Quattro Plant team-mates Stevens/Charlwood, until they went missing on lap seven. This, and Ellis's misfortune, elevated everyone up, moving Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz to sixth behind a delighted Walker/Hawes.

On the same lap, Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark set a new lap record, replacing that set one lap earlier by Todd Ellis. He had already surpassed the Ben and Tom Birchall record from 2017 by over half a second.

All the way down the field there were good battles, with the race thoroughly entertaining for crews and spectators alike.

Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde kept the GBR Honda in third place in the standings with a fighting seventh place, but were looking over their shoulders going into the Sunday race at the very rapid Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney.

Kershaw and Clark's victory moved them to within thirty-five points of the title lead, and renewed hope for retaining it.

Race One Result – 1/ Steve Kershaw/Stuart Clark (Molson/Express Tyres Yamaha), 2/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (SBR Yamaha), 3/ John Holden/Lee Cain (SBR Kawasaki), 4/ Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood (JG Speedfit/Quattro Plant Kawasaki, 5/ Chris Walker/Ashley Hawes (TAG Racing Yamaha), 6/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz (Taurus Tools Honda), 7/ Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde (GBR Honda), 8/ Gary Horspole/James Connell (Sleaford Foods/Baker Plant Yamaha), 9/ Dean Nicholls/Kenny Cole (TSR Honda) 10/ Alan Founds/Jake Lowther (Cloud Vapers Yamaha)

Race Two – The tight nature of Cadwell Park dictated there would be no reverse grid system, so race one result determined the line-up.

With title rivals and reigning champions Kershaw and Clark starting from pole, Todd Ellis and Chaz Richardson's misfortune placed them on row seven. Making their way through the pack from that position in ten laps would be a tall order, but that is exactly what they did.

The start was very busy, with the fast crews at the head and all fighting. The Molson Express of Kershaw/Clark made the most of pole and led the race throughout. They were harried for the first half of the race by a mightily impressive SBR Racing's Blackstock and Rosney.

Their team-mates John Holden and Lee Cain had another flyer and were right in touch sitting third. Then it was an ailing Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood. Apart from his engineer John Holland replacing an engine through the night on Friday, Stevens was suffering from flu symptoms, so was somewhat handicapped. Nonetheless, his performance in race two was strong, and he was to claim fourth place with a fast, consistent ride.

Mention must be made of a terrific early race pace of Dean Nicholls and Kenny Cole. On the opening lap they had somehow found a hole through half the pack to sit seventh. They proved to be hard to pass, and gave a good account of themselves until it all went pear- shaped on lap five.

Chris Walker and Ashley Hawes had a three-lap battle with the regular fast starters Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde. Bryan has quietly gone about his business this year and occupies the same creditable place as his championship finish last year. That third slot is now under intense pressure from Blackstock and Rosney.

Walker eventually lost out to a charging Todd Ellis, and then sadly was taken out of the running with a collapsed sidecar wheel. John Holden went out on the same lap, so Ellis's job suddenly got easier.

Individual performances were almost too numerous to mention, but certainly Ben Holland and Lee Watson's progress from the back of the grid to eighth place ahead of Rob Biggs was right up there.

Likewise, Alan Founds and Jake Lowther, riding John Lowther's long bike, was another great showing on unfamiliar kit.

Men of the match however, apart from double victory by Kershaw and Clark, has to be the storming ride through the field by Santander Salt's Ellis and Richardson.

Race Two Results – 1/ Kershaw/Clark, 2/ Ellis/Richardson, 3/ Blackstock/Rosney, 4/ Stevens/Charlwood, 5/ Bryan/Hyde, 6/ Founds/Lowther, 7/ Holland/Watson, 8/ Biggs/Schmitz, 9/ Peach/Edwards, 10/ Cable/Masters.

Standings – Ellis 296, Kershaw 266, Bryan 140, Blackstock 139, Biggs 130, Stevens 124, Holden 108, Walker 101, Gray 98, Peach 79, Birchall 77, Holland 77, Cable 76.

The next round comes from Assen Holland 20-22nd September.

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

 

BSB / British Sidecar Championship Partners


Opening lap
One, Two, Three. Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service, leads Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, Santander Salt and Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing Team Ramsden Racing, on the opening laps

3rd Place Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing
3rd Place Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing

Race winners Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service,
Race winners Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, MMolson & Express Tyre Service

(l to r) 3rd Place Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing Team, winners, Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service and runners up Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, Santander Salt
(l to r) 3rd Place Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing Team, winners, Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service and runners up Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, Santander Salt

Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing Team
Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing Team

Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing Team
Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, SBR - Silicone Engineering/ Barnes Racing Team

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

Race 2 Start
Race 2 Start

Race 2 winners Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service
Race 2 winners Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, Molson & Express Tyre Service

Photos copyright: Impact Images Photography

 

 

 


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