British F1: Santander Salt Racing announces new initiative with FHO Racing

British F1: Santander Salt Racing announces new initiative with FHO Racing

British F1: Santander Salt Racing announces new initiative with FHO Racing

Ellis / Clement

Santander Salt Racing announces new initiative with FHO Racing putting Ellis, Biggs and Nixon in FHO colours. Roger Body with his Santander Salt Racing team has forged a new collaborative agreement with Faye Ho and her FHO Racing Team.

Faye’s prominence in the BSB paddock continues apace announcing that Pirelli Junior Superstock Champion Jack Nixon will step up to ride for the FHO Racing Team in the Pirelli National Superstock class on a BMW M1000RR machine.

The 20-year-old from Folkestone took seven victories and a further five podiums on his way to last year’s title riding the Santander Salt Yamaha R6 courtesy of Roger Body’s Kent-based operation. Alongside his significant commitment to the World and British Sidecar Championships, Roger’s involvement with Jack remains ongoing. He will take an even keener interest in this next level of competition, forging yet another connection with a high-profile Superbike team.

The National Superstock class is arguable the most challenging and strongly disputed in the paddock with a wealth of talented and experienced riders, mixing it with many stars of the future. All are mounted on highly competitive machinery from the top manufacturers. This will be a steep learning curve for Jack Nixon, and he relishes the task ahead.

The collaboration between Faye Ho and Roger Body does not stop there. The distinctive colour scheme and livery of FHO Racing will also adorn the Santander Salt World and British sidecar racing teams.

Faye Ho’s initiative and enthusiasm for promoting women in sport is manifested in the three young women who will wear her colours in the Hel Performance Junior Supersport class, and the Honda British Talent Cup. She has now extended that female portfolio with the inclusion of sidecar star Todd Ellis’s French passenger Emmanuelle Clement, who will once again partner Ellis in their second season together.

Runners-up last year, they are of one single mind as to the goal for 2022. One year later, most of the tracks will now be familiar, the young pairing have their rookie season behind them, and they have high hopes of championship success.

All parties in this new initiative are immensely excited about the year ahead, with Nixon understandably circumspect but realistic.

Jack commented: “Stepping up to the 1000cc class is going to be a steep learning curve for me, but I will use the chance wisely and get as much time on the bike as possible before official testing. It is a massive opportunity with such an important team, and I want to thank Faye Ho for her faith and confidence in me. You can see how much effort and investment she has put in already, and I am really looking forward to being part of that. I also am hugely grateful to Roger Body of Santander Salt for his support right from my early days in the BSB paddock. He has known my family for many years from the sidecar GP days, and that connection has been a fantastic help”.

FHO Team Owner Faye Ho added: “I am really happy to welcome Jack to our line-up for the coming season. I like to give young talent an opportunity and winning the Junior Superstock class last year gave Jack the perfect platform from which to step up and further his career. I am also delighted with the broader association between FHO Racing and Roger Body’s Santander Salt organisation which will allow cooperation across our combined motorsport interests”.

Roger Body expanded on his reasons: “I have always seen links with prominent solo teams in the BSB paddock as important. In recent seasons we have seen several sidecar teams running in BSB team livery enjoying the extra sponsorship and publicity that comes with it. Jack has been under our umbrella for a few years now and there is a strong historic sidecar connection with his family. Faye Ho’s FHO Racing Team provides a golden opportunity for Jack to develop and progress his career, whilst giving us a strong association with a modern and forward-thinking team across all classes. I have no doubt Jack will seize this chance with both hands. This is a really good fit for Santander Salt, and I am delighted”.

**Cancelled** RKB British Sidecar Championship Dinner Dance & Awards Presentation

**Cancelled** RKB British Sidecar Championship Dinner Dance & Awards Presentation

Trophies

RKB British Sidecar Championship
Dinner Dance & Awards Presentation

**Cancelled**

Dear Competitors,

RKB Motorsport announce regretfully that the January 2022 Presentation Evening has been cancelled. Due to the Pandemic Variant, applications understandably so, have fallen far short of expectations and as the event date draws closer, RKB Motorsport had no option but to inform the Bentley Hotel of our decision to cancel.

We are ever grateful for your past participation, and certainly hope this blip in our routine does not affect support going forward. It does of course mean we will have much more to celebrate after the 2022 season, so let’s have a great year and look forward to that.

RKB Motorsport would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank the teams that have already applied for the Presentation Evening.

Yours in Sport
Glenn “Chalkie” Walsh

FIM Sidecars: Full house of dates for 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship

FIM Sidecars: Full house of dates for 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship

FIM Sidecars: Full house of dates for 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship

Race Action - Le Mans - Photo credit - Good-Shoot

After a difficult yet nonetheless very successful 2021 season which saw Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries crowned champions, Roger Body and his RKB-F1 management team in conjunction with the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme are delighted to announce a full eight-round Championship for 2022.

With most European countries now well advanced in their Covid-19 vaccination programmes, there is a real sense of optimism that the global pandemic which has so severely affected sport and travel, will not disrupt arrangements and plans for a full racing season.

There is additional excellent news in that there will be two rounds with the FIM Superbike World Championship as well as two with the FIM World Endurance series. These are big stages to perform on, and further indication of the way the FIM and major organisers view the renaissance of the FIM Sidecar World Championship. Final negotiations on the absolute detail are still taking place, but the proposed dates are listed below.

April 14-16 – France, Le Mans World Endurance.
April 22-24 – Netherlands, Assen World SBK (TBC)
June 2-4 – Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps World Endurance
June 17-19 – Hungary, Pannonia Ring
June 23-26 – Croatia, Rijeka
July 15-17 – UK, Donington Park World SBK.
September 30-Oct 2 – Germany, Oschersleben (TBC)
October 28-30 – Portugal, Estoril.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

British F1: Donington Park joins the party in October as penultimate round

British F1: Donington Park joins the party in October as penultimate round

British F1: Donington Park joins the party in October as penultimate round

Race action at Donington Park

Donington Park has been added to the 2022 schedule making nine rounds in total, with eight of those alongside the Bennetts British Superbike Championship. The Leicestershire circuit is popular with the sidecar teams and always provides great racing.

The inclusion of Donington Park creates an attractive and exciting season for the established star names, as well as several new crews who have signalled their intention to step up and compete in the full series.

Whilst the FIM World Championship dates have still to be finalised and published, every effort is being made to dovetail the two series, with the minimum of clashes.

The nine-round British fixture list is now as follows: –

April 30/May – 2 Oulton Park
June 17-19 – Knockhill
July 22-24 – Brands Hatch
August 5-7 – Cadwell Revival (test day Friday)
August 12-14 – Thruxton
August 27-29 – Cadwell Park
September – 9-11 Snetterton
Sept 30-Oct 2 – Donington Park
October – 14-16 Brands Hatch

The FIM World calendar is in the process of finalisation and will follow imminently.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

British F1: All systems go as 2022 series dates confirmed

British F1: All systems go as 2022 series dates confirmed

British F1: All systems go as 2022 series dates confirmed

Birchalls

The 2022 British Sidecar Championship roars into action with two races at Oulton Park in the traditional opener over the weekend of April 30-May 2nd. This will set the scene for an eight-round series, with the now firmly established Cadwell Park Revival meeting the only exception outside of the Bennetts British Superbike calendar.

Roger Body and his RKB-F1 team have been frantically busy since close of play at Brands Hatch juggling dates for both the British and FIM World Championships, with the sole objective of running meaningful, high-profile rounds and the minimum of clashes. A top priority has been to offer all teams the opportunity to compete in both championships with a real chance of succeeding in both.

George Holden

The wealth of sidecar talent now prominent in the UK ranks means there are possibly ten crews capable of running at the sharp end of world-class competition, and it therefore behoves the UK organisers to maximise the exposure of these teams at that level. The British dates are the first to be set in stone due to the early publication of the BSB calendar, and we can announce those.

Now a long-established and integral part of the Bennetts British Superbike weekend, the sidecars will once again provide huge entertainment for the thousands of three-wheeler fans trackside, whilst enjoying live coverage from Eurosport, whether on the Eurosport App or live TV broadcast (schedules permitting).

Biggs

Due recognition and thanks go to Stuart Higgs and his MSV team for the extra level of cooperation in enabling these dates against a difficult and complex backdrop for 2022. In the meantime, we take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very safe and happy Christmas with a prosperous New Year. Here’s to 2022 !

The eight-round fixture list is as follows –

April 30/May 2 – Oulton Park
June 17-19 – Knockhill
July 22-24 – Brands Hatch
August 5-7 – Cadwell Revival
August 12-14 – Thruxton
August 27-29 – Cadwell Park
September 9-11 – Snetterton
October 14-16 – Brands Hatch

The FIM World calendar is in the process of finalisation and will follow imminently.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

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

British F1: Birchall brothers flying high to Donington Park 1-3rd October

British F1: Birchall brothers flying high to Donington Park 1-3rd October

British F1: Birchall brothers flying high to Donington Park 1-3rd October

Ben & Tom Birchall Race 2

With eleven victories from thirteen outings Ben and Tom Birchall (Haith Honda) head for Donington Park on target for the championship. But for the double points on offer in the Brands Hatch finale, they would be home and dry anyway, However, Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney still have a mathematical chance of stealing the title. Their record of podiums is equally impressive, having only missed out twice.

A clash with the FIM World Championship in Oschersleben sees four of the top runners absent, including the only crew to beat the Birchalls this year, Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha). That leaves the door wide open for others to capitalise at Donington, with Blackstock/Rosney at the front of the queue. They have been edging ever closer on the DHR/Express Tyre Service Yamaha LCR.

A real battle is shaping up for third place between John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes/Silicone Yamaha) and Ben Holland/Tom Christie (Team JH Racing Kawasaki). Just three points split these two crews, as Ben Holland continues to find his mojo.

Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS) will benefit significantly from the absence of Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz and Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies (Team SLR Yamaha) who are also entered for Germany.

Despite the FIM clash, the grid is strong with several wild cards joining the party. Among those is the extremely fast Lee Crawford, who with regular passenger Scott Hardie alongside, is expected to be getting to grips with a new “long chassis” LCR powered by Kawasaki for team ARC.

TT winner Conrad Harrison joins the line-up as do Brian Ilaria and Matty Sims with their Suzuki. It will be interesting to see how these short chassis outfits cope against the long bikes on the flowing lines of Donington Park.

Lewis Nicol and Rhys Gibbons make the long trek from Cupar to throw their hats into the ring and are an unknown force against the Molson regulars.

It could well be a very different points table at the close of play at Donington Park on Sunday with Lewis Blackstock desperate to keep his hopes alive going into the Brands finale.

One thing is certain, it will be a brave man to place odds against Ben and Tom Birchall doing the double.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

FIM Sidecars: FIM World circus heads for Oschersleben 1-3rd October

FIM Sidecars: FIM World circus heads for Oschersleben 1-3rd October

FIM Sidecars: FIM World circus heads for Oschersleben 1-3rd October

Early laps race two Schlosser leads

After five weeks away, the FIM Sidecar World Championship swings back into action in Germany. Sixteen crews from eight nations are entered for the event with six making the journey from the UK.

The Motorsport Arena of Oschersleben is their destination, a popular and regular venue in recent years, located mid-way between Hanover and Berlin. Leading the points table by a healthy forty-one-point margin is the Swiss pairing of Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries. They have shown good speed and consistency all season despite the ravages of last lap battles with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement and Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau. Eight-times champion Reeves is not going quietly, and with six races still on the agenda, there is much to play for.

Ellis/Clement, on the Santander Salt Yamaha sit second, thirty-four points clear of reigning British Champions Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood, with Finnish legend Pekka Pavairinta/Ilse de Haas next up in fourth.

Reeves/Rousseau trail Kershaw by a further fifteen points, putting them one hundred adrift of the series leaders.

Lukas Wyssen and Thomas Hofer, Schlosser’s teammates are best of the rest in sixth.

This round clashes with a British Molson Group round at Donington Park, but there is strength in depth at both events, making the weekend a fascinating prospect for sidecar racing lovers and enthusiasts.

All these teams will be coming together at the next British round in Brands Hatch, where both FIM and Molson Group crews will take to the Kent circuit in a combined event.

Meanwhile, the focus is on the top four crews heading for Germany and the appetising prospect of yet more drama as Schlosser/Fries aim for their first title, and Ellis/Clement close in on what could be a sensational debut year on the world stage.

There are two crews equally determined to stop that happening at whatever cost, as Reeves/Rousseau and Pavairinta/de Haas prepare for battle.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

British F1: Birchalls prevail at Snetterton as they and Ellis smash lap record

British F1: Birchalls prevail at Snetterton as they and Ellis smash lap record

British F1: Birchalls prevail at Snetterton as they and Ellis smash lap record

Race 2 Ellis & Clement, Holden & Pitt, Holden & Lawrence

Fresh from double victory in the German national championship in which they defeated main rivals Tim Reeves and Markus Schlosser, Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement had every reason to feel buoyant ahead of this home series round. In free practice, it became clear this would be a renewal of the battle between the Santander Salt pairing, and the Haith Honda of Ben and Tom Birchall. They had edged free practice by seven one-hundredths of a second.

Qualifying – The weather brightened up just in time and was much warmer as the session began. With the first race later in the day, and no warm-up prior, this sole twenty-minute qualifier was essential on all counts.

The 2019 British Champion went straight out to the top of the timesheets, with the Birchalls playing a waiting game.

Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney continues their rich vein of form from Cadwell missing out by just seven tenths from the early leaders.

Four laps in and the Birchalls were third but looking fast and safe as they moved up a gear to find the missing one second. Behind these top three, there was a real fight between Biggs/Schmitz and Holland/Christie.

Next came a similar scrap involving Holden Senior, Scott Lawrie, Rupert Archer and Phil Bell.

Holland and Lawrie shared row three, with Archer/Bell making up row four. Ellis was well inside his own lap record pace, as Ben Birchall eclipsed that time with five minutes left. Ellis pitted, and when he resumed he was looking to find almost half a second. Biggs moved fourth pushing Ben Holland back, as Blackstock grimly sat third with a good cushion.

That’s how it finished, with the two rivals sharing the front row three tenths apart.

Race One – Lights out and the Birchall Honda flew off the line chased by Ellis/Clement. Lewis Blackstock put his nose between them on the run to turn one, but he was denied second place by a determined Ellis.

These three teams quickly established their place at the front, with Ellis climbing all over the back of the race leaders. The Santander Salt Yamaha had the sidecar wheel across the grass and into the dust on lap two, such was his eagerness to get on terms.

Sadly, on lap three the Santander Salt Yamaha was out of the running with a loose final drive sprocket. This was an unusually rare occurrence, and one which was infinitely better confined to this event, rather than a World Championship round.

That left Ben and Tom Birchall to clear off into the distance compounding their advantage by almost two seconds each lap.

Blackstock and Rosney were never threatened in runner-up spot and once Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz established third, that is where they stayed, Ben Holland/Tom Christie ran strongly early on but were to hit problems and drop right down the order.

There was drama aplenty behind though, with Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies taking to the rough stuff with their Yamaha, Andy Peach/Ken Edwards pitting with mechanical problems and Brian Gray shedding passenger Rick Lawrence at the Murrays left-hander.

The most interesting battle raged all race between Phil Bell and John Holden for fourth. Bell and Connell prevailed for a strong finish and best result of the year so far. A recovering Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe backed up Ben Birchalls victory with a strong seventh on their first outing for several weeks.

Result –
1/ Ben/Tom Birchall (Haith Honda)
2/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Service Yamaha)
3/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz (Santander Salt Yamaha)
4/ Phil Bell/Jimmy Connell (Marin Motorsport Yamaha)
5/ John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes/Silicone Adolf RS Yamaha)
6/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha)
7/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe (Birchall Racing Yamaha)
8/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Suzuki)
9/ Kevin Cable/Lee Watson (L&W Contractors Yamaha)
10/ Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies (SLR Yamaha)

Race Two – The reverse grid always throws up excitement, and there was some of that on the opening laps. The Birchall brothers started from row five, and Ellis/Clement from the back of the grid. Pole sitter Scott Lawrie and Shelley Smithies had a great start into the lead and held that place until the Birchalls caught them up on lap three. Sadly, Lawrie was to retire close to the end of the race, but he and Shelley Smithies showed what they could do once again. They have had a good season – if a somewhat eventful one.

Ellis/Clement were less fortunate than the Birchalls, getting bogged down in traffic, one of which was Ben Birchalls’ team-mates Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe. Considering his recent confinement with Covid, Craig held up well and was strong until the closing stages claiming eighth at the flag.

The TV cameras focussed on several individual battles, one of which was a really good scrap between Blackstock/Rosney and Biggs/Schmitz. It would be a tough task to get the better of the DHR/Express Tyre Yamaha, but Biggs was determined and stuck to his guns. The result was a second podium, just three tenths ahead of his rival.

John Holden and Jason Pitt had another good solid ride, keeping Phil Bell at bay this time and moving to third in the standings ahead of a fighting Ben Holland. The gap at the front was slightly less than three seconds going into the final lap, but Birchall had enough up his sleeve to bring it home with a safe margin ahead of Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement and a new lap record to boot. Both Birchall and Ellis smashed the record with lap times, just four one hundredths apart. It was therefore a double podium for Santander Salt with Ellis and Biggs all smiles. Despite the two at the front clearing off, the scraps further down the order were entertaining and did the image of sidecar racing no harm at all.

The only other retirement was Andy Peach who took an early bath on lap two.

Result –
1/ Ben/Tom Birchall
2/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
3/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz
4/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney
5/ John Holden/Jason Pitt
6/ Phil Bell/Jimmy Connell
7/ Ben Holland/Tom Christie
8/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe
9/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde
10/ Kevin Cable/Lee Watson

Championship standings
Birchall 315
Blackstock 186
J Holden 138
Holland 135
Biggs 100
Archer 97
Ellis 90
Lawrie 90
G Holden 87
Peach 79
Christie 76
Bell 76

The next round comes from Donington Park 1-3 October.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

British F1: Ellis and Clement versus Birchall brothers in round six Snetterton September 3-5th

British F1: Ellis and Clement versus Birchall brothers in round six Snetterton September 3-5th

British F1: Ellis and Clement versus Birchall brothers in round six Snetterton September 3-5th

Race action

Well into the second half of the season, Ben and Tom Birchall have taken the lion’s share of victories, having been defeated just twice. The only crew running them close on a regular basis is the Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney duo on the DHR/Express Tyre Service Yamaha.

Last time out at Cadwell Park, inclement weather conditions played a part, with Blackstock/Rosney just one second behind at the flag. They sit second in the table by a comfortable margin.

It was in similar weather conditions one month ago, also at Cadwell, that World Championship runners Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement took the Santander Salt Yamaha to twin victories ahead of the Birchalls and will be looking to do the same at Snetterton.

The twists and turns of the Snetterton 300 circuit with suit the Haith Honda, but with a string of podiums including victory in world races already, Ellis/Clement’s Yamaha will be on full song.

A revitalised Ben Holland, with Tom Christie alongside is enjoying his season, and his old hunger is there to see. They are third in the standings on the Kawasaki, but the omnipresent John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes/Silicone Yamaha) sit a mere handful of points behind.

Scott Lawrie, having something of an eventful year, could have been higher up the board than fifth, had he and Shelley Smithies not destroyed their Suzuki LCR in a big crash at the Cadwell Revival. Undeterred, they will be on the case to replace those lost points in Norfolk.

More talent comes in the shape of George Holden and Oscar Lawrence. They are having their first full year and learning all the time. More than capable of running top six, they will relish Snetterton on their very fast Suzuki.

At the time of going to press, newcomers Craig Currie and Justin Sharp are down to ride despite Currie having an enforced sabbatical with Covid. We certainly hope to see him back in action for Birchall Racing. World Championship contenders Kevin Cable/Lee Watson are also on the list having left Cadwell Park with a blown engine.

All four Japanese engine manufacturers feature in the sidecar class, as well as a diversity of chassis manufacturers. These include the popular LCR, the Adolf RS, and now a new name from the UK, the Ryde F1 in the hands of wildcards Chris Wright and Paul Bailey.

Take a trip into the paddock and marvel at the technology involved. You will be made welcome.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

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