British F1: Bumper Bank Holiday bonus for Ellis/Clement in Cadwell spectacle

British F1: Bumper Bank Holiday bonus for Ellis/Clement in Cadwell spectacle

British F1: Bumper Bank Holiday bonus for Ellis/Clement in Cadwell spectacle

Ellis/Clement race action

Back at the Lincolnshire circuit where they dominated just four weeks ago, series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement were back for more over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A crunch meeting for the British Superbike Championship ensured a massive trackside crowd in party mood. The action was also scheduled to be screened live on Eurosport and Quest.

Qualifying

As with previous rounds, the grid size was smaller than normal, but the quality was high at the front. In free practice, Ellis/Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) showed their class with a time just one second off lap record pace. Sam and Tom Christie were close behind, with Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney frustrated by a speed deficit. George Holden/Oscar Lawrence maintained the pace which had carried them to fourth in the title chase. With the clock now ticking for twenty minutes of the real session, the gloves were off.

A change of exhaust system was tried by Blackstock/Rosney to find the missing horses, hoping that would allow them closer to the front men. They had started this campaign in fine style but had slipped back in recent weeks and were now playing catch-up. There was added interest in the first showing this year of Lee Crawford on the long bike, partnered now by the experienced Jake Lowther.

Blackstock/Rosney

Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt had completed free practice with no sign of the gremlins which plagued them all season and ran strongly in the early stages moving second fastest to Ellis/Clement. Ten minutes in, and the Christie brothers were left in Ellis’s wake as he banged in a 1.31.924.

Speed trap times showed Blackstock still off the pace where it mattered, although they held fourth behind a delighted Biggs/Pitt. Their new-found speed was a revelation and something to celebrate. All the indicators pointed to a great battle for the podium places, with five crews all around the same pace behind Ellis/Clement. In the closing stages, the Christies moved to under one second behind Ellis, maintaining their challenging pace. Holden’s Kawasaki was very quick through the speed traps, and that is where he seemed to score as he and Oscar shot to third quickest.

Biggs kept Crawford at bay to stay fourth fastest, with Blackstock in sixth, still perplexed.

Race One

Another glorious day had turned into a cooler situation by the time the teams formed up late afternoon. Qualifying potentially, had thrown up a five-way scrap between the leading bunch. That proved to be the case as the lights went out, with Blackstock/Rosney, George Holden/Oscar Lawrence and the Christie brothers’ side by side, getting the better of the pole position Santander Salt bike of Ellis/Clement. The Christies came out better and led lap one, losing out to a determined Ellis at Park Corner on lap two. Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt were going strongly in the mix, slotting fourth and looking more like the Biggs we know. Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther were also very much in touch, as Blackstock and the Christies tangled at the foot of the mountain, dropping Blackstock into the clutches of Holden. This gave Sam Christie the chance he needed to break clear, which he eventually did.

Christie Racing

Crawford/Lowther moved into third, but George Holden had other ideas. This four-way scrap was very entertaining and raged for a few laps with Blackstock throwing everything he had at anyone in front. It was all in vain because he was simply outgunned. Holden just had to get by Crawford once Sam and Tom Christie had moved into a safe second place, and he tried the move down towards the chicane before the mountain. This resulted in a sideways slew and effectively handed the final podium spot to Lee Crawford. The newcomers were delighted with their first trip to the box and will be looking for more. Meanwhile, race leaders Ellis/Clement had calmly breezed to a new lap record of 1.31.264 on lap three and victory number ten in what is proving to be a stellar season.

Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt were unable to make the best of their early showing from the start when they ran wide out of Mansfield when in sixth, kissing the barrier on the right side of the track. It then transpired Rob had other issues which caused them to retire from the action. Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst had a solid sixth ahead of Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde.

Down the field was an equally exciting scrap involving Andy Peach/Ken Edwards and Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor. This whole race was an absolute testament to sidecar racing, and but for a long delay in the earlier Superbike race, would certainly have enthralled and delighted a live TV audience. Nonetheless, those fans watching on the live stream were treated to a magnificent show.

Andy Peach

It was action from lights to flag and once more demonstrated the incredible talents of the series leaders who are now possibly dreaming of double titles at World and National level.

Result

1/Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/Sam and Tom Christie (CES Yamaha)
3/Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther (ARC Kawasaki LCR)
4/George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
5/Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
6/Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Couriers Yamaha)
7/Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha)
8/Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
9/Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor (Centurion Packaging/CYB Glass Fibre Yamaha, 10/Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Hazbeans Racing Yamaha).

Race Two

The weather had cooled considerably from previous days, but once again the skies brightened for the late afternoon race. As with Cadwell tradition, the reverse grid option was abandoned, and qualifying times dictated the formation.

Once again, a determined charge from the line saw the Christie boys neck and neck with Ellis into Coppice. Lewis Blackstock had his sidecar wheel on the grass as he fought to gain a couple of places but was thwarted in the attempt. If there were a reward for sheer effort in the face of adversity this weekend, Blackstock/Rosney get my vote. George Holden found himself behind Rob Biggs and Lee Crawford on lap one, with Biggs/Pitt absolutely flying this time out.

Race action from Cadwell Park

Sam Christie is growing in confidence daily, and he led the pack into lap two. The favoured passing place for Ellis was Park Corner, and again he used it to perfection. Once ahead, that is where he and Emmanuelle stayed, chased hard by the Christies for at least half the race. The battle for the lead was now firmly on, with Ellis/Clement yet again breaking their own lap record set earlier in the weekend. A new time of 1.31.100 was indeed fresh and uncharted territory. Even if the old guard of former World Champions were to return to the fray, this would be a hard nut to crack. With eleven wins from eleven starts, this has been an incredible season for the Anglo-French pairing. The new kids on the block are in town and you’d better believe it.

The leading two crews then cleared off, as Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther in third headed a freight-train of Biggs, Holden and Blackstock. These four outfits were welded together lap after lap, with ever desperate measures taken by all crews behind the very calm-headed Crawford. He’s a big presence on and off track and was proving impossible to pass. Once more, the spectacle of this dogfight was something to behold for the huge crowd all around the circuit who stayed to watch the final race. They were not disappointed and applauded universally when the chequered flag came out. Further down the field, Rupert Archer overshot Park Corner, and once on the grass was heading for the tyre wall. He avoided contact, but by that time passenger Phil Hyde had abandoned ship. Back at the front, it was lap six before Holden/Lawrence had dived through along the bottom stretch with Biggs/Pitt repeating the move two laps later. This was the Rob Biggs of old and was good to see.

Race action

Despite his best efforts, Blackstock’s Yamaha was no match for the Kawasaki of Crawford in terms of speed, the that is how they finished. Holden/Lawrence closed to within twenty- three points of third place in only their second full season.

Sam and Tom Christie, second in the standings, have never been off the podium including eight runner-up spots, and now trail Ellis by thirty-five points.

Result

1/Ellis/Clement
2/Christie/Christie
3/Holden/Lawrence
4/Biggs/Pitt
5/Crawford/Lowther
6/Blackstock/Rosney
7/Robinson/Fairhurst
8/Peach/Edwards
9/Clarke/Ensor
10/Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Ellis 275
Christie 240
Blackstock 195
Holden 172
Robinson 107
Archer 95
Hauxwell 87
Peach 74
Clarke 52
Cable 47
Biggs 38
Kirby 35
Crawford 27

The next round comes from the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk 9-11 September.

Photo credits: Barry Clay

British F1: Ellis/Clement take big lead back to home ground

British F1: Ellis/Clement take big lead back to home ground

British F1: Ellis/Clement take big lead back to home ground

Ellis and Clement

Just three weeks ago the Cadwell Sidecar Revival witnessed a dominant display by Santander Salt’s Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement as they took three out of three. They further increased their points lead two weeks ago at Thruxton. Now they’re back again at Ellis’s home circuit for what they hope will be more of the same August 27-29.

The twenty-seven-year-old and his French lady passenger hail from Market Rasen, and list Cadwell Park as their favourite UK circuit. Their most recent performance on the iconic track built by Howard Wilkinson was testament to that, as they swept away the 600cc and 1000cc lap records on their Yamaha to break new ground as the fastest ever Cadwell sidecar lap.

Their main opposition comes in the form of Sam and Tom Christie from Beverley on their CES Yamaha, and Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney on the DHR/Express Tyres Services Yamaha.

George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki) have also grown in confidence, speed, and ability as the season progressed, resulting in a strong fourth place in the standings. They have profited by Blackstock’s misfortunes and are closing the gap race by race. Last time at Cadwell they achieved their first runner-up spot in the series, with just one more step to aim for on the podium.

The Christie brothers trail the leaders by twenty-five points, with Blackstock/Rosney a further twenty-six behind. With two races on the programme, and twenty-five points for each win, these are not insurmountable odds, and you can be assured the top four teams will be doing their utmost to gain those points.

Last time in Lincolnshire, Ben and Tom Birchall, along with Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe chose to use their short chassis F2 Hondas. If that situation is repeated, they are unlikely to be at the sharp end, but if they do appear on the long LCR’s then they will certainly be in the mix. Relative newcomers Simon Robinson and Mick Fairhurst sit fifth in the table ahead of Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde.

Race action from Cadwell Park 2021

The sidecars are always immensely popular at Cadwell Park and there will be no shortage of entertainment on and off track. This round is important to all concerned as there is one more clash with the FIM series later in the year, taking Ellis/Clement out of the equation. At a time when sidecar racing – whilst one of the most fascinating mysteries of Motorsport – is going through something of a crisis, there will be a huge crowd, live Eurosport TV and a real party atmosphere at this traditional BSB holiday weekend.

If you can’t be there, you’re missing out, and if you can – well simply enjoy the occasion.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

British F1: Ellis/Clement turn up the heat at thrilling Thruxton

British F1: Ellis/Clement turn up the heat at thrilling Thruxton

British F1: Ellis/Clement turn up the heat at thrilling Thruxton

Blackstock/Rosney

The tropical conditions continued as the Molson Group sidecars arrived in Hampshire for the half-way mark in the 2022 season. This round is one of the toughest on the calendar due to the unforgiving speeds and cornering forces. This would prove to be a crucial test for the top runners, with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement carrying an eleven-point lead over Sam/Tom Christie who in turn were a further sixteen points clear of Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney.

Qualifying

The one session went the way of the series leaders as expected. Ellis/Clement have earned the respect of the entire paddock and rightly so. The lap record held by Ben and Tom Birchall was bettered by the Santander salt duo on their way to pole position, but they would need to wait for the races to make it official. They set a time of 1.19.032 on lap two of the session and then sat back. Sam and Adam Christie got the better of Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney early on, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence repeating the feat to lead row two. Rob Biggs and Simon Robinson were next, with Peach and Nicholls destined to fight from row four.

The back row contained Rupert Archer and new passenger Rhys Gibbons alongside the Hazbeans Yamaha of Hauxwell/Taylor.

Race One

As the crews lined up, Race Director Stuart Higgs made an impromptu visit to the grid and spoke quickly to every team with a safety message, basically giving them the chance to signal if they were in trouble with the extreme heat. As it happened, all teams went the distance except for Rob Biggs, who was still plagued with his mechanical woes and forced to retire at two thirds distance.

From the start, the Christie brothers grabbed the lead chased by Ellis/Clement. The CES Yamaha led lap one right to the final chicane, at which point, Ellis went ahead and held the lead throughout. Behind them, Blackstock/Rosney and Holden/Lawrence fought over the third place slot, with Holden gaining the advantage.

These four teams were ahead of Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst in fifth, and a great battle featuring Peach/Edwards, Nicholls/Janssens and Archer/Gibbons. This went all the way to the flag with a delighted Dean Nicholls getting the verdict.

The leading pair were still very close at half-distance as the Christie brothers kept the pressure on Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. At one point approaching the end of the race they had narrowed the gap to under one second, but then Ellis responded.

There have been consistently fast, record-setting performances from Ellis/Clement on every stage they have performed this year. In doing so, they have pulled others with them to raise their game. The Christies have never gone faster (Tom was way ahead of previous Thruxton performances and into new territory), George Holden/Oscar Lawrence have exceeded anything they have ever done before, and apart from the unusual recent hiccups, Blackstock and Rosney are also very much on the pace. This year is going a bit wrong for them, but we have the second half of the season remaining.

At the flag, the lead gap was around six seconds, with Sam/Tom Christie keeping their challenge on target.

Result

1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Sam/Tom Christie (Christie Engineering Services Yamaha)
3/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki
4/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
5/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Courier Service Yamaha)
6/ Dean Nicholls/Ruben Janssens (TSR Racing Honda)
7/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
8/ Rupert Archer/Rhys Gibbons (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha),
9/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Vinyls 4U Adolf RS Yamaha).

Race two

The reverse grid rule often throws up some interesting situations and today was no exception. Blackstock/Rosney hit the front impressively with Ellis/Clement bogged down in fifth place into the complex. Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst and Andy Peach/Ken Edwards were in the early mix on lap one and literally the entire pack was bunched up and together into the chicane for the first time around. Blackstock made good his escape into lap two, as Ellis set about planning his out-braking move on Christie to propel himself and Emmanuelle to second place. George Holden was now fourth, with Robinson, Peach, and Rob Biggs line astern.

Blackstock/Rosney got cracking in a strong attempt to gap the championship leaders and they did a great job for three laps. Next time around, Ellis had made the move which we all saw coming, lapping with four tenths of the record to go ahead. That left Blackstock at the mercy of an advancing Sam Christie with brother Tom doing a great job on his baptism of fire at this formidable circuit.

Dean Nicholls was to survive just two laps after a collision with Craig Hauxwell, but the Hazbeans outfit battled on regardless, seemingly unaffected by the incident. Lap six and Biggs/Pitt were gone with yet another technical issue. The midnight oil will be copiously burned to get this bike sorted for Cadwell Park next time out.

At the front, the convoy had narrowed down to a battle for second place with the Christies climbing all over Blackstock/Rosney, and Holden/Lawrence waiting for their chance. It came in dramatic style when Sam Christie dived for the inside at the chicane. He made contact with Blackstock, pushing him sideways and wide. It was an unintentional and reasonable move, which simply did not come off. However, Blackstock was compromised and shoved wide. Race Direction took the view it was aggressive and penalised the Christie two seconds. This elevated George Holden to second place.

Down the field, most performances can be described as heroic given the conditions. Young Rhys Gibbons stayed the pace with Rupert Archer for seventh, Peach and Edwards had another finish for sixth, itself an achievement, Simon Robinson, again lonely in fifth racked up good points, with the top four positioned as described. Ellis/Clement once again displayed title-winning form to come away with maximum points.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Holden/Lawrence
3/ Christie/Christie
4/ Blackstock/Rosney,
5/ Robinson/Fairhurst
6/ Peach/Edwards
7/ Archer/Gibbons
8/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Ellis 225
Christie 200
Blackstock 174
Holden 143
Robinson 88
Archer 85
Hauxwell 75
Peach 58
Cable 47
Clarke 38
Kirby 35
Biggs 25

The next round is back at Cadwell Park 27-29 August at the big BSB weekend.

British F1: Fearsome Thruxton marks half-way stage in 2022 title chase

British F1: Fearsome Thruxton marks half-way stage in 2022 title chase

British F1: Fearsome Thruxton marks half-way stage in 2022 title chase

Race action from Thruxton

The Molson Group sidecars head for Hampshire over the weekend of August 12-14 at the mid-point of a topsy-turvy season.

Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) had built a decent advantage going on to round three at Brands Hatch. A retirement cost them dear, compounded by double victory for Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement on the Santander Salt Yamaha. Last weekend, three more races at Cadwell Park Revival put a different complexion on the standings, with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement emerging series leaders after ruling the roost with a devastating performance. They took three wins in Lincolnshire, smashing all known sidecar records along the way.

The Santander Salt duo also lead the World standings and will be away in Germany when this domestic series goes to Donington Park defending that lead. That is why they need another good weekend at Thruxton to get points in the bag ahead of that clash weekend in late September.

The Thruxton track is feared by sidecar passengers due to its outright high speed, grippy surface and enormous cornering forces. It will test the best, and last year, Ben and Tom Birchall emerged, after a tough battle, with double victory.

They, along with Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe, appeared for the first time this year at Cadwell Park last weekend on the F2 Honda TT spec machine but were ineligible for points. If their long bike is still not ready, the same could well apply at Thruxton. We are reliably informed the long bikes are on target to appear at Snetterton early September.

I sense this could be a pivotal round for those in contention, with Ellis/Clement in formidable form and Blackstock and Rosney, along with Sam and Tom Christie, on target for their best seasons yet. They have much to fight for and will not be holding back. Ellis/Clement are without doubt the in-form team, sweeping all before them this year, but this will be a new circuit for the French lady passenger, so that will be something of a challenge.

Ellis has an eleven-point lead over the Christies going into Thruxton, with Blackstock a further sixteen back, so with fifty up for grabs, anything could happen.

Neither should you discount George Holden and Oscar Lawrence. This young pair are not far off the top three and improving every week, claiming their first second place finish in race three Cadwell.

With half the season still to fight for and double points at the Brands Hatch finale, the next few weeks will be riveting, and it all starts at Thruxton this coming weekend.

Photo credit: Jenny “Triker” Wells

British F1: Ellis/Clement masterclass at fantastic Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival

British F1: Ellis/Clement masterclass at fantastic Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival

British F1: Ellis/Clement masterclass at fantastic Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival

Cadwell Revival poster

The weather was very kind, and the entry was superb across all classes for the fourth Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival. This Bemsee organised meeting is the only one outside of the British Superbike calendar and caters for all classes of sidecars ancient and modern.

Three races for the Molson Group F1 Championship with seventy-five points up for grabs were a meaningful target for all concerned, with Ben and Tom Birchall making their first appearance in the series this year. Both they and Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe were out on their short chassis TT Honda engine projectiles. They would not be eligible to take points however, due to their technical specification, and chose to compete in the FSRA F2 category. Todd Ellis had a degree of experimentation with the new Ryde F1 chassis, putting it through its paces extensively in Friday testing with great success. This was home ground for Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement, and they would be going for it as usual. Trying to stop them would be the top two crews in the series, Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and Sam/Tom Christie.

Qualifying

Saturday dawned with glorious sunshine from the word go, with just one session scheduled for late morning. Todd Ellis popped out in the Bemsee session with the Ryde F1, posting a best time of 1.36.6, a clear six seconds ahead of the closest club outfit.

In the session proper, the Anglo-French par did the same again but this time on the LCR, circulating at sub-lap record pace ahead of Sam/Tom Christie and the series leaders Blackstock/Rosney. Just behind came George Holden/Oscar Lawrence who were easily the best of the rest, two seconds clear of Rob Biggs and new passenger Jason Pitt. They in turn, were well ahead of Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson and Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde.

Race One

A flying start took the pole sitters into an immediate lead at Coppice with Blackstock/Rosney in close company from the Christie brothers and Holden/Lawrence. Then came Rob Biggs and Jason Pitt and Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst.

The top three broke away in perfect track conditions, opening a slight gap back to the Holden/Lawrence Kawasaki. These four outfits were steadily pulling away with Ellis/Clement easing out a slight edge on lap two.

Then Sam/Tom Christie were on the back of the Express Tyre Services Yamaha, with Blackstock suffering from tyre degradation. They had a moment on the grass and never felt safe thereafter. They simply lost confidence in the feel, lost their speed, and dropped to third, never to recover. Ellis/Clement meanwhile, set a new race lap record of 1.32.099 on lap four and headed the Christies home over the ten laps.

The pace was fierce, and the improvement in lap times by Ellis, Christie and Blackstock before his tyres went off was remarkable. Holden too has steadily gained pace and smoothness. Further down the order, Biggs and Robinson were enjoying their own scrap, with Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson pulling a gap on Archer. Andy Peach and Ken Edwards sported new Gulf livery and spent the race fighting off Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor, eventually losing out. The Hazbeans duo of Hauxwell and Taylor had another enjoyable outing to claim more points.

Result

1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Sam Christie/Tom Christie (CES Yamaha)
3/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
4/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki),
5/ Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt (Santander Salt Yamaha)
6/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Courier Service Yamaha)
7/ Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson (L&W Contractors Yamaha)
8/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Yamaha RSR)
9/ Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor (Centurion Yamaha)
10/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
11/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Hazbeans Yamaha).

Race Two

It was more of the same this time around in terms of glorious sunshine, with Blackstock/Rosney sporting new rubber. They had a flying start fired up with determination with Ellis/Clement in second and the Christies third ahead of Holden/Lawrence. The lead was short-lived however, as Ellis shot the Yamaha past on the opening lap. From then on, he and his lady passenger just piled on the coals, setting yet another lap record of 1.31.617 on lap two. This surpassed the previous 1000cc record held by Tim Reeves, so the World Championship leaders were clearly setting new standards in 2022. The battle for second place raged between Blackstock/Rosney and the CES Christie brother’s Yamaha, with Blackstock slipping back to third.

Behind came Holden/Lawrence again, closing a little on Blackstock towards the end of the race. Next was a fine fifth throughout by Simon Robinson and Mick Fairhurst celebrating his 2021 “passenger of the year” award presented the previous evening. Their result put them fifth in the standings after race two.

Kevin Cable fought a race-long duel with Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde ahead of Clarke and Hauxwell. It was retirement for both Andy Peach and Rob Biggs who was suffering with a distinct lack of engine performance as the race wore on. It is hard to see any answers for the devastating speed of Ellis/Clement. With one more race to go here, and Thruxton coming up, they were moving towards a strong series challenge.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Christie/Christie
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Holden/Lawrence,
5/ Robinson/Fairhurst
6/ Cable/Richardson
7/ Archer/Hyde
8/ Clarke/Ensor,
9/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Race Three

The heat had gone up considerably ahead of the final outing with Ellis again almost making the best of the pole position start. He shot off the line but was beaten into Charlies by Blackstock/Rosney, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence third and fighting. The Christie boys were fourth, but eager and desperate to get back in touch. Lap two, and Holden/Lawrence were not about to give their second spot away, with Blackstock/Rosney nipping at their heels, and the frustrated Christies stuck in fourth. As Ellis/Clement gave a masterful display on the singing Yamaha, the trio behind circulated lap after lap in close formation with Holden looking strong, if a little under pressure.

Robinson/Fairhurst were next, ahead of a despondent Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt. These crews have the speed when all is well, but the bikes were simply not playing ball in this final outing. Both were eventually to retire towards the end of the race on laps seven and eight respectively. The field was now down to eight finishers with Andy Peach/Ken Edwards already non-starters in this one. A gleeful Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson who had spent the entire race defending another challenge from Archer/Hyde, found themselves in fifth with more solid points. Rupert Archer is another competitor who, by sheer doggedness and consistency, is now placed fifth in the standings just two points ahead of relative newcomers Robinson/Fairhurst. But for their retirement, they would have been in that position.

At the front the battle raged into the final two laps with Ellis/Clement now twenty seconds clear of the trio behind. Blackstock/Rosney were down to fourth with the Christies climbing all over George Holden/Oscar Lawrence on the Holden Racing Kawasaki.

Then the inevitable happened approaching the mountain section before the final lap. A coming together between third and fourth saw the Christies emerge with wheel arch damage and a smoking tyre, whilst Blackstock/Rosney appeared later. They were still fourth, but the chance had gone. Holden/Lawrence meanwhile were cock-a-hoop with their best result at this level.

This championship might have been missing some top names early in the season, but those teams who have turned up and supported the series, have had good racing, and found reward for their efforts.

As for Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement, they are simply in a special pace at this precise moment and few, with any honest knowledge of this sport, could possibly argue with that.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Holden/Lawrence
3/ Christie/Christie
4/ Blackstock/Rosney,
5/ Cable/Richardson
6/ Archer/Hyde
7/ Clarke/Ensor
8/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Ellis/Clement 175
Christie/Christie 164
Blackstock/Rosney 148,
Holden/Lawrence 107
Archer/Hyde 68
Robinson/Fairhurst 66
Hauxwell/Taylor 60
Cable/Richardson 47
Peach/Edwards 40
Clarke/Ensor 38
Kirby/Kirby 35

Santander Salt to bow out of FIM Sidecar World Championship

Santander Salt to bow out of FIM Sidecar World Championship

Santander Salt to bow out of FIM Sidecar World Championship

FIM Sidecar World championship logos

Following last week’s news that RKB-F1 is to withdraw from sidecar championship activities at the end of the 2022 season, agreement has now been reached with the FIM to formally cease involvement as promoter of that series too.

Roger Body of RKB-F1 Motorsport and CEO of Santander Salt the series sponsor, had this to say – “After much deliberation and with regret I have decided that the time has come for me retire from the front line in organising the world and British Sidecar championships. I have enjoyed immensely the involvement with the series and the people and friendships formed along the way. I would have liked to achieve more but I think it is time for young blood and maybe some fresh thinking. I wish all those involved in the future of the sport the best of luck. My personal thanks go to the FIM and all those who played a part in helping me realise my ambitions.”

The FIM were fully supportive and appreciative of Roger’s decision, and completely understanding of the circumstances which contributed to it.

The FIM President Jorge Viegas said – “On behalf of the FIM, I would like to thank Roger Body and the entire Santander Salt team for having deployed their best efforts and contributed with strong passion to the growth of this spectacular championship in an extremely difficult context. The FIM will try to find a new promoter for the FIM Sidecar World Championship from 2023 onwards.”

As stated in our previous announcement, our best efforts will be applied to the finalisation of the 2022 season for both the British and the World series, with lots of racing still to do. Both championships are wide open, with double points applicable in the final rounds at Brands Hatch and Estoril respectively.

I know I speak for all the sidecar teams, fans, spectators, TV audiences and Santander Salt support staff when I thank Roger Body for his vision, hard work and enthusiasm over many years in keeping the sport of sidecar racing alive at the highest level. No-one could possibly have done more.

Thank you, Roger.

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