British F1: Kershaw/Charlwood double secures the Jock Taylor Trophy at Knockhill

British F1: Kershaw/Charlwood double secures the Jock Taylor Trophy at Knockhill

British F1: Kershaw/Charlwood double secures the Jock Taylor Trophy at Knockhill

Knockhill action

Round two at Snetterton now seems a hundred years ago in this strange season. At Knockhill courtesy of a non-BSB round, the action on track showed that the crews were all very much up for it, bringing the true flavour of sidecar racing back to the home of former World Champion the late Jock Taylor. The trophy commemorating the great man was the award up for grabs at this event.

Four practice sessions on Saturday in clear, crisp conditions gave the strong field plenty of track time ahead of the two championship races on Sunday. Early signs were good for the reigning champions Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, who headed the field on the Santander Salt Honda from John Holden and Jake Lowther.

Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie were noticeably quick on their Suzuki LCR, slotting in around fifth fastest. Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz also showed great Knockhill pace, just as they did on previous visits.

Qualifying – The timed session on Sunday took place on cool track conditions undercloudy skies. The track was slightly damp, but t he weather was set fair, so a dry track would make life easier for everyone. Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood were fast on the Santander Salt Quattro Yamaha, putting in consistently quick times.

They were headed home however by team-mates Ellis and Richardson and SBR Racing’s Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney. Those two crews made up the front row. Ricky Stevens/Jonny Allum and the Christie Brothers were two other teams also in the mix at the front, both looking for podiums on the day.

Race One – From the lights the pack streamed off down Duffus Dip, with a great start by Ellis/Richardson carrying them into the early lead chased by Blackstock/Rosney.

Kershaw/Charlwood took three laps to get by and into second place before setting off after the current champion. Lap six and the gap was down to under one second, so the fight was on for the lead. Blackstock still held third with Stevens/Charlwood and Holland/Tom Christie breathing down their necks.

Lap eight and the former champion was in front on home soil. This was the track where Kershaw had a massive crash at the end of the 2015 season, but it holds no fears for him.

Half-distance and Ricky Stevens/Jonny Allum were third, with Sam and Adam Christie up to fourth ahead of John Holden/Jake Lowther and the rapid Suzuki of Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie. Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant came next and looked very much like taking the place from Crawford. Next lap that was the case. Blackstock and Rosney were out on lap ten, so it was a zero score for them.

Into the closing stages, Kershaw never looked like slipping up, and with almost a one second lead, he and Ryan Charlwood took all twenty-five points.

Race Result

1/ Kershaw/Charlwood (Santander Salt/Quattro Yamaha)
2/ Ellis/Richardson (Santander Salt Honda)
3/ Stevens/Charlwood (WPS Racing Kawasaki)
4/ Christie/Christie (CES Yamaha)
5/ Holden/Lowther (SBR Kawasaki)
6/ Philp/Bryant (Roberts Tools Yamaha)
7/ Crawford/Hardie (Suzuki LCR)
8/ Kirk/Smithies (MK Yamaha)
9/ Biggs/Schmitz (LCR Yamaha)
10/ Bell/Sharpe (Marin Motorsport Yamaha).

Race Two – could Todd Ellis turn the tables this time around? Well, all was about to be revealed. Out went the lights and the charge was on with Kershaw/Charlwood getting the verdict on lap one. Ellis/Richardson stayed in touch and was on his case, with Stevens/Allum third.

Their Kawasaki team-mates Ben Holland/Tom Christie had a flyer and sat fourth on lap four. One lap later and John Holden squeezed the SBR Kawasaki past them to claim fourth.

The Christie brothers were attacking, but Holland kept the pressure on to hold the place.

Meanwhile, the gap at the front was next to nothing, as Ellis/Richardson set about catching the leader. Kershaw responded, and had pulled a slight gap at half distance as Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant closed in on Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie for seventh place. With four laps to go, the pair of Santander Salt bikes at the front were formation flying, some ten seconds ahead of Stevens and Holden, the latter rider looking for a much- needed podium.

On the final lap it was incredibly close at the front. All Kershaw needed to do was keep his cool. That he did, giving him double victory and a twenty-point series lead.

Race Result

1/ Kershaw/Charlwood
2/ Ellis/Richardson
3/ Stevens/Allum
4/ Holden/Lowther
5/ Christie/Christie
6/ Crawford/Hardie
7/ Bell/Sharpe
8/ Philp/Bryant
9/ Kirk/Smithies
10/ Lawrie/Hyde

Standings – Kershaw 120, Ellis 100, Christie 74, Stevens 64, Holden 58, Reeves 50, Bell 49, Blackstock 43, Philp 38, Biggs 34, Cable 31, Birchall 30.

The next round comes from Donington Park 2-4th October.

British F1: Kershaw/Charlwood lead the charge to Knockhill 18-20 September

British F1: Kershaw/Charlwood lead the charge to Knockhill 18-20 September

British F1: Kershaw/Charlwood lead the charge to Knockhill 18-20 September

Knockhill

Knockhill hosts round three of the Molson Group British Sidecar Championship as it welcomes the cream of British talent north of the border over the weekend of 18-20 September. The second of our “non-BSB” rounds will give the sidecars star billing in front of what is always an enthusiastic crowd of fans and supporters.

Lauder’s Steve Kershaw and his new passenger Ryan Charlwood have a slender ten-point lead in the standings after a mixed round two at Snetterton in Norfolk last month.

They are pressed hard in the table by their young team-mate in the Santander Salt camp Todd Ellis, who with regular passenger Charlie Richardson on their Gary Bryan prepared Honda CBR600, gave eight times world champion Tim Reeves a terrific fight at Snetterton. These three crews are bound to resume that battle in Fife, with only twenty points splitting the trio, this round being the mid-point of the truncated season.

Tim Reeves and his new French passenger (who will be seeing Knockhill for the very first time) burst into the series in Norfolk with double victory and immediate title contention. Unlike most of the field, they race a German built Adolf RS1 chassis, but with the popular Yamaha R6 power unit.

Whilst most other crews favour the long LCR chassis, Ben and Tom Birchall, who now have the concession and manufacturing rights for LCR, are pioneering and developing a short “TT style” F2 outfit with a very rapid Honda powerplant. Their relationship with Honda goes back many seasons, and it is their favoured choice of engine for the short bike and particularly the road circuits. To that end, the Knockhill track will be a valuable source of feedback and information, whilst giving them a real chance to be in the mix.

The field in Scotland has strength in depth and sees former double champion Ricky Stevens paired up with the experienced Jonny Allum for Kawasaki, whilst sharing his garage with Ben Holland and Jed Pilmoor-Brady. The Southerners sit seventh in the title chase after missing the Cadwell Park opener. Ahead of them is a close race between fourth placed Sam and Adam Christie on the CES Yamaha and Silicone Barnes Racing’s Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and John Holden/Jake Lowther. Both the latter crews have dropped points with one DNF each, so the ever-consistent Christies have reaped the reward.

Then comes Phil Bell partnered by Dunfermline’s Jimmy Connell ahead of Ben and Tom Birchall, with Rob Biggs and Dutch passenger Jeroen Schmitz rounding out the top ten. We will witness a full grid on this spectacular hillside track which always lends itself to terrific sidecar action.

International Sidecar Superprix to round out 2020

International Sidecar Superprix to round out 2020

International Sidecar Superprix to round out 2020

Superprix

Against a difficult and ever-changing backdrop, and a determination not to allow the COVID-19 pandemic to emerge the winner in 2020, a last-minute deal has given a lifeline to a meaningful and exciting International event to round off the season in style.

A concerted effort between the RKB-F1 Motorsport/Santander Salt, MSVR and a major German commercial partner, has resulted in a two-round, four-race International Sidecar Superprix to run in Germany and the UK.

The popular Oschersleben track, always a favourite with the teams, will host the opener over the weekend of 2-4th October, with the climax two weeks later at Brands Hatch October 16-18th.

Named “The Bonovo Cup”, the German leg presents an unavoidable clash with the penultimate Molson Group British round at Donington Park, so for some teams there will be a difficult choice to make. That fact alone, however, will add spice to both series and maybe give less prominent teams a greater crack at the British points.

The finale will be named “The Santander Salt Cup”, and in keeping with our tradition at the Brands Hatch BSB season closer, double points will apply but this time around, only on the FINAL race for both the International Superprix and British series.

Four races each of twenty-five minutes minimum will decide the outcome, with a generous prize fund of 15,000 Euros up for grabs in each leg of the Superprix competition. This is a real incentive for teams to enter and commit to both rounds.

It is therefore anticipated that the very best sidecar crews will support the event, thus giving us sight and sound of world-class sidecar racing in 2020. That is certainly something we thought would not happen this year.

Entry detail for Oschersleben can be found here www.batc.de

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