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