FIM Sidecars: Wet Estoril tests the best as Schlosser/Fries hold their nerve

FIM Sidecars: Wet Estoril tests the best as Schlosser/Fries hold their nerve

FIM Sidecars: Wet Estoril tests the best as Schlosser/Fries hold their nerve

Team Schlosser

The final weekend of October might not be the best time of year to stage the final round in a World Championship but the climate in Portugal on arrival favoured exactly that scenario.

Whilst not sunny, the temperature was warm and humid, with thundery showers forecast all weekend. Three races on the programme, with double points allocated to the final two, ensured a good attendance by the main championship regulars and those teams not in the running, but keen to finish the season on a high. The bad weather certainly arrived with a vengeance and made for a very interesting weekend.

The consistently high standard set by Swiss duo Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha LCR) meant they arrived in Portugal with a fifty-five-point advantage over the Santander Salt crew of Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. Six times IDM German series winner Schlosser had a top three in the world standings previously, and now felt his time had arrived.

With one hundred and twenty-five points available in this final weekend, there was still a real chance for the rookie youngsters to become champions. Realistically though, Schlosser has shown he makes few mistakes, and is normally mechanically sound. Nonetheless, the series was still wide open going into the three races. Ellis/Clement needed to have the weekend of their young lives, whilst others were hoping the top two crews would hit problems. An even bigger challenge stood ahead of third placed Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas with a one hundred-and three-point deficit.

They have been just off three front all season but have enjoyed a good year together. Next up and with all hope gone for the title barring a miracle came Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau, just two points ahead of fifth placed Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood.

Qualifying
All hope of a dry session went out the window mid-afternoon when severe rain set in. The general forecast was for a wet weekend, and this was just the beginning. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau banged in an early time which established provisional pole, whilst Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement gave chase. Earlier in free practice they had spun and rolled the outfit fortunately without injury.

Unbelievably they were to suffer another spin in this opening session, ending up in the gravel. They had however set a time good enough for second quickest before the incident. The Birchall Brothers were next up, unable in the conditions to profit from the Haith Honda’s superior corner speed. Then came Paivarinta/de Haas, with Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes in strong contention ahead of Benny Streuer. The championship leaders Schlosser/Fries could manage no more than eighth fastest, with one more session to come.

It was unlikely times would improve as the weather worsened for the final qualifier, but despite that, in semi-dark conditions, crews turned out to see what could be done. Todd Ellis was fastest ahead of Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes, with Tim Reeves resting on his laurels to stay pole. He would share the front row with Ellis Clement. Schlosser meanwhile could not improve on his earlier time but sat sixth in this session.

Race One
Eighteen laps in damp conditions gave the teams a massive dilemma. With no championship to fight for, Ben and Tom Birchall had nothing to lose, so opted to go out on cut slicks. Those fighting for the title selected full wet tyres and that decision was to play a massive part in the outcome.

Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement took the lead from pole sitters Reeves/Rousseau on the opening lap and looked to be heading for glory. Tim Reeves had other ideas and fought back to resume control. Those teams who had intermediate tyres ran strongly as the race unfolded, and the two leaders were under pressure from lap five. The Birchall Brothers were coming fast as the track came to them and their tyre choice. Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes were up to third after fighting with Paivarinta and Benny Streuer.

Paul Leglise moved to an incredible third place on intermediate tyres displacing Ellis. Then dramatically, series leader Schlosser pitted to change tyres, one of which was an ancient Yokohama. He was eventually to finish thirteenth for three points. Meanwhile, the Birchalls had opened a huge lead of over forty seconds. Streuer was in second place with Reeves third and Ellis down to fourth. Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe had a great ride moving through the pack to get their Birchall Racing Yamaha into fifth.

With fifteen laps completed, Reeves stopped and Paul Leglise, one of the French crews had an incident which caused a red flag. Ellis scored sixteen points for third, thereby pegging back thirteen points on the series leader.

Result Race One
1/ Ben/Tom Birchall (Haith Honda)
2/ Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme (Bonovo Action Yamaha)
3/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
4/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas (Team 44 Racing)
5/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe (Birchall Racing Yamaha)
6/ Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes (Adolf RS Yamaha)
7/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (Gustoil Yamaha)
8/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Kershaw Yamaha).

Race Two
Track conditions were saturated ahead of eighteen laps, as Reeves and Rousseau repeated their flying start to lead the pack. Ellis/Clement slotted into second and looked to be holding a strong position. This was a real lottery, but it was a masterful wet weather display by the former multiple champion Reeves.

His earlier breakdown went to the back of his mind as he led lap after lap on standing water. Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes were a brilliant second on lap five and closing down the leaders. By this time, Todd Ellis had dropped to sixth after two spinning moments, putting them at a disadvantage given the double points. This scenario gave Schlosser an unassailable title lead if Ellis could not improve. To say conditions were shocking was a massive understatement, and still the bad weather intensified. The Championship leaders Schlosser/Fries were fifth, but moving up, as indeed were Kershaw/Charlwood. Ben and Tom Birchall were unable to repeat their feat of earlier and were obviously not happy in the wet. Ellis recovered one place to follow Schlosser, but another moment put him behind Paivarinta and out of championship contention.

Schlosser kept his cool and stayed safely around fifth, moving to fourth and eventually third when leader Reeves once again retired with a mechanical problem.

At the front, Kershaw and Payne had a terrific closing lap battle, with the Manxmen getting the verdict. It was a brilliant display of wet weather racing from both crews and a justly deserved result. With one more race on Sunday, Schlosser/Fries were declared 2021 FIM Sidecar World Champions with their fine third place and thirty-two precious points.

Result Race Two
1/ Payne/Wilkes
2/ Kershaw/Charlwood
3/ Schlosser/Fries
4/ Paivarinta/de Haas
5/ Ellis/Clement
6/ Wyssen/Hofer
7/ Streuer/Remme
8/ Biggs/Schmitz.

Race Three
With luck, this third and final race would get underway in drier conditions, but rain was in the air as the teams lined up. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau needed a finish this time out, to make their long trip to Portugal worth the effort. They were justified in feeling robbed by two late DNF’s, so were keen to make amends from pole position. Once again they hit the front and made the most of the early laps when the track was still quite wet. Most had chosen wet tyres but there was no rain falling. Ellis sat second with Kershaw passing Paivarinta to move third.

The Birchall brothers were sixth in the early stages but gained momentum to move ahead of Kershaw in pursuit of Ellis. Payne/Wilkes were also in the mix, but were to go out on lap nine, as the newly crowned champions consolidated fourth by passing Kershaw. Lap fourteen and Birchall was past Ellis/Clement, with the Haith Honda coming into its own on a drying track.

They had eyes for the leaders, but Reeves/Rousseau were still fifteen seconds up the road. With three laps remaining, the Birchall Brothers were lapping fastest, but was there enough time? Penultimate lap and they were close, but Reeves/Rousseau had everything crossed, and it worked. Ellis’s rear tyre had all but fallen apart, whilst Reeves had found the wet strips to conserve his Michelin rear.

Kershaw held off Paivarinta by a couple of seconds, but the Finn had more up his sleeve and pegged Kershaw back on the final tour. The five times World Champion is a self- confessed veteran and was delighted with his finish given the strength of the new young talent coming through. He and Ilse were to claim third in the standings behind Ellis/Clement and the popular
Swiss first-time champions Schlosser and Fries.

Result Race Three
1/ Reeves/Rousseau
2/ Birchall/Birchall
3/ Schlosser/Fries
4/ Ellis/Clement
5/ Paivarinta/de Haas
6/ Kershaw/Charlwood
7/ Streuer/ Remme
8/ Currie/Sharpe

Championship Podium
1/ Schlosser/Fries (Champions)
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Paivarinta/de Haas.

Final standings will be available shortly after publishing on the FIM website.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: Three races and huge points at Estoril Finale

FIM Sidecars: Three races and huge points at Estoril Finale

FIM Sidecars: Three races and huge points at Estoril Finale

Race action

Following the unfortunate late cancellation of the British round at Brands Hatch last weekend, urgent negotiations between RKB-F1 Motorsport, the FIM and the Estoril promoter have resulted in one additional race being added to the schedule. All parties recognised the impact of removing potential points scoring opportunities from the schedule and were keen to address that situation if possible. The extra race will therefore go some way towards making up that deficit.

It was always intended the final two races in Portugal, just as with the British series, would carry double points. That rule will still be applied, but the additional extra race scheduled for Saturday will be worth the standard twenty-five points for victory, with the normal points allocation applied for all other finishing positions. The final two races however will offer a real chance for the teams to make up lost ground, with one hundred points on the table for double victory.

Equally, the chance is there for the series leaders to finish of their season in style. RKB-F1 Motorsport and Santander Salt wish to extend thanks and appreciation to the teams who have supported this difficult season, and the FIM and race circuit organisers who have made the races possible.

All eyes are now on Portugal over the final weekend of October for a finale which promises much in bringing the season to a close.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: All roads lead to Estoril and double points 29-31 October

FIM Sidecars: All roads lead to Estoril and double points 29-31 October

FIM Sidecars: All roads lead to Estoril and double points 29-31 October

Reeves/Rousseau and Schlosser/Fries

The Circuito do Estoril, located about nine kilometres outside the Portuguese Capital Lisbon is home to the final round of the 2021 Championship.

A moderate climate at this late stage of the year, and double points on offer for both races, make it an attractive proposition for a host of crews to make the trip. At the time of going to press, no fewer than eight nations will be represented from eighteen teams.

The late cancellation of the UK Brands Hatch round means that there is an even greater sense of urgency for those teams at the top of the standings. Mathematically it is now a two-horse race, with Swiss duo Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha) leading Britain’s Todd Ellis with his French passenger Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) by fifty-five points. The youngsters have enjoyed a brilliant debut season together, showing a remarkable level of maturity and consistency. With one hundred points up for grabs, it adds huge drama to this final round of the “new-look” series.

Old war-horse Pekka Pavairinta with Ilse de Haas alongside sits third, eleven points in front Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha). These crews have twelve world titles between them, so the achievements of the two leaders are even more remarkable.

Pavairinta de Hass

Next up is another debutant crew in the shape of Scot Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood. This privateer team has quietly got on with the job, collecting podiums and victory along the way.

There is strength in depth all the way down the field with close racing between similarly matched teams, so we can expect great entertainment in the two championship races.

As we emerge from the dark period of Covid-19 restrictions, and life begins to return to something like normal, it has been refreshing to have enjoyed a meaningful world championship, with the best yet to come.

RKB-F1 and Santander Salt would like to thank all the teams who have supported the series, the FIM for its cooperation and administration skills, and all the circuit owners and organisers who have given us the platform to promote and run this, our first full world championship season.

The future for the series is bright, and we have established good relationships and contacts going forward. Meanwhile, there is a job to do in Portugal as we all look forward to a fantastic season closer.

We’ll see you there over the weekend of 29-31 October.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

British F1: Dramatic end to season at Brands with Birchalls already champions

British F1: Dramatic end to season at Brands with Birchalls already champions

British F1: Dramatic end to season at Brands with Birchalls already champions

Race 2

The late cancellation of the FIM World Championship entry at Brands Hatch freed up some top names to race alongside the Molson regulars as wild cards. Reigning British Champion Steve Kershaw with Ryan Charlwood made an appearance on that basis.

Other top teams had registered for both series, so were eligible to score points. Among those crews were Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement, currently lying second in the world rankings. With double points on offer in this final round, they had a good opportunity to make the Birchall Brother’s lead look less dominant, although they too would be going for glory. Also on the race card were Kevin Cable and Kyle Masters, having enjoyed their foreign trips, now back to score British points. Also falling into this category were Ellis’s Santander Salt teammates Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz.

Qualifying
There was a distinct chill in the air late on Friday afternoon ahead of this one and only twenty-five-minute session. The Birchall Brothers had moved within half a second of lap record pace in free practice, narrowly ahead of Ellis/Clement.

After a quick opening lap by Kershaw/Charlwood, the Birchall brothers banged in a good time to go top. An immediate response by Ellis/Clement saw a pattern begin to unfold of two teams at the top of their game, vying for pole position. Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney were right in the mix with the top two, reflecting their runner-up spot in the standings.

Suddenly, with four laps done, the Birchalls were below lap-record pace, with the Haith Honda flying. Their time allowed them to sit out the session, with Todd Ellis reeling off lap after lap to come within nine-tenths of what was a special lap. Blackstock/Rosney were third from Kershaw/Charlwood and Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies.

Grid
1/ Birchall/Birchall
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Kershaw/Charlwood
5/ Lawrie/Smithies
6/ Biggs/Schmitz
7/ Holden/Pitt
8/ Crawford/Hardie

Race 2

Race One
There was no stopping Ben and Tom Birchall in this one for the early laps. Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney, Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement and Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood were magnificent in pursuit, hardly split throughout the race. The Haith Honda of the Birchalls was over two seconds clear within three laps and going away. They set a new lap record on lap three and then in lap five, they were out with a mechanical problem which turned out to be a split exhaust.

This left a fantastic three-way battle between three of the best crews in Britain. Steve Kershaw was lapping close to lap-record pace, and he was not about to give up the lead. Toss Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement were climbing all over the back of the number twenty-nine outfit, but that was all they could do. Their Yamaha was running rich, so not at its best. Blackstock/Rosney were still in touch, just half a second off the lead. Behind them a great race between Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies and Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz saw both outfits touch and spit simultaneously but re-joined to finish fourth and fifth.

Kershaw/Charlwood were back on top of the podium, with Ellis earning a good bag of points for the championship table.

Result
1/ Kershaw/Charlwood
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Lawrie/Smithies
5/ Biggs/Schmitz
6/ J.Holden/Pitt
7/ Crawford/Hardie
8/ Currie/Sharpe
9/ Bell/Connell
10/ Robinson/Fairhurst.

Race 1

Race Two
This outing was fraught with incidents but there was plenty of action. With a reverse grid, and Ben/Tom Birchall starting from the back, it was very busy indeed with outfits swarming all over each other to make up places.

The first lap was hectic, but Ellis/Clement made it through the pack very well in pursuit of the early leaders. Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst made the most of pole position and proved difficult to pass and kept a good pace going. Further down the order, a massive coming together between John Holden/Jason Pitt and Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney brought out first the safety car, and shortly after, a red flag brought proceedings to a halt. With only two laps completed, a new re-run over five laps, using the original grid was declared.

This was another frantic start, and Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst gave another good account of themselves, as did Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe, but a great move by Todd Ellis saw him launch the Santander Salt Yamaha to the fore.

Kershaw/Charlwood and Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie went with them, as the Birchall Brothers made headway through the pack fighting to fifth on lap three.

Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies did not complete a lap, Phil Bell/Jimmy Connell retired the Marin Motorsport Yamaha on lap two, and then on lap four, another huge crash at Surtees took out Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde and Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters. Another red flag signalled a result at the conclusion of lap three.

No fewer than four of the battered teams were treated in the Medical Centre, with two members taken to hospital for further assessment.

At the time of going to press, no further details were available, but all at RKB-F1 wish the wounded parties well for a speedy recovery.

Race 2 podium

Result
1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Kershaw Racing Yamaha)
3/ Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie (ARC Kawasaki)
4/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24seven Couriers Yamaha)
5/ Ben/Tom Birchall (Haith Honda)
6/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz (Santander Salt Yamaha)
7/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe (Birchall Yamaha)
8/ Brian Gray/Sarah Stokoe (Yamaha)

Final Standings
Birchall 340
Blackstock 271
J.Holden 189
Ellis 140
Holland 135
Biggs 126
Lawrie 122
Archer 119
Peach 108
Bell 105

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

FIM Sidecars: Brands Hatch penultimate round cancelled

FIM Sidecars: Brands Hatch penultimate round cancelled

FIM Sidecars: Brands Hatch penultimate round cancelled

Gustoil Sidecar Racing Team - Whyssen & Hofer

It is with huge regret that RKB-F1 announces the cancellation of the planned round at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 15-17 October.

Many of you will recall that last season we ran a Santander Salt/Bonovo two round series under the guise of the International Sidecar Superprix in which we had a mixed grid of World and National Championship teams. This was a one-off series which provided a pragmatic solution to a catastrophically disrupted season and delivered a spectacle of 26 teams to an International TV audience.

The Sponsor acknowledges now that the assumption to run a similar approach this year, could not in fact be applied to a mixed World & British grid at a World Championship event. Nonetheless, much time has been spent in trying to make a joint grid happen between the current British series and the World Championship, but it is simply not feasible on two counts. They are as follows:-

This being the final round of the British Superbike Championship there is no scope within the program to run separated World and British Sidecar races. Furthermore, the licensing and insurance conditions that the FIM would offer to World sidecar entrants are not possible under mixed grid conditions.

We are sorry therefore that the World Sidecar round at Brands Hatch is cancelled, and we look forward to the finale in Estoril where double points will be on offer for the two races. This has been a great season this far, and the series has yet to be decided so we will all go to Portugal with much still to play for.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

British F1: Birchalls put the title out of reach at Donington Park

British F1: Birchalls put the title out of reach at Donington Park

British F1: Birchalls put the title out of reach at Donington Park

Race 1 - Lap 1

A distinctly winter feel greeted the crews at Donington with heavy rain and wind on Friday. Saturday was another tricky day with the organisers moving the schedule to fit the weather which was predicted to deteriorate as the day unfolded.

Free practice saw a good performance by John Holden, with the Birchall brothers distinctly faster in the dry. They expressed concern that Avon had not brought enough of the new wet radial rear tyre with them. So, they would be obliged to use the older cross-ply version which did not perform as well.

Qualifying

Ben and Tom Birchall did indeed claim pole, with Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney getting to within half a second of them. John Holden/Jason Pitt got third, with Ben Holland/Tom Christie making fourth, only to crash out badly. Tom Christie suffered a broken arm, and the bike was badly bent. Holland’s weekend and season are therefore over. Newly crowned F2 Champions Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie on their new Kawasaki long LCR did amazingly well fifth fastest just ahead of Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley on the short F2. Sixteen crews qualified, but due to Holland’s crash, fifteen would line up.

Race One

In adverse weather conditions, a reduced distance of eight laps was implemented by race control, with two warm-up laps to familiarise the crews with a very wet track. Drama unfolded on the opening of those two laps when Ben Birchall appeared to collide with the back of Lee Crawford’s outfit on the approach to the Foggy Esses. Birchall took to the grass with sidecar wheel arch damage and Crawford retired in pit lane with a rear wheel puncture. Neither crew started, leaving the field open for others to gain big points. Slippery conditions were certainly a factor in the incident.

Lewis Blackstock was not about to pass up that chance and led from start to finish. They were to open a sixteen second margin from the chasing pack, and that was where the interest lay. If John Holden/Jason Pitt thought they would have an easy ride, nothing could be further from the truth. Newcomer Craig Currie, with Justin Sharpe alongside, settled into second place and looked strong throughout. They had a battle from mid-race distance with John Holden who also had Andy Peach/Ken Edwards to contend with. The Lifesafety Yamaha was right up there with Peach obviously relishing the conditions. He had a moment in the closing stages which dropped him into the clutches of Phil Bell/Jimmy Connell but recovered towards the end of the race to get back on terms with Holden, Currie, and Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley on their F2 short LCR.

There were good scraps all down the field with veteran Brian Gray/Sarah Stokoe in the thick of it early on. Phil Bell claimed sixth ahead of a great fight involving Craig Clarke, Simon Robinson and new kid on the block, Lewis Nicol.

The young Scot, with his passenger Rhys Gibbons survived a big practice crash and extensive repair work to bring it home tenth. They were to start race two nervously from pole position.

Race 1 Peach & Edwards

Result

1/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyres Services Yamaha)
2/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe (Birchall Racing Yamaha)
3/ John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes/Silicone Adolf RS)
4/ Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley (Team Founds Yamaha)
5/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
6/ Phil Bell/Jimmy Connell (Marin Motorsport Yamaha)
7/ Conrad Harrison/Mark Middleton (Bellas Honda)
8/ Craig Clarke/Pete Ensor (Centurion Packaging LCR Honda)
9/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Courier Service Yamaha)
10/ Lewis Nicol/Rhys Gibbons (Lewis Nicol LCR Yamaha)

Race Two

A huge crash on the warm-up lap involved Brian Ilaria/Matty Simms clipping the kerb at Starkeys and rolling the outfit in dramatic fashion. The fairing was destroyed and parted company with the bike as Ilaria struggled to get out of it. They both quickly jumped to their feet, but the race was over for them before they got to the line.

As normal, the reverse grid gave great action with Blackstock charging through the pack followed by Ben and Tom Birchall. This time the weather was kind, and the track was dry. Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst were very strong at the front, holding second place for the early laps. Phil Bell spun out and into the gravel on lap two, with John Holden/Jason Pitt having another good ride working through the pack.

Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley made their way to fifth and were enjoying a great tussle with Holden, as Craig Currie/Justin Sharp followed up their earlier podium with a great ride to sixth place.

Meanwhile, the Birchalls had forced through to lead and opened up a huge gap back to Blackstock/Rosney, with Simon Robinson having the ride of his life on the new long bike. He was to keep John Holden at bay to claim the final podium spot.

Further down the order there was a race-long entertaining battle between evergreen Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor, TT winner Conrad Harrison/Mark Middleton and the new youngsters Lewis Nicol/Rhys Gibbons.

The twenty-year-old Scot with his nineteen-year-old passenger, nephew of Pete Founds, were mixing it in fast company and very much holding their own. But it could have been a very different story when Harrison got it sideways onto the grass, Clarke jabbed the brakes and skipped sideways himself causing Nicol to think quickly and positively. His reward was eighth place behind Andy Peach and Ken Edwards rounding out a good weekend for the Lifesafety squad. Other crews in trouble were Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde in the gravel on lap six, and Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie completing a miserable weekend with another DNF on the final lap.

Birchall’s victory gave them the Molson Group Championship title, a new lap record, and a bonus award of the Tom Wheatcroft Trophy presented by the Donington Supporters Club.

Birchalls taking 1st place

Result

1/ Ben/Tom Birchall (Champions) Haith Honda
2/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney
3/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst
4/ John Holden/Jason Pitt
5/ Pete Founds Jevan Walmsley
6/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe
7/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards
8/ Lewis Nicol/Rhys Gibbons
9/ Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor
10/ Conrad Harrison/ Mark Middleton
11/ Brian Gray/Sarah Stokoe

Championship standings

Birchall 340
Blackstock 231
J. Holden 167
Holland 135
Archer 105
Peach 102
Biggs 100
Ellis 90
Lawrie 90
Bell 87,
G. Holden 87
Christie 76
Clarke 70
Philp 69
Robinson 69
Currie 60

The final round comes from Brands Hatch 15-17 October with double points on offer.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

FIM Sidecars: FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Six Oschersleben Germany

FIM Sidecars: FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Six Oschersleben Germany

FIM Sidecars: FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Six Oschersleben Germany

Podium from Oschersleben

There was a great turnout for this German round including a strong British contingent. The Oschersleben Sidecar Festival featured a round of the German IDM Championship, ensuring Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau and Bennie Streuer/Jeroen Remme had a busy weekend.

Qualifying took place in bright sunshine with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement setting second fastest time on the Santander Salt Yamaha behind series leaders Schlosser/Fries with a lap of 1.31.986. Time Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha) were fourth behind Streuer/Remme.

Q2 and it was more of the same in equally great weather conditions. This series is firmly a four-horse race with Reeves, Streuer, Ellis and Schlosser setting the pace at the front.

These four crews filled the front rows, with Pekka Pavairinta/Ilse de Haas also very strong. There was also a good showing form Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood leading the rest of the pack.

Pavairinta de Hass

Race One

A flyer from the lights had Ellis/Clement narrowly ahead of Schlosser/Fries into the first turn. They began to extend the lead on the opening lap, pulling Schlosser with them, along with Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme in third. A twenty-one-lap race was plenty of time to sort the positions and Tim Reeves would need it. He and Kevin Rousseau had a shocker off the line in around eighth place on lap one. Young Ted Peugeot sat fourth followed by Pavairinta de Haas and Kershaw/Charlwood.

Reeves/Rousseau had to get their heads down and that they did. They were to make headway through the field to third and even challenge for second place towards the end. Given the start they had, credit must be paid to the Bonovo Action crew for a valiant effort.

Meanwhile, tyre issues hampered Todd Ellis’s aspirations for victory, and the Santander Salt Yamaha was overhauled by the clinical riding of Markus Schlosser. Once again, the Gustoil Yamaha of the Swiss series leaders sat atop the pile.

There were strong battles all down the field with Kershaw/Charlwood bagging sixth, Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz eighth behind the Peugeot pairing, and Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies in ninth.

Further back, there was a race-long scrap which saw Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters continue their string of finishes with a points-scoring ride to fourteenth.

Todd Ellis leading race two

Race One Result

1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Reeves/Rousseau
4/ Streuer/Remme
5/ Pavairinta/de Haas
6/ Kershaw/Charlwood
7/ Peugeot/Peugeot
8/ Biggs/Schmitz
9/ Lawrie/Smithies
10/ Wyssen/Hofer
11/ Kimeswenger/Kolsch
12/ Endeveld/Krome
13/ Remse/ Welschelberger
14/ Cable/Masters
15/ Vinet/Farnier.

Race Two – Cloudy and cooler weather greeted the second twenty-one lap race as Todd Ellis once again shot into the lead from the lights.

This time, Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau made no mistakes and were on their case from the word go. Line astern it was Schlosser, Streuer and Kershaw next up.

Behind them was a French/Finnish scrap involving the Peugeots and Pavairinta, followed by a slightly more distant Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz. This was a good showing from both Santander Salt teamsters, and a thoroughly successful weekend.

The pace at the front was once again fierce, as Tim Reeves made his move and took the lead on lap nine with Schlosser also lining up a move. He was to go through, passing both Ellis and Reeves to lead the world once again. Tim Reeves had no answer for the charging Swiss and that was how it stayed. There was drama aplenty, with Rob Biggs taking a trip into the gravel and various scraps all the way down the field. It was also a great race and weekend for the ladies with Clement third, de Haas fifth, Smithies ninth at her first effort and Farnier thirteenth and in the points.

Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters made their weekend complete with twelfth place and more solid points.

Kevin Cable

Race Two Result

1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Reeves/Rousseau
3/ Ellis/Clement
4/ Streuer/Remme
5/ Pavairinta/de Haas
6/ Peugeot/Peugeot,
7/ Kershaw/Charlwood
8/ Wyssen/Hofer
9/ Lawrie/Smithies
10/ Kimeswenger/Kolsch
11/ Biggs/Schmitz
12/ Cable Masters
13/ Vinet/Farnier
14/ Gallerne/Bidault,

Full Championship Standings were not available at time of going to press. Updated totals will follow.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

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