FIM Sidecars – Report by our illustrious lady passenger Emmanuelle Clement following a great Pannoniaring for the team

FIM Sidecars – Report by our illustrious lady passenger Emmanuelle Clement following a great Pannoniaring for the team

FIM Sidecars – Report by our illustrious lady passenger Emmanuelle Clement following a great Pannoniaring for the team

Emmanuelle Clement

Bye Bye Hungary, Hello Croatia.

This weekend we were at Pannonia Ring in Hungary to take part in our fourth round of the Sidecar World Championship.

A hot weekend in temperature and color. Installed Thursday, short reconnaissance walk and off we go for free practice on Friday.

We are making some adjustments and are already in our times from last year. Saturday, big day because two qualifications and a race on the program. The temperatures being high, we take advantage of the first qualifying session at 8:30a.m. to set our time; the choice is good since we achieve a time of 1’55”8, a time never reached before, so the unofficial lap record (since not achieved in the race).

No one improves in the second session which puts us in pole position for both races.

3:15 p.m., start of the first race of 15 laps!!! Excellent start for us since we passed the first corner in the lead. We continue our momentum while saving our tires because with this heat the rubber wears out quickly. We are closely followed by the Schlosser / Fries crew who are trying to overtake us but we react just as quickly and regain our position. We manage to resist our competitors until the end and
therefore win the victory of this first race 🥇

Sunday morning, small warm-up to warm up for the race. The wind is a little more present and it feels good.

1:15 p.m., let’s go!!!! Second race started, same start as the day before, we are leading the race. The competitors are a little more enraged and the attacks more present with the 2021 world champions; which benefits the Streuer/Kolsch crew who take the lead and we pass the checkerboard in second position.🥈

Great races with great rivalry.

We are happy with our weekend and our qualifying time and leave with a smile, boiling hot (it’s the case to say it) for Croatia.

A big thank you to our sponsors, our team, our families and all of you who follow us to the depths of Europe.

Direction Rijeka for the fifth round of the World Cup next weekend.

Photo credit: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

British F1: Knockhill thrills as the title lead changes hands

British F1: Knockhill thrills as the title lead changes hands

British F1: Knockhill thrills as the title lead changes hands

Blackstock/Rosney

As the southern half of the UK basked in Mediterranean temperatures, Fife was a total contrast, with a very wet opening day on Friday.

A relatively small entry was amplified by a clash with the FIM World Championship in Hungary which kept the series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement away. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau also signalled a late change of plan and were not present, along with double TT winners Ben and Tom Birchall. This left the door well and truly open for others to capitalise.

The invitation was gleefully accepted, with some serious fighting at the front for  the big points. Making a one-off return was Stuart Clark, who accompanied Steve Kershaw to the 2018 title. He jumped in with Simon Robinson for a one-off appearance, and the pair did pretty well once they had adjusted to each other. Free practice saw Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney run at the front, with Sam Christie giving brother Tom only his second trip out at Knockhill ahead of Phil Bell and his cousin Carl on the Marin Motorsport Yamaha.

Qualifying

The weather had improved significantly ahead of the only timed session. The sun  was out although there was a very stiff breeze in the backs of the crews as they came up from the hairpin and away over the start-finish line.

The Christie brothers Sam and Tom made the early running, but it was not long before Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney on the DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha made their presence felt at the front.

Team Christie racing

They opened a slight advantage, with Simon Robinson and Stuart Clark sitting third. Once ahead, Blackstock/Rosney were never to let the lead slip, making pole position theirs in fine style. Locals Lewis Nicol and Rhys Gibbon were mid-pack behind Scottish Championship rivals Phil and Carl Bell. In fourth, halfway through the session were George Holden and Oscar Lawrence, with every chance of grabbing a podium at this event. That possibility was reinforced as they moved third with seven minutes remaining. Simon Robinson fought back to reclaim third place however, as the Christies tried to close down Blackstock/Rosney. Paul and Tom Kirby went seventh fastest, underlining their steady improvement, with Andy Peach/Ken Edwards, Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde and Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor on the Hazbeans Adolf RS Yamaha completing the grid.

Race One

Late in the day, with a low sun, there was a good crowd of sidecar fans staying for what would be a welcome move to three-wheeled action. Would there be a new series leader at the end of the race? There was every chance, and
away they went for fifteen hectic laps.

Blackstock/Rosney

Blackstock/Rosney led the charge off the line into Duffus Dip with the Christie brothers and Simon Robinson/Stuart Clark neck and neck behind. Next came George Holden/Oscar Lawrence looking left and right for a way through. Phil and Carl Bell were also tucked in behind. These five outfits circulated in close formation with Blackstock easing a small gap on lap two. Equally, Sam and Tom Christie had a small cushion over a lot of action behind. George Holden eventually muscled the Kawasaki past Robinson, who seemed to be in handling trouble, taking to the grass and gravel exiting Leslie’s. It later transpired that his bike for some reason had become almost unrideable, eventually spitting Stuart Clark out. They would need to sort the problems before race two.

Further down the order, young Scotsman Lewis Nicol was having a great ride chasing down his local championship rival Phil Bell and Andy Peach/Ken Edwards. Phil Bell had to pit late in the race with Carl suffering from arm-pump. He was dejected and very disappointed but determined to make the grid for race two. It was to be a fine fourth place for the Nicol/Gibbon pairing in only their second British Championship race.

Race action

Race leaders Blackstock/Rosney were away with it, posting a time just seven tenths outside Todd Ellis’s lap record, so clearly were in form. Peach/Edwards, Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde and Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor had their own fun further down the field, but Peach was rewarded with fifth.

Result

1/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
2/ Sam/Tom Christie (CES Yamaha)
3/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
4/ Lewis Nicol/Rhys Gibbon (Nicol Racing Yamaha)
5/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
6/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha)
7/ Paul/Tom Kirby (Adolf RS Yamaha)
8/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Adolf RS Hazbeans Yamaha).

Race Two

The reverse grid was always going to be interesting into Duffus Dip and we were not disappointed. Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor were keen not to repeat their Oulton Park antics as they headed off from pole position.

They did a good job on the opening lap, but George Holden/Oscar Lawrence were on them, as indeed were the Christies. Blackstock/Rosney had a heart-stopping moment after the first warm-up lap with a dead engine. They pushed off the grid and onto the grass, only for it to fire up again. The second warm-up lap gave them the breathing space to take their place.

They had a harder fight through but made it on lap three to take the lead, Behind them however, there was lots going on. Simon Robinson had his handling sorted, and he and Stuart Clark were fighting hard, as indeed was Phil Bell. Carl was in better shape this time and they had a good race.

Race action

The Bell pairing claimed fourth place when the rear tyre of Robinson’s outfit failed on the final lap. Knockhill was a weekend to forget for Robinson and Clark. Young Lewis Nicol/Rhys Gibbon enjoyed a good scrap with Andy Peach/Ken Edwards behind the Bell outfit, and Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde stayed ahead of Paul/Tom Kirby. The Gloucester duo have been steadily improving, are consistent, and the standings reflect their efforts.

Archer and Hyde enjoyed their weekend in Scotland picking up twenty-one points for their trouble. Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor, from pole position, slipped to the back of the field, but smiling faces in the “Hazbeans Racing” camp told a great story. Who knows, if there had been prize money, Craig might even have bought some razor blades!!!

Race action

At the flag, Blackstock/Rosney had a two second edge over Sam and Tom Christie, getting to within seven tenths of Todd Ellis’s lap record. Holden/Lawrence were again on the podium in third and that was good to see. Events conspired against a strong entry here, but the ten crews present put on a good show, throwing the title race wide open. When the big guns return from foreign parts, the title race will be very interesting with Brands Hatch next up.

Result

1/ Blackstock/Rosney
2/ Christie/Christie
3/ Holden/Lawrence
4/ Bell/Bell
5/ Peach Edwards
6/ Nicol/Gibbon
7/ Archer/Hyde,
8/ Kirby/Kirby
9/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Blackstock 90
Christie 72
Ellis 50
Holden 45
Kirby 35
Peach 34
Hauxwell 26
J. Holden 22
Robinson 22
Archer 21
Bell 13
Biggs 10

Round Three comes from Brands Hatch July 22-24.

FIM Sidecars – Ellis/Clement extend series lead in brilliant Hungary

FIM Sidecars – Ellis/Clement extend series lead in brilliant Hungary

FIM Sidecars – Ellis/Clement extend series lead in brilliant Hungary

Podium

The famous Pannoniaring once again played host to the best sidecar racers and passengers in the world, and what a show they put on.

Series leaders by fourteen points at this mid-point of the season Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) came here with a job to do, and that was to extend their advantage over the Gustoil Yamaha Swiss pairing of Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries. The reigning champions were not about to go quietly, and the fantastic racing emphasised just that.

Free practice took place on Friday in hot, sunny conditions, with the teams settling in nicely before two Saturday qualifying sessions. Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement ran strongly, separated by three one hundredths of a second from rivals Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries. Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood were also in positive form, with eyes on big points.

Race action

Qualifying – Q1 was a very early start at 8.30am local time. Early or not, everyone was clearly wide awake and ready for action. From the word go, the lap times were up there with the best from free practice.

The Gustoil Yamaha of Schlosser/Fries was the first to dip into the 58’s with Streuer/Kolsch and Kershaw/Charlwood also looking good.

Ellis/Clement however, were in a class of their own, setting the bar at a new level on their second lap. They banged in a 1.55.885 on the Santander Salt Yamaha, pulling in and sitting back after five laps. This time put them well over one second faster than their Swiss rivals.

Benny Streuer/Kevin Kolsch were fractionally slower than Schlosser, giving them great hope for Q2. Ted and Vincent Peugeot continued their great form with a fantastic time just half a second off that set by Schlosser and fractions off Streuer. Kershaw and Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes were on the pace too with it all to play for next time out.

The second session saw Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood improve into the 57’s, obviously intent on finding a bit more. Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes did the same, improving their time. Meanwhile, Todd Ellis was watching and waiting, as Schlosser/Fries did their utmost to close the gap.

The series leaders took to the track with a few minutes remaining even though they were looking good for pole position. There was no need, and the times from session one held good, proving to be a bridge too far for Markus Schlosser. The teams lined up for the two races with the Santander Salt Yamaha sitting proudly on pole, ahead of Schlosser, Streuer and Kershaw. Peugeot and Payne made up row three.

Ellis/Clement, Schlosser/Fries, Kershaw/Charlwood

Race One

Fifteen laps awaited the crews forming up on the grid, and when the lights went out, the sprint to turn one was a busy one. Ambient temperature was twenty-eight degrees with the track significantly hotter.

Markus Schlosser went in too deep at turn one, and the Ellis/Clement machine was back in business at the front. Benny Streuer sat second at the end of the opening lap. Kershaw/Charlwood were fourth behind the Gustoil Yamaha of Schlosser, but this was a long race. It looked as if Ted Peugeot and Lukas Wyssen were going to repeat their scrap of Spa, as they were once again paired up. Moments later, Schlosser/Fries moved second, but almost two seconds behind the flying Santander Salt Yamaha of Ellis/Clement. Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes took the DAO1886 Yamaha past Peugeot and began to chase down Wyssen.

On lap four, the Schlosser outfit was on the back of Ellis, having chopped a large chunk out of the advantage. Schlosser/Fries were the fastest on track at this point. One third distance and it was Ellis, Schlosser, Streuer, Kershaw, Wyssen, Payne and Peugeot all within six seconds of each other. Then Harry Payne hit trouble with a split exhaust pipe and dropped out of the reckoning. Moments later they were out, their race over.

Still Markus Schlosser stalked Todd Ellis just three tenths adrift of the twenty- seven-year-old championship leader. Half-distance and it was a two-horse race, with Streuer hanging in a full second back. Suddenly the Dutch/German pairing found something extra and the battle at the front became a three-way scrap. Ted Peugeot got second wind and won his duel with Wyssen, relegating the Swiss crew to a familiar sixth position, and once again Streuer dropped off the top two.

Race action

Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson held ninth and last place but continued to earn valuable title points for the L&W Racing team. In front of the, Kimeswenger/Sedlacek continued to make a fight of it, but by now the front two were split by just a fraction. With two laps to go, Kershaw was adrift of Streuer, with little chance of passing him before the flag.

Going into the final lap, Ellis had the gap managed at half a second, but Schlosser was always going to fight all the way.

Podium

Result

1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha)
3/ Benny Streuer/Kevin Kolsch (Bonovo Action Yamaha)
4/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha)
5/ Ted Peugeot/Vincent Peugeot (LCR Yamaha)
6/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (Gustoil Yamaha)
7/ Peter Kimeswenger/Ondrej Sedlacek (LCR Yamaha)
8/ Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson (L&W Yamaha),
9/ Claude Vinet/Sebastian Arifon (LCR Yamaha),

Race Two

All mechanical gremlins fixed, the grid was complete for the second outing and the weather was once again hot, if not hotter. Harry Payne had shown he could run well, so needed to make amends this time out. Fifteen laps was the scheduled race distance, with Markus Schlosser desperate to find an answer to the young Santander Salt teamsters. He knew at this stage of the season, he needed to stay close in the points. It was a tight thing in the drag to turn one, with Ellis nosing ahead of Schlosser, Streuer and Kershaw.

Payne/Wilkes got the better of Ted Peugeot and moved to fifth. At the end of lap one, Ellis/Clement enjoyed half a second over the Swiss. Lap three, and Kershaw/Charlwood had the Quattro Yamaha into third and began to ease
away from former champion Streuer. Harry Payne had the DAO1886 Yamaha fixed and flying in fifth ahead of Peugeot, Lukas Wyssen and Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson. Ted/Vincent Peugeot were in the slipstream of Harry
Payne, sensing a move was possible, as Todd Ellis maintained a slender two-tenths over Schlosser. The elastic stretched and contracted, but Ellis/Clement kept the Santander Salt Yamaha ahead as they approached half race distance.

Race action

Steve Kershaw meanwhile was holding a good potential podium spot, only to lose it to Streuer as they began lap eight. There was nothing between the leading pair of outfits as they flashed over the line to begin lap nine. Kevin Cable was having a good scrap with Claude Vinet, as Harry Payne slipped back out of contention, leaving Ted Peugeot in a fine fifth place. This was a close race with just six seconds splitting the top six teams after twenty minutes of racing.

Ellis would need to hold his nerve as the Swiss once again closed in. They had been locked together for the entire race with Ellis fractionally ahead on lap times. Then drama on lap 12, as Streuer emerged leader with Ellis second. Schlosser had muscled past Ellis who dipped onto the grass, only for Ellis to return the compliment at the next turn. Streuer had posted the fastest lap of the race and it paid off. He was able to profit from the close fight between the two leaders. On the final lap, the lead gap was over one second with Schlosser down in fourth. Kershaw was in a provisional podium spot but lost out to the Swiss in the closing stages. Ellis in second place, increased his title lead, with Benny Streuer/Kevin Kolsch on the top step of the podium. Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes had another problem which dropped them behind Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer into seventh, with Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson also losing their battle with Vinet/Arifon.

Race action

Result

1/ Benny Streuer/Kevin Kolsch
2/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement
3/ Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries
4/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood
5/ Ted Peugeot/Vincent Peugeot
6/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer
7/ Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes
8/ Claude Vinet/Sebastien Arifon
9/ Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson
10/ Peter Kimeswenger/Ondrej Sedlacek

Championship standings

Ellis/Clement 185
Schlosser 162
Kershaw 105
Streuer/Kolsch 91
Wyssen/Hofer 80
Peugeot 69
Reeves 68
Cable 49
Payne 46
Vinet 41
(Full standing as per FIM Website)

Round five is next weekend from Croatia June 24-26.

Photo credit: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars – Pannoniaring in Hungary in one week for Ellis and Clement

FIM Sidecars – Pannoniaring in Hungary in one week for Ellis and Clement

FIM Sidecars – Pannoniaring in Hungary in one week for Ellis and Clement

Race action from Hungary

Off the back of their first double victory in World Championship racing, the young series leaders head for Hungary to defend and hopefully extend their fourteen-point lead. June 17-19 is the date for this fourth-round clash with a British Championship event in Knockhill, Scotland.

Certain teams will have a difficult decision to make. One thing is for sure, all the top crews in the hunt will be making the trip.

Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries will doubtless have a clear mission, that being to arrest the charge by the last year’s runners-up.

Schlosser / Fries

Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood have replaced Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau in third place, having visited the podium in Spa with the Quattro Yamaha.

Totally impressive were Swiss Gustoil team-mates to Schlosser, Lukas Wyssen and Thomas Hofer. They spent the entire weekend in Belgium locked in a battle with the nineteen-year-old Ted Peugeot and his father Vincent. For this French team to miss any future rounds due to financial constraints would be nothing short of a tragedy, and we all hope they continue their brilliant season in Hungary.

Benny Streuer and Kevin Kolsch were very fast in Belgium, and coming from a shaky start to the season, find themselves in sixth place ahead of Peugeot. Kevin Cable and Charlie Richardson must be shaking themselves after a stunning performance in Spa. They are in eighth with the L&W Yamaha. This is an incredible feat and one which they should be proud of.

Action from Pannoniaring 2021

It is to be hoped that Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes will appear after their TT debut and resume the challenge of regaining lost ground.

The intrepid TV crew will once again capture the action, with lots of on-board and detailed footage for screening through the agreed TV contracts.

Photo credit: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

British F1: Knockhill awaits as Blackstock/Rosney eye up series lead 17-19 June

British F1: Knockhill awaits as Blackstock/Rosney eye up series lead 17-19 June

British F1: Knockhill awaits as Blackstock/Rosney eye up series lead 17-19 June

Blackstock/Rosney

The Isle of Man TT has come and gone, the FIM World Championship has seen three rounds of great action involving last year’s top four teams, and now it is time to resume the domestic series at the popular Fife circuit of Knockhill.

Paddy Rosney must surely be to amass as many points as possible in the absence of series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. The Santander Salt duo will be defending their fourteen-point lead in the FIM World Championship in Hungary, leaving the door open for others to capitalise.

The Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom were early entries in Scotland, with their focus being to retain their British title. For 2022 they also plan to contest selected World rounds, but having missed just the Oulton Park opener, the appeal to stay at home is obvious. That opinion is shared by Birchall Racing team-mates Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe, although a good appearance at the Estoril World finale last season whetted their appetites for more international action.

Race action from Oulton

Back here, the British title race looks strong, with any number of fast, reliable teams able to score consistently at every round. Most prolific of those are, as stated, Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney. The DHR/Express Tyre Services Rishton based pair have shown a great ability to run at the front and mix it with just about anyone. Their time as a team over several seasons has resulted in a good understanding and mutual desire to win. They could easily be dark horses for a debut title if they finish every race strongly. Twice runners-up at Oulton gave them a great start in that regard. Santander Salt’s Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz will defend team honours in Scotland and have a good record on the Knockhill circuit. John Holden and Jason Pitt ran their TT outfit at Oulton Park, with a question mark over future appearances on the long chassis. Nonetheless, they emerged fourth overall, just ten points behind Sam and Tom Christie. The Beverley brothers are regular front runners with the potential to spring a surprise at season end.

Previously there were no planned British Championship appearances for either Tim Reeves or Steve Kershaw, both choosing to focus on either the World Championship, or in the case of Reeves, Germany. That is where his sponsor is active, so it made commercial, if not sporting sense to stay in his back garden.

Bonovo Action - Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau

However, a late entry will now see the eight-times World Champion line up on the grid in Scotland. The lure of real competition against top line rivals is surely what all top sportsmen and women aspire to and relish? One thing is for sure, we now have greater strength in depth at our disposal than for many years. The prospect of most of those main British crews getting stuck in at Knockhill will indeed be a sight to behold.

There are also some new names earning reputations this season, and they will be in Scotland enhancing those credentials. Simon Robinson, former F2 Champion has taken to the long bike well, with Mick Fairhurst doing a
great job alongside. George Holden and Oscar Lawrence have moved to Kawasaki power and claimed a fourth place at Oulton Park after a race one DNF spoiled their day. Cupar’s Lewis Nicol and Rhys Gibbon wave the Saltire for Scotland and must surely know their way round Knockhill.

FIM Sidecars – Ellis and Clement do the double in the Ardennes

FIM Sidecars – Ellis and Clement do the double in the Ardennes

FIM Sidecars – Ellis and Clement do the double in the Ardennes

Schlosser / Fries race action at Spa

No fewer than seventeen crews took to the grid for this, the third round of the 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship. Absent on Isle of Man TT duty were Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau and Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes. Ordinarily, it might easily have been a case of “when the cat’s away”, but the two crews at the top of the standings maintained the pace which got them there and starred once more in Belgium.

Free practice saw Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) edge out Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha) and Benny Streuer/Kevin Kolsch (Bonovo Action Yamaha) to the tune of half a second.

Bonovo action at Spa

Qualifying was a different story, with Ellis/Clement eking out a full two and a half seconds ahead of Streuer, Schlosser and Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha). The absence of Tim Reeves was not lost on the Scotsman, and Kershaw/Charlwood have been steadily improving as the season unfolds. Once again, impressive times were posted by Ted and Vincent Peugeot positioning them as main challengers to the top four.

The second timed session was even more fascinating. Although Ellis fell short of his earlier time, the work was done. Kershaw excelled this time around and was second fastest. Ted Peugeot got completely inspired and shoved Benny Streuer back to fifth. British teams Rob Biggs with stand-in French passenger Max Vasseur (Santander Salt Yamaha) and Kevin Cable and Chaz Richardson (L&W Yamaha) did themselves proud, ending up in the top half with strong grid positions. Ellis took pole from Benny Streuer, with Kershaw and Schlosser on row two.

What we are seeing this year is a changing of the guard and a strong message that given the financial support and recognition, there is a fantastic sport just waiting for new talent to flex its muscles. The level of enthusiasm is exceptional, and the quality of racing high.

Race One

In very warm air and track conditions, the much-awaited start time arrived against a backdrop of World Endurance competitors and an absolutely packed house. Lap one saw Ellis/Clement lead after passing determined hole-shot man Streuer with Kershaw sitting third and defending champions Schlosser/Fries fourth. Less than three seconds split this quartet at the end of lap two.

Rob Biggs and Kevin Cable sat seventh and eighth after brilliant starts, so the British crews were all in the hunt. Rupert Archer/Steve Thomas made good ground climbing to ninth behind Cable/Richardson.

Biggs / Vasseur race action at Spa

Lap four and Schlosser was on the move, less than one second slower than Ellis the race leader. This increase in pace took him past Kershaw and into third place. Moments later, he was in second ahead of Streuer. It was all to play for at the front with Ellis defending his slender four-point advantage in the standings.

Likeable Swiss Lukas Wyssen with Thomas Hofer alongside eased past Ted Peugeot into fifth, albeit seven seconds adrift of Kershaw. There were several distinct battles through the field, with Ellis/Schlosser scrapping for the lead, Streuer and Kershaw similarly engaged, and Wyssen/Peugeot having their fight.

With eight laps completed, Ellis held one and a half seconds over Schlosser, with Kershaw closing in for the final podium place on Streuer. Wyssen and Peugeot were welded together as Biggs/Vasseur held a strong seventh. Lap nine, and Ellis posted his best lap and fastest of the race, easing away from Schlosser who appeared to have no answer for the Santander Salt duo. At this point in the race, the Swiss normally gets second wind, but there was no sign of that here in race one Spa.

Penultimate lap, and the gap was over two seconds, with Ellis showing no sign of easing off the pace. Kershaw/Charlwood still had a chance to grab third from Streuer, but they would need to make it happen soon. This they did in dramatic fashion, moving into the third podium place as they entered the final chicane on the final tour of this iconic circuit.

Ellis/Clement took victory at the flag from Schlosser/Fries by one and a half seconds. A late charge by the Swiss was not enough to nail the young Anglo/French pairing.

Ellis/Clement action at Spa

Result

1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha
3/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha)
4/ Benny Streuer/Kevin Kolsch (Bonovo Action Yamaha)
5/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (Gustoil Yamaha)
6/ Ted Peugeot/Vincent Peugeot (FHC Competition Yamaha)
7/ Rob Biggs/Max Vasseur (Santander Salt Yamaha)
8/ Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson (L&W Yamaha)
9/ Rupert Archer/Steve Thomas (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha)
10/ Cedric Pierard/Arnaud Pierard

Race Two

Benny Streuer had another flyer in race two, but it was Schlosser/Fries who headed the pack after the opening lap. Kershaw trailed Ellis, as the first race winners looked for a way past Streuer.

Wyssen and Peugeot seemed to be renewing their scrap for fifth place as Ellis/Clement moved second. The French father and son pairing had clutch issues all race but held on. Just seven tenths split the top two title rivals in the early stages. Three laps in and Kershaw/Charlwood were hunting down Benny Streuer, Rob Biggs/Max Vasseur were closing on in on a slowing Ted Peugeot, and Cable/Richardson were feeling the heat from Rupert Archer.

Wyssen / Hofer race action at Spa

With a new fastest lap, Todd Ellis assumed control at the front, as he and Emmanuelle Clement eased past Schlosser. Tenth place was filled by the Pierard brothers, having another fine ride for Belgium. The scrap between Kevin Cable and Rupert Archer was one of the closest of the race to the halfway point. The L&W Contractors Yamaha of Cable was flying, and he and Charlie Richardson kept their noses in front.

Lap eight, and the Swiss Gustoil Yamaha of Schlosser was right with Ellis/Clement. Kershaw appeared to have dropped out of contention for a podium, but there was still a long way to go.

Schlosser made the move everyone thought was coming, as he slotted past Ellis to go to the front. This positioning would effectively cancel out the advantage earned by Ellis in race one. Stern action was called for, but was it possible?

Archer passed Cable, moving the Hannafin Adolf RS to a great eighth place, as Schlosser extended his lead to three tenths. This was World Championship sidecar racing at its best, with the three fastest crews split by just over two seconds.

Final lap and it had all changed at the front with Ellis once more leading. Kevin Cable had reclaimed eighth, and it was game on to the flag. The winning margin was three-tenths with double victory to Ellis. His title lead is now extended to fourteen points.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Schlosser/Fries
3/ Streuer/Kolsch,
4/ Kershaw/Charlwood
5/ Wyssen/Hofer
6/ Peugeot/Peugeot,
7/ Biggs/Vasseur
8/ Cable/Richardson
9/ Archer/Thomas
10/ Pierard/Pierard

Standings

Ellis 140
Schlosser 126
Kershaw 79
Reeves 68
Wyssen 60
Streuer 50
Peugeot 47
Cable 34
Pierard 32
Payne 31
Leglise 27
Vinet 26
Gallerne 18
Biggs 18
Le Bail 18
Remse 16

Standings are calculated from the FIM website and were correct at the time of going to press.

Round four comes from The Pannoniaring Hungary June 17-19

Photo credit: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

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