British F1: All eyes on Cadwell Sidecar Revival August 6-8th

British F1: All eyes on Cadwell Sidecar Revival August 6-8th

British F1: All eyes on Cadwell Sidecar Revival August 6-8th

Andy Peach and Ken Edwards

After an enforced year away, the highly successful Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival returns over the weekend of August 6-8th. With all Covid related restrictions lifted, we can expect a strong turnout and a bumper crowd of sidecar and classic racing enthusiasts to descend on the picturesque Lincolnshire venue.

With rounds of the FSRA F2 Championship and the Molson Group F1 series on the race card, there can be no doubt as to the expected level of racing. There are also championship rounds for the FSRA Wintec pre-injection and the thundering Camathias Cup outfits. BMCRC and RKB Club teams and BHR Bears are not forgotten, with races for them also on the programme.

Add to all those, the GP legend two-stroke solos and the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters which made such an impression last time out, plus the historic and classic sidecars, and the array of machinery will be truly spectacular. Negotiations are currently taking place to secure as many former World Champions and other great names from the glory days of our sport.

To that end, we are appealing for all classic and historic racing sidecars to support the event and join us for what we know will be a great weekend. Work continues apace to build the support class entries, and entries can be submitted through the Bemsee entry mechanism (www.bemsee.net) as they are in effect hosting the event on our behalf as before.

Esteemed and legendary commentator Fred Clarke will also be exuding enthusiasm and knowledge over the public address system keeping us all abreast of the main classes.

We are also negotiating with our regular TV production house to produce footage and interviews for the various websites and our YouTube Channel.

Finally, if that’s not enough to wear you out, there will be a live band to dance to with a well-stocked bar to keep you smiling!!

So, if you wish to be part of this spectacle, fettle your modern, classic or historic sidecar and get your entry in.

We’ll see you there.

FIM Sidecars: Assen World Superbike embraces round four 23-25th July

FIM Sidecars: Assen World Superbike embraces round four 23-25th July

FIM Sidecars: Assen World Superbike embraces round four 23-25th July

Reeves/Rousseau and Schlosser/Fries

For the second time in a matter of weeks, The FIM Sidecar World Championship runs alongside the World SBK series. The venue this time being the famous “Cathedral of Speed” Assen circuit in Holland where there is an almost fanatical support for the “Zijspan” class. The tradition of sidecar racing in The Netherlands goes back a long way with Egbert Streuer and Bernard Schnieders winning three consecutive titles in the eighties.

Assen brings the 2021 championship chase to the half-way stage, with a young Briton and his French lady passenger perfectly poised to take the series lead.

Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) took a debut win at the previous Donington Park round moving them to within two points of series leaders Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries. The pair have combined well in this, Ellis’s first world championship season.

Schlosser had a mechanical failure on the warm-up lap for race two Donington, which sent him for an early bath and zero points. His speed, however, is undeniable and he will be a hard nut to crack at Assen. Veteran Finn and four-times champion Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas sit third ahead of Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha).

The seven-times champion has not had the best start to his season with a couple of mechanical issues, but freely admits the new level of competition and close racing is exactly what the sport needs. We certainly had that at Donington Park when eventual race two winners Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood scrapped throughout with Ellis and Reeves, capitalising on their fight, to take victory and move fifth in the chase.

The Lauder based pair had not shown their true colours for mechanical reasons, but now they have well and truly arrived. Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz make an opening appearance at this the home race for Biggs passenger. They are forsaking the chance to claim points in the Molson Group series, to complete the Santander Salt line-up in Holland with a real chance of good points.

From the Isle of Man come Harry Payne and Mark Wilkes. They showed a remarkable turn of speed last time out, and with the reigning world champion passenger alongside, Payne is inspired. The sixth British crew making the trip to Holland is Kevin Cable and Kyle Masters, who are thoroughly enjoying their foray onto the world stage. They have scored valuable points already, with high hopes of more to come.

The clash with Brands Hatch British Superbikes means that whilst these teams are fighting for world honours, the British Championship gathers momentum in Kent.

British F1: Birchalls hold the ace cards heading for Brands Hatch – Round Two 23-25th July

British F1: Birchalls hold the ace cards heading for Brands Hatch – Round Two 23-25th July

British F1: Birchalls hold the ace cards heading for Brands Hatch – Round Two 23-25th July

Ben and Tom Birchall

The 2021 sidecar season is well and truly alive after a stunning opening round at Oulton Park in which Ben and Tom Birchall claimed maximum points on their new Haith/Birchall Racing Honda. Since then, they enjoyed a weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed taking the new bike up the famous hill.

The FIM World Championship is also well underway and there is another round this weekend in Assen. Once again, expect even closer racing on the Brands GP Circuit as a result, because two or three top-flight crews will be absent from Kent as they chase World honours.

Second place in the title chase heading for Brands is another brotherly pair.

Sam and Adam Christie from Beverley (Christie Engineering Services Yamaha) had two podiums in Cheshire and trail the Birchalls by fourteen points. Third place in the standings is TT star John Holden (Barnes Racing), with new passenger Jason Pitt who in turn are just one point clear of gritty Scott Lawrie and his lady passenger Shelley Smithies. Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz ran well at Oulton Park and sit fifth on the Santander Salt Yamaha, with Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney desperate to make amends for a DNF and only one score in Cheshire.

Then there is the usual strong body of crews further down the field, some of whom are Brands Hatch specialists. Watch out for Andy Peach and Ken Edwards in this regard. Young talent comes in the form of Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant, fresh from a fourth-place finish in the recent Donington Park World round, and George Holden/Oscar Lawrence still finding their feet, but looking good.

Other new names who could well feature include former F2 stars Simon Robinson and Mick Fairhurst, who sadly had a race two mechanical problem after a brilliant Oulton opener. New to the scene from the world of two and four wheels, come Craig Currie/Justin Sharp. Tenth place in the standings after round one from your very first effort is decidedly impressive. They run under the Birchall Racing banner, and there is clearly more to come from them.

The world of sidecar racing is getting stronger by the day, and there is huge interest from spectators both trackside and television viewers. The renaissance of the sport is on all levels, and Brands will provide yet more stunning action and colourful entertainment.

FIM Sidecars: Ellis/Clement and Kershaw/Charlwood on top of the podium

FIM Sidecars: Ellis/Clement and Kershaw/Charlwood on top of the podium

FIM Sidecars: Ellis/Clement and Kershaw/Charlwood on top of the podium

Podium winners at Donington Park

For the first time in years, the sidecars shared the stage with World Superbikes, and although Covid protocols made integration across the paddock difficult, the sense of occasion was palpable. The Donington Park track was in fine fettle, and weather perfect for free practice. The top crews in the title chase were all in action, with a good contingent of British regulars giving them food for thought.

Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau were philosophical about the Hungary disqualification, and determined to put it behind them with a strong performance here on home-ground.

Qualifying – In sunny humid temperatures, one whole hour in two chunks was a luxurious amount of time to claim pole position, but as always, the fast times came later in the opening session.

Early running took Reeves/Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha) into provisional pole, as the rest of the field settled in. It was not the first time at Donington for Todd Ellis’s female passenger. She had already done a club meeting here and knew her way round. That almost certainly helped her partner Ellis’s Santander Salt Yamaha to the fastest time later in the session. Also going well were Lewis/Paddy Rosney who chased Markus Schlosser home in fourth. Next up were Kershaw/Charlwood from the Christie brothers and Biggs/Schmitz. Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas were eighth fastest almost two seconds back from pole time.

Session two, late in the day saw track and ambient temperature both high, with everything to play for. Todd Ellis went straight in with a sub-lap record time, sending a strong message to the field.

Tim Reeves put in a far greater number of laps than his young rival but seemed unable to better his time of 1.36.820. Paivarinta moved sixth, but few others improved from the opening session. Ellis, however, was the exception to the rule, as he and Emmanuelle Clement claimed pole late on with a time of 1.36.479.

Race One –

The weather had changed completely overnight, and race-day dawned wet and cool. The rain at times was torrential, but things had improved considerably by the time the sidecars came to the line.

Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau made a great start to steal the lead over polesitters Ellis/Clement. The seven-times champion looked to be in great form as he stormed off round the opening lap. In the shuffle for Redgate, Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant had a coming together with Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood damaging the sidecar wheel arch on Philp’s outfit, and ripping out the valve of the Kershaw’s rear wheel leaving him deflated. They lost two laps finding and fitting a replacement wheel but finished in twelfth place to score points. Philp was not so lucky and retired anyway as a result.

At the front, Reeves and Ellis were line astern in close company until Reeves and Rousseau got it slightly wrong going into the left bend at the top of Craner, causing the outfit to head straight onto the grass. Tim later suggested the exit from pitlane by Steve Kershaw as he re-joined the action was an untimely judgement by race direction, causing Tim to choose a different line out of Redgate. He and Kevin re-joined down in sixth place with work to do. This episode gave Ellis a four second margin he was not about to squander. There was no doubting the speed of Reeves and Rousseau as they set about making amends.

Behind Ellis/Clement, series leaders Schlosser and Fries were in a race-long tussle with Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas, and despite Tim Reeves recovering to set fastest lap, he could only manage to climb back to fourth. The strength further down the field was excellent with Sam/Adam Christie enjoying a brilliant battle with Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney ahead of Santander Salt’s Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz and Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes. John Holden and Jason Pitt were also early retirees, with John’s son George and Oscar Lawrence claiming ninth place. This result was off the back of a good seventh in the British Championship just one week ago. The future looks bright for Holden Junior and Oscar Lawrence. Rupert Archer and Kevin Cable were the next two finishers ahead of Kershaw/Charlwood.

Ellis/Clement

Race One Result –
1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil LCR Yamaha)
3/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas (Team 44 Racing Yamaha)
4/ Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha
5/ Sam/Adam Christie (CES Yamaha),
6/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (Dave Holden Racing Yamaha)
7/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz (Santander Salt Yamaha)
8/ Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes (LCR Yamaha)
9/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (LCR Suzuki)
10/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin RS Yamaha).

Race Two –

There was more uncertainty weatherwise with wind arriving and showers possible later in the race. There were already spots of rain in the air as the grid formed. It was made up as before from qualifying, so Kershaw needed to stay out of trouble this time. Ellis was back on pole position from Reeves and Schlosser. After a short delay, the race was declared a dry race with two warm-up laps and a seventeen-lap affair. Poor Schlosser blew a new engine on the warm-up lap, so his day was done.

Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau led after lap one with Kershaw/Charlwood getting a flyer in second place ahead of Blackstock/Rosney and race one winners Ellis/Clement.

Ellis moved third on lap three with Blackstock and Tommy Philp in close formation behind. Then came Paivarinta and Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes. Kershaw set the fastest lap so far on lap four, closing the gap on Reeves.

Lap five and Ellis was in second place just as Paivarinta moved up into fifth ahead of Philp/Bryant. Fastest lap then went to Todd Ellis as he closed in on the race leaders. Eighth place was held by the Christie brothers ahead of the Holdens John and George respectively.

Half distance and Reeves’s lead over Ellis was slashed to half a second as Paivarinta moved fourth past Blackstock/Rosney.

Kershaw/Charlwood were doing a brilliant job in third and looked in the hunt. It was always known they could deliver, and this was looking good. This trio were almost tied together as they each searched for the advantage.

Ellis’s best time was almost half a second faster than that of the race leader, so he had a bit to play with.

Philp and Bryant were having a storming ride in fifth and looking good for eleven points behind the flying Finn Paivarinta. He actually went one better at the flag. With two laps to go, the top three were ten seconds clear of Paivarinta with Reeves and Ellis almost on the same bit of tarmac.

Penultimate lap and Ellis was within one tenth looking menacing. To get by the seven-times champion would be no mean feat, so he had to stay cool.

Last lap and it was all to play for. Amazingly, with Reeves and Ellis scrapping hard on the final lap, there was some contact, but it was all in a day’s work. At the flag, it was a delighted Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood who stole victory.

Race Two Result –
1/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha)
2/ Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha)
3/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
4/ Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant (LCR Yamaha)
5/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas (Team 44 Yamaha)
6/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (LCR Yamaha)
7/ Sam/Adam Christie (CES Yamaha)
8/ Harry Payne/Tom Bryant (LCR Yamaha)
9/ John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes/Silicone Racing
10/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS)

Championship Standings –
Schlosser 115
Ellis 113
Paivarinta 92
Reeves 69
Kershaw 60
Wyssen 41
Endeveld 34
Sattler 26
Peugeot 22
Blackstock 20
Christie 20
Kimeswenger 18
Payne 16
Archer 12
Cable 11

The next round is from The Cathedral of Speed, Assen WorldSBK July 23-25.

Photos – Mark Walters

British F1: Birchalls lead the way in Cheshire thriller with double top

British F1: Birchalls lead the way in Cheshire thriller with double top

British F1: Birchalls lead the way in Cheshire thriller with double top

#5 Biggs/Schmitz

For the first time in the modern era, the sidecars were treated to two races in the Oulton Park opener. After such a long lay-off, everyone was itching to get going, and the size of the entry reflected that enthusiasm.

A clash with the FIM World Championship in Hungary took three or four top crews out of the equation, but that did nothing to detract from the quality of the on-track action.

Qualifying – Early Friday morning and the sidecars were on track at eight-thirty. Initial times had the Christie brothers  looking strong ahead of Ben and Tom Birchall, with Blackstock/Rosney and Holden/Pitt very much in the hunt.

A red flag and a shortened session due to Phil Bell/James Connell crashing spectacularly, with the Scottish passenger breaking a toe. Simon Gilbert/Paul Thomas also hit problems on the same lap. The stoppage resulted in the Birchalls claiming pole position from Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and Sam/Adam Christie. These three crews were less than seven tenths of a second apart, with Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant a fine fourth fastest.

Race One – The lights were out, and it was game on as Blackstock/Rosney led the initial charge towards Old Hall, with two sets of brothers climbing all over them. There was a great start by a returning Scott Lawrie with Shelley Smithies alongside. They were to have a terrific race at constant speed displaying all the aggression and flair of the Scott Lawrie we know. That became the pattern of the race at the front with the added attraction of a flying Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant making their intentions clear moving into serious contention. They were to be right in the mix at the front throughout the race with a podium to show for their efforts. The young newcomers have a bright future and they meant to put that on show.

The Birchall brothers had quickly moved to the front, but they were hassled all the way lap after lap. The sight of the multiple TT winners and World Champions back on the long bike, this time Honda powered and carrying several experimental modifications was great to see. Despite numerous challenges from Blackstock/Rosney, several spirited lunges from Philp/Bryant, the ever-present Scott Lawrie, and a calculated attack by the Christie boys, the Mansfield duo raised their game, claimed a new lap record, and took an impressive victory.

Sadly, Lewis Blackstock was to retire the DHR/Express Tyres Yamaha with gremlins on lap six, just as Ben Holland/Tom Christie pitted their Kawasaki with problems of their own. The Christies made the most of the opportunity and consolidated their position.

While all this was going on at the front, there were equally fierce scraps in the chasing pack between John Holden/Jason Pitt and Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz. They were to claim fifth and sixth respectively with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence very impressive ahead of seasoned veterans Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde and Andy Peach/Ken Edwards. Credit must go to newcomers on long bikes Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst and Paul/Tom Kirby who scored points, and total sidecar virgin Craig Currie who with Justin Sharp, brought his Birchall Racing Yamaha home in eleventh place.

Result –
1/ Ben/Tom Birchall (Birchall Racing Honda LCR)
2/ Sam/Adam Christie (Christie Engineering Services Yamaha)
3/ Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant (Roberts Construction/Tops Autos Yamaha)
4/ Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies (SLR Suzuki)
5/ John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes Racing Adolf RS Yamaha),
6/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz (Santander Salt Yamaha)
7/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence ( Holden Racing Suzuki)
8/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha)

Race Two – The reverse grid always throws up exciting action, but how Ben and Tom Birchall managed to be in the lead half-way round the opening lap from tenth on the grid defies belief. Even before the race got underway, there was drama and some confusion on the grid. Simon Robinson and Mick Fairhurst had to push their failed outfit onto the grass from pole position. George Holden’s hand was in the air, and he was pushed into pit lane from where he was obliged to start. Tommy Philp used the three minutes grace to remove his fairing and tweak a problem, and all before the lights went out for a reduced ten-lapper.

Once away though, mayhem ruled for half a lap before the quick men worked through the pack. Phil Bell and James Connell were quickly to retire, joining Simon Gilbert and Simon Robinson as spectators. As stated, the Birchalls hit the front half-way round the lap, with Blackstock and Rosney following them through, albeit a few places back. John Holden/Jason Pitt, Sam/Adam Christie and Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz all did a good job fighting through, with Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies having another fast, consistent ride.

Mid-race distance and the Birchall Honda moved away, opening a gap which was to be ten seconds at the flag and set yet another lap record in the process. Tommy Philp was to retire two laps from the end, having got really mixed up in the traffic, but the twelve finishers included a strong seventh for Andy Peach/Ken Edwards, solid eighth and important points for Holland/Christie, and an extremely good ride for newcomers Craig Currie/Justin Sharp. Paul/Tom Kirby who entered as wild cards, did themselves proud but took no points. Craig Clarke and Peter Ensor, from being upside down in practice, can also be proud of their two points scoring rides, as they came home in tenth.

Result –
1/ Ben/Tom Birchall
2/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney
3/ Sam/Adam Christie
4/ John Holden/Jason Pitt
5/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz
6/ Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies
7/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards,
8/ Ben Holland/Tom Christie
9/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharp,
10/ Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor

Championship standings –
Birchall/Birchall 50
Christie/Christie 36
Holden/Pitt 24
Lawrie/Smithies 23
Biggs/Schmitz 21
Blackstock/Rosney 20
Philp/Bryant 16
Peach/Edwards 16
Archer/Hyde 13
Currie/Sharp 12

The next round comes from Brands Hatch 23-25th July.

FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

Action from Pannonia Ring, Hungary

Hot, dry conditions would guarantee a great weekend on a newly resurfaced track. Free practice was a close affair, with the top four crews studying each other and the general situation. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau set the standard from Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries and veteran Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas. Kees Endeveld capsized his outfit without injury to either occupant.

Qualifying – Schlosser/Fries headed the pack in Q1, from Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas, and Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau had a hairy off-track moment ending up in the gravel but were sorted and ready for Q2. Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood ended up fifth, with more to come. The pairing of Ellis/Clement was clearly hoping to build on a successful Le Mans debut. Q2 was no different in that the top four retained position, with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement sharing the front row with Paivarinta and pole-man Schlosser. Tim Reeves, nursing an injured foot from his off-track excursion, headed up the second row from team-mates Josef Sattler and Luca Schmidt. Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood started from seventh place on row three.

Race One – Tension and temperature were both through the roof as the lights went out in Hungary. That was not the only hot topic. The overheating problem afflicting Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood in Le Mans struck again and they were to complete just one lap with a failed water pump. Rocket man Schlosser had to give second best to Pekka Paivarinta as the Finn hit the front, with Reeves/Rousseau slipping past Todd/Clement to grab third. Lap two and it was evident Reeves meant business as he took control at the front with Schlosser slipping to fourth behind Ellis and Paivarinta.

The pattern was set for a few laps, but ironically, the overheating problems were infectious. A frustrated Tim Reeves was obliged to retire at half distance when he too had water pump issues. Tyres would also play a part on this rapid, new tarmac, and Schlosser kept his cool, with a delighted and inspired Paivarinta showing the way round. He and Ilse de Haas had clearly gelled together, and he was riding with all the confidence of old.

Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement held a fine second place, but Schlosser/Fries were on the charge, with a safe fourth held by Josef Sattler/Luca Schmidt. Sadly, the L&W Racing duo of Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters, had also been obliged to quit after one lap with a recurrence of the electrical misfire from Le Mans.

Superman Schlosser again worked his way to the front with a couple of calculated moves which left Ellis/Clement pressing Paivarinta/de Haas for the runner-up spot. With spent tyres for both crews that is how it finished, with more strong points for the Santander Salt youngsters, celebrating what surely must now be a permanent relationship, moving second in the standings after race one.

Race One Result –
1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Paivarinta/de Haas
3/ Ellis /Clement
4/ Sattler/Schmidt
5/ Endeveld/Crome
6/ Wyssen/Hofer
7/ Kimeswenger/Kolsch
8/ Remse/Wechselberger

Race Two – If ever there was a race to illustrate world-class sidecar racing, this was it. No longer is there domination by one or two crews streaking off. For every single one of the fifteen laps the top five contenders were never more than two seconds apart. Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau grabbed the lead from the word go, but to say they never looked back would be a complete lie. Breathing down their necks the entire race were Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries, who were just 9/100ths of a second adrift at the flag.

For all the race, Pekka Paivarinta and Ilse de Haas stalked the leading pair, chased in turn by an ever-present Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. They too had to look to their laurels ahead of a determined Josef Sattler/Luca Schmidt in fifth. Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood were playing catch up from a lowly grid position but fought their way past Kees Endeveld and then Lukas Wyssen to secure sixth. Such was the pace at the front, that was as much as they could possibly hope for.

Mid-race distance, Tim Reeves found the fastest lap which broke the tow fractionally, otherwise it might have been a different outcome for him. The leading five were still as close as ever into the final lap, but Todd Ellis had eyes for his unbroken podium record. For that to happen, he needed to pass the much respected four-time world champion Finn. That he did, much to the dismay of Paivarinta and Ilse de Haas, but it was truly an amazing race. Further down the order, Kevin Cable and Kyle Master’s trip to Hungary was not wasted. They recorded eleventh place, taking valuable experience and championship points.

All this action was spectacular and taken at face value. However, there was an absolute shock, controversy, and late drama when race winners Reeves/Rousseau were disqualified after the initial published result for contravening sections 2.3.4 and 2.3.4.8 of the technical regulations.

These regulations apply to engine specific items, and the International Jury decided that on the evidence presented to them, the Anglo/French crew were outside of the permitted rules. The result was amended accordingly, with Reeves/Rousseau removed from the points. Whether or not a protest is in the offing or being considered, is not known at the time of going to press.

Amended Race Two Result –
1/ Schlosser/Fries (Gustoil Racing LCR Yamaha)
2/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt LCR Yamaha)
3/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas (44 Finland Racing LCR Yamaha)
4/ Josef Sattler/Luca Schmidt (Bonovo Action Adolf RS Yamaha)
5/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Kershaw Racing LCR Yamaha)
6/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (Gustoil Racing LCR Yamaha)
7/ Kees Endeveld/Hendrik Crome
8/ Peter Kimeswenger/Kevin Kolsch (LCR Yamaha
9/ Janez Remse/Manfred Wechelsberger (Adolf RS Yamaha)
10/ Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters (L&W Yamaha).

Championship Standings –
Schlosser/Fries 95
Ellis/Clement 72
Paivarinta/de Haas 65
Wyssen/Hofer 41
Reeves/Rousseau 36
Endeveld/Crome 34
Kershaw/Charlwood 31
Sattler/Schmidt 26
Peugeot/Peugeot 22
Cable/Masters (16th – 6 points)

Photos – Mark Walters

British F1: Oulton Park welcomes record entry for round one with two races

British F1: Oulton Park welcomes record entry for round one with two races

British F1: Oulton Park welcomes record entry for round one with two races

Blackstock and Rosney

The 2021 season bursts into life at Oulton Park over the weekend of June 25-27th with a bumper grid, some new names, but with some notable teams missing.

The FIM World Championship in Hungary claims the attention of Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau, reigning British Champion Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood, Kevin Cable and Kyle Masters, and 2019 Champions Todd Ellis/Charlie Richardson. This could well be a case of “when the cat’s away”, but that only makes the excitement and opportunity at Oulton more intense.

With two races on the programme at the spectacular Cheshire circuit, there is much to play for. Heading up the list of protagonists are multiple World Champions and TT winners Ben and Tom Birchall. Their LCR design and manufacturing business tends to keep them at home these days, so they will be gracing the domestic series in 2021. Pressing them for honours, will almost certainly be John Holden and Lewis Blackstock. Both these drivers are regular podium finishers, and Holden has a new passenger this year in the shape of Jason Pitt. He retains the Barnes Racing/Silicone Engineering sponsorship.

Blackstock meanwhile has the tried and tested Paddy Rosney alongside and will be looking to improve on his sixth-place finish last year.

The Christie brothers Sam and Adam get quietly on with the job, and if last year is anything to go by, they will be at the sharp end from the word go. Third place in the title case behind Kershaw and Ellis was no mean feat. Their Christie Engineering Services Yamaha is always well prepared and noticeably quick. The third Christie brother Tom is alongside the sole Kawasaki exponent Ben Holland. Ben is revitalised, as keen as ever, and subject to finances holding up, ready to fight for the title.

Another crew certainly capable of upsetting the applecart is the lone Santander Salt team of Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz. They have the added impetus of Yamaha power and assistance from Express Tyres. They will be sharing the new Santander Salt race-truck with Stock 600 contender Jack Nixon.

Other relatively new names include the young guns Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant and George Holden/Oscar Lawrence. Both these crews will be going for maximum points. F2 star Simon Robinson joins the fray with Mick Fairhurst in the hot seat. This crew will be adapting to a long chassis outfit, so that is another hugely interesting point to look out for.

There is also a complete newcomer to the sidecar ranks. Craig Currie is a former saloon car champion and regular Ducati Tri-Options runner. He knows all there is to know about racing but will now need to apply that track-craft to three wheels. With the experienced Justin Sharp alongside, that job might not be too onerous.

Expect also to see Scott Lawrie strutting his stuff with Shelley Smithies alongside. Other regulars back for more include Andy Peach/Ken Edwards, Phil Bell/James Connell, Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde, and Simon Gilbert/Paul Thomas.

The grid is strong, given there is a clash with an FIM round. There is great strength in depth, and there could be a few surprises in what is bound to be a super weekend to set the ball rolling for 2021.

British F1: Knockhill round two axed due to restrictions

British F1: Knockhill round two axed due to restrictions

British F1: Knockhill round two axed due to restrictions

Knockhill action

Extension to the current levels of restriction by the Scottish Government has brought further complication to the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

The Knockhill round scheduled to take place over the weekend of July 9-11th will now become a two-day event (10-11th July) with reduced classes participating. MSV, promoters of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, have had the difficult choice of dropping three of those classes. The British Sidecar Championship traditionally runs a full programme alongside that event, but now there is literally no room on the shortened programme to accommodate the sidecars.

This will be a huge disappointment to the teams, and the sidecar-mad Scottish fans. The Knockhill BSB round is a popular fixture on the calendar, and sidecars a highlight in the Motorsport calendar north of the border.

There are no plans to re-schedule later in the year, due to the hectic calendar for World and British Sidecar teams already in place. The British Sidecar Championship will now be fought over eight rounds, but still with double points available at the Brands finale.

FIM Sidecar: Schlosser/Fries take nine-point lead to Hungary

FIM Sidecar: Schlosser/Fries take nine-point lead to Hungary

FIM Sidecar: Schlosser/Fries take nine-point lead to Hungary

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

The modern and stylish Pannoniaring in Hungary hosts the second round of the FIM Sidecar World Championship over the weekend of June 25-27th. Named after an extremely successful motorcycle manufacturer from the Communist era, the circuit was opened in 1997 having been designed with motorcycle racing in mind. The core group of registered teams will make the journey despite the numerous hurdles associated with the Covid-19 protocols in place across borders. The diversity of the entry is reflected in the standings, with British crews featuring strongly.

Le Mans saw an influx of French wild cards, but at the time of going to press, no French team had registered for the second round despite Ted and Vincent Peugeot sitting fifth. Nonetheless, seven nations are represented, with the added spice of new names from Germany, Austria, and Slovenia.

The sheer speed of Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries will be an obvious challenge, but Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau and Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement ran him close in France. Ellis’s regular passenger Charlie Richardson is likely to make a return in Hungary, with Dutchman Benny Streuer reclaiming the services of Mademoiselle Clement if he is declared fit to race.

Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood will be hoping they have rectified their overheating issues, looking to improve their stature in the points.

Pekka Paivarinta retains plucky Dutch girl Ilse de Haas from their strong debut pairing in France.

Championship Standings ahead of Hungary

Schlosser/Fries – 45
Reeves/Rousseau – 36
Ellis/Clement – 36
Paivarinta/De Haas – 29
Peugeot/Peugeot – 22
Kershaw/Charlwood – 20
Wyssen/Hofer – 20
Endeveld/Crome – 16

Photo credit – Good-Shoot

FIM Sidecar: Stunning racing in France gets season off to a flyer

FIM Sidecar: Stunning racing in France gets season off to a flyer

FIM Sidecar: Stunning racing in France gets season off to a flyer

Race action from Le Mans

The difficulty of added rules and regulations surrounding travel did nothing to dent the appetite of the British crews at the Bugatti Circuit Le Mans for the opening round. Three teams had served seven days quarantine at the circuit ahead of the weekend, with Kevin Cable making the trip slightly later under modified rules.

Sadly, UK absentees included John Holden and Rob Biggs. Nonetheless, sixteen crews enjoyed beautifully sunny conditions on the build- up to a much-anticipated return to Grand Prix action. The numbers were bolstered by a strong showing of French teams.

Todd Ellis was joined by the effervescent Emmanuelle Clement as passenger for this round, whilst Kevin Cable had the services on the experienced Max Vasseur, having done four free practice laps with Kevin Rousseau to find his way round. Pekka Paivarinta had a new name alongside, with Kim Friman stepping up from Finnish National action into the big league. Pekka admitted needing time to adjust, and for his new passenger to settle in.

All the other crews were happy with free practice, with Tim Reeves showing the way throughout, Ellis/Clement started slowly but worked up to second fastest, ahead of locals Ted and Vincent Peugeot. A fast-charging Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries then pipped Ellis to third.

Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood ran strongly, with more to come. The sun was out, humidity was high, and breathing in the Covid regulation masks around the paddock was uncomfortable. Not that anyone cared, it was just good to be racing.

Sadly, Kim Friman was to fall from Paivarinta’s sidecar late in the session and was taken to hospital. This drama left the four-times champion seeking and last-minute replacement passenger.

Qualifying

The first qualifying session in the heat of late afternoon on Thursday, gave Ilse de Haas her first glimpse of Le Mans this year as she jumped on board with Paivarinta to record sixth fastest. This would now give the four-times Champion a fighting chance of good points, given that it was looking like his weekend was over prematurely.

Ahead of them, there was little to choose, as Reeves/Rousseau again took control in the early stages, as only Tim Reeves can do. There were serious threats though, and one came in the form of Todd Ellis, as he and Emmanuelle Clement put in fast laps to move second. At the flag, they were within sight of Tim, only to see that margin stretched to three tenths, as Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries leapt to the front and claimed pole. Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood maintained their early pace claiming fourth ahead of the family Peugeot and Paivarinta.

Bright and early Friday morning, under cloudy, cooler conditions, the second all-important session got underway. All top teams quickly picked up where they left off, running in the 1.45’s with Ellis, Reeves, Schlosser and Kershaw very much in touch. Halfway through, both Tim and Todd pitted, emerging in tandem, with Todd shadowing the eight times champion. Ellis did enough to edge ahead, but once again, both British crews were eclipsed by a late charge from Schlosser/Fries, who will start the race from pole position.

Combined times confirmed the grid as follows:

Qualifying result

1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Reeves/Rousseau
4/ Kershaw/Charlwood
5/ Peugeot/Peugeot
6/ Paivarinta/De Haas
7/ Wyssen/Thomas
8/ Endeveld/Hendrik
9/ Barbier/Rigondeau
10/ Le Bail/Leveau
11/ Vinet/Vinet
12/ Cable/Vasseur
13/ Fretay/Fenoy
14/ Gallerne/Druel
15/ Gadet/Salmon

Race One

Eighteen laps in the heat would need calculated and systematic riding, but that was far from the truth as the lights went out. A frantic sprint round turn one saw the front row vying for control, with Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau emerging victorious on lap one, with a five-man freight train in tow. It was Reeves, from Ellis/Clement, Schlosser/Fries, Paivarinta/De Haas, Peugeot, and Kershaw. These six crews were to gradually ease away from the chasing pack, with Schlosser moving past Ellis on lap three, and Kershaw pulling a similar move on Peugeot. Nonetheless, it remained a six-crew scrap for the first half of the race.

The three at the front eased away and began a game of cat and mouse, as the Swiss Schlosser looked for every opportunity to make his way to the front. Reeves, ever the master tactician, rode an immaculately defensive race, with Schlosser making an error on the penultimate lap. This allowed Ellis/Clement to shoot through into second spot, but their euphoria was short-lived. On the final lap, Schlosser was back up to second, but his mistake had allowed Tim and Kevin to consolidate their position and record the opening race victory in the 2021 season.

Given the youngster Ellis was seeing Le Mans for the first time, and this was his debut Grand Prix with a stand-in passenger, a podium first time out was an excellent result for the Santander Salt team. The top three crews were all around one second of each other, such was the closeness of the action. Fourth for Paivarinta and fifth for Kershaw/Charlwood were equally good results. In sixth came an improved Lukas Wyssen for Switzerland. Local pride and French honour were maintained with a brilliant fighting seventh for Ted and Vincent Peugeot. Kevin Cable/Max Vasseur for LW Racing were running strongly in Kevin’s debut World Championship race, very much holding their own ahead of the local French wildcards, until they locked up and ran on. A later misfire then finally dropped them out of contention.

Result

1/ Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Adolf RS Yamaha)
2/ Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Racing LCR Yamaha)
3/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt LCR Yamaha)
4/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse De Haas (44 Finland Racing LCR Yamaha)
5/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Kershaw Racing LCR Yamaha)
6/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (Gustoil Racing LCR Yamaha)
7/ Ted Peugeot/Vincent Peugeot (FCH Competition LCR Yamaha)

Race Two

The air was thick with anticipation ahead of this one. The close finish between the top three first time out, added to Schlosser’s superior top speed, meant there could be no foregone conclusion. At precisely 10am local time the lights went out and it was game on for the points.

Another flyer for Tim Reeves took him straight to the front, chased by Schlosser/Fries and Ellis/Clement. Pekka Paivarinta sat a fine fourth ahead of Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood. Ted and Vincent Peugeot came next, but two laps later they were by Kershaw as he dropped behind Lukas Wyssen into seventh.

This time around, Schlosser meant business, and on lap four squeezed by Tim and Kevin at the end of the start straight. Thereafter, the Swiss kept the throttle pinned and stretched his advantage. The top three then became quite strung out, with Ellis some two seconds behind Reeves/Rousseau. Paivarinta was locked in a race-long duel with Peugeot for fourth, and theirs was a nip and tuck fight lap after lap.

There was a “heart in mouth” moment for the Finn on lap twelve as he locked up into the left/right before the finish line. He kept it together, and then Reeves hit trouble with his gearbox and no fifth gear. This eventually dropped him to fifth place, scoring valuable points to add to his race one tally.

It was indeed a fine performance by Schlosser, backed up by his fellow countryman Lukas Wyssen who brought it home ahead of Kershaw/Charlwood. Schlosser now goes to the Pannoniaring leading the series from Ellis and Reeves joint second. Kevin Cable was unlucky this time out with a recurrence of his misfire, retiring at two-thirds distance.

Result

1/ Schlosser/Fries (Gustoil Racing LCR Yamaha)
2/ Ellis/Clement (Santander Salt Racing Yamaha)
3/ Paivarinta/De Haas (44 Finland Racing LCR Yamaha)
4/ Peugeot/Peugeot (Perillat and Peugeot Racing LCR Yamaha)
5/ Reeves/Rousseau (Bonovo Action Adolf RS Yamaha)
6/ Wyssen/Hofer (Gustoil Racing LCR Yamaha)
7/ Kershaw/Charlwood (Kershaw Racing LCR Yamaha)

Championship Standings

Schlosser/Fries 45
Reeves/Rousseau 36
Ellis/Clement 36
Paivarinta/De Haas 29
Peugeot/Peugeot 22
Kershaw/Charlwood 20
Wyssen/Hofer 20
Round Two takes place at the Pannoniaring, Hungary, June 25-27th.

FIM Sidecar: UK crews hit by Le Mans Covid new protocols

FIM Sidecar: UK crews hit by Le Mans Covid new protocols

FIM Sidecar: UK crews hit by Le Mans Covid new protocols

2021 Coronavirus

A last-minute change of direction in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the French authorities placing Great Britain under stricter rules for incoming travellers.

Effective Tuesday June 1st all visitors from the UK must have a negative PCR test before travelling to France, and then be subjected to seven days quarantine and isolation in that country before going about their business. Of the six British crews entered for Le Mans next week, only three could conform to that tight schedule.

Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau were already in Holland and will make their way direct. Todd Ellis and Steve Kershaw will make the journey separately, but with revised and scaled-down arrangements.

Kershaw’s passenger Ryan Charlwood was already in France, and Todd Ellis will be using the experienced Emmanuelle Clement as his passenger. Her 2021 driver Benny Streuer is still recovering from injury and had not entered the event anyway.

A special quarantine arrangement is under negotiation which will involve the Bugatti Circuit becoming an “isolation bubble” so that the teams can serve their seven days on-site.

This has yet to be signed off by the French Health Ministry, although the circuit is geared up and keen for this to happen. The same rules will therefore apply to the Santander Salt organisational team headed by Roger Body, along with the race truck and hospitality unit. These too will need to leave in good time to spend seven days at the circuit.

The restrictions and immediacy of the initial timeframe had originally proved too onerous for Kevin Cable, Rob Biggs and John Holden. They were forced to abandon plans to be at the opening round, but it is still possible they will now adjust their plans to travel to the event.

This is a hard pill to swallow for many, but as we have maintained throughout this difficult time, we can only plan and hope the world comes out of this sooner rather than later, whilst always remembering those who have been far less fortunate.

We will be staying across all the action from Le Mans remotely, bringing you the news items and results as they become available.

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans poised for 2021 season opener

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans poised for 2021 season opener

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans poised for 2021 season opener

John Holden

After what has seemed an eternity, the FIM Sidecar World Championship explodes into life at Le Mans alongside the FIM EWC World Endurance Championship.

With Covid-19 protocols strictly in place at the circuit, the presence of spectators is not allowed at this the first round, but with the vaccine programmes being rolled out across Europe, hopes are high for a resumption of normal business at the earliest opportunity. Support has been strong for Le Mans, with twenty crews from six nations on the entry list.

No fewer than six teams are entered from the UK including the current British Champions Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood and 2019 Champions Todd Ellis and Chaz Richardson. The former Santander Salt team-mates will be locking horns with reigning and multiple World Champions Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau. Also lining up is the formidable Finn, Pekka Paivairinta with new passenger Kim Friman. John Holden and Jason Pitt are another new pairing making the trip, with Rob Biggs and Kevin Cable completing the British attack. This will be a big day for the series after a year out with COVID-19 problems.

All the teams are itching to get to grips with the Bugatti circuit, which for some of them will be familiar. For others, the learning curve just got steeper. Two races on the programme will give them ample chance for big points, so by close of play on Saturday, we will have a new set of standings to take forward to Hungary.

Provisional dates are now as follows:

June 11-12 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, WSBK 2 x races
July 23-25 Assen, Holland WSBK 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races
British F1: Two races at Oulton Park to get the season under-way

British F1: Two races at Oulton Park to get the season under-way

British F1: Two races at Oulton Park to get the season under-way

Sidecar racing at Cadwell Park

The weekend of June 25-27 sees Oulton Park host the opening round of 2021 as per the published schedule.

In previous years, the constraints placed on the circuit by reduced track time have meant that the sidecars have been allocated just the one race. This has been unpopular, but also recognised as unavoidable.

Roger Body has been lobbying hard over this particular sticking point and his efforts have finally paid off.

The Oulton Park opener will now feature two sidecar races, thereby getting the season away to a meaningful haul of points for the championship hopefuls. This is due solely to Roger’s efforts and a large degree of cooperation from Stuart Higgs and the MSVR organisation.

It is now over ten years since the premier sidecars became a regular support  class on the British Superbike calendar, and clearly the relationship forged between the two parties has reaped mutual rewards.

The acceptance level of sidecars in the BSB paddock is without question, and it is also recognised that they provide a colourful and entertaining addition to any BSB race weekend.

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

Santander Salt Molson Group liveried truck

The 2021 Sidecar World Championship season finally takes to the track in Le Mans over the weekend of 11-12 June.

Two weeks later, the Hungaroring hosts the second round, whilst simultaneously, the Molson Group British Championship roars into life at Oulton Park.

It has taken an enormous amount of work and planning by Roger Body and the team to bring these two series to fruition, and the front end of that effort is now clearly visible in the published championship schedules.

Behind the scenes, yet more work has been going on to provide a central paddock facility offering a profile worthy of the series organiser and promoter.

A brand new purpose-built forty-foot race truck and awning has been commissioned and will be not only the paddock base for the Santander Salt Race Team, but also the hub of the event organisation at all FIM World Championship events and those British races which do not clash.

Roger also runs and manages his race own team in Santander Salt colours. The line-up comprised two sidecars and one 600cc Superstock Yamaha.

Heading up the challenge for World honours are 2019 British Champions Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, ably supported by Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz who have their eyes firmly on British Championship glory.

In the same BSB paddock, yet with one wheel less, will be Jack Nixon fighting for a second season in search of the 600cc Superstock title.

The new truck is prioritised for FIM GP duty but will be a very impressive facility indeed when all riders are at home in the UK paddock. The unit boasts office and catering facilities, sleeping accommodation, a large hospitality area and garage space for the race teams.

Driver and hospitality administrator will be the familiar and amiable Glenn Walsh who has the huge responsibility of maintaining the exacting standards expected at this level.

FIM Sidecar: Round Four joins WorldSBK at Assen

FIM Sidecar: Round Four joins WorldSBK at Assen

FIM Sidecar: Round Four joins WorldSBK at Assen

Assen circuit

RKB-F1 Motorsport in conjunction with the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme is delighted to announce that the fourth round of the championship will be at Assen in Holland over the weekend of 23-25th July.

This is also the fourth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship and will be the second time the sidecars join WorldSBK in 2021.

Hot on the heels of the re-scheduled opener at Le Mans, this news restores the calendar to an impressive eight rounds.

As with the earlier Donington Park round, to include the FIM Sidecar World Championship on the same bill at the FIM Superbike World Championship is another breakthrough and yet further evidence of the profile and level of acceptance of World Championship Sidecar racing.

Sincere thanks are also extended to the Dutch Federation (KNMV) and Assen Circuit for their contribution in this exciting venture.

Provisional dates are now as follows:

June 11-13 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary – TBC 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, WSBK 2 x races
July 23-25 Assen, Holland WSBK 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races
FIM Sidecar: Opening round at Le Mans re-scheduled for June

FIM Sidecar: Opening round at Le Mans re-scheduled for June

FIM Sidecar: Opening round at Le Mans re-scheduled for June

Le Mans Bugatti circuit

RKB-F1 Motorsport is delighted to share the FIM announcement that the Le Mans 24hr WEC race has been re-scheduled for June 11-13 at the Bugatti Circuit.

The opening two races of the 2021 FIM Sidecar World Sidecar Championship will therefore take place on Friday and Saturday of that weekend (11/12).

This is the news everyone was hoping to hear and means that the season will start in spectacular fashion on one of the most famous circuits in the world.

Despite all the ravages of the global pandemic, feverish work by the RKB-F1 Motorsport team, the FIM and all circuit organisers has ensured a calendar which promises a terrific 2021 season.

Huge thanks are also extended to the French Federation (FFM) and WEC promoters for cooperation towards this exciting news.

Provisional dates are now as follows:

June 11-13 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary – TBC 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, WSB 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races
British F1: Bitterly cold Snetterton banishes winter blues

British F1: Bitterly cold Snetterton banishes winter blues

British F1: Bitterly cold Snetterton banishes winter blues

111-34

The two-day test session organised by Roger Body and RKB-F1 Motorsport at the Snetterton 300 circuit attracted a good following from the Molson Group F1 Championship with fifteen outfits signing on Saturday morning.

There was also a fair gathering of club and classic machinery, whilst the F2 outfits were conspicuously absent.

At around six degrees with a strong breeze, conditions were far from ideal, although by its very nature, many teams shook out the cobwebs of the closed season and came away with positive results.

Saturday morning started dramatically, with Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde tipping the Hannafin outfit on its roof. Because the engine ran for several seconds upside down, Rupert called it a day and cut his losses.

Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz had their Santander Salt Yamaha on its side too but continued to spend valuable track time settling in with the new team.

Robert Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz
Robert Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz

Kevin Cable had the luxury of two passengers available for his L&W Contractors outfit, with Lee Watson making a welcome return to the paddock sharing track time alongside Kyle Masters Kevin’s regular sidekick.

Kev Cable and Lee Watson
Kevin Cable and Lee Watson

The plan is for Lee to slot in should Kyle have issues with work commitments, as this crew intends to take in FIM World rounds as well as those British which do not clash.

Former Champions and World hopefuls Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson were bang on form, looking strong on their Santander Salt bike. The new team livery for Biggs and Ellis is indeed striking. A recent episode at the Val de Vienne test in France saw Ellis upside down as well, so there was another new fairing in evidence at Snetterton.

Todd Ellis
Todd Ellis

Newcomers George Holden and Oscar Lawrence were well pleased with their Saturday outing, appearing to have gained speed and smoothness since their 2020 debut.

George Holden and Oscar Lawrence
George Holden and Oscar Lawrence

Andy Peach and Ken Edwards, ever jovial and consistent, were going well, looking forward to a full season, and happy to be back on the bike.

Unassuming as ever, Sam and Adam Christie simply got on with the job and reeled of many laps. They will be a force once again in whichever Championship they choose to contest.

Serious British contenders Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney were sporting a plain white fairing with the final livery obviously work in progress, with Ben Holland/Tom Christie looking good together. This latter pairing, given the finance and opportunity to compete at all rounds, have the proven ability to run at the front.

Ben Holland and Tom Christie
Ben Holland and Tom Christie

Scott Lawrie was out with Shellie Smithies doing the honours, Simon Gilbert looked consistent and obviously happy to be having a family trip out.

All in all, despite the lack of F2 machinery, those who made the trip were very satisfied with the outcome, with all eyes now on June when proceedings get underway.

Phil Bell and James Connell
Phil Bell and James Connell

Photos courtesy of: Jenny ‘Triker’ Wells

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar World championship logos
Following a joint statement by the FIM and WEC, we are obliged to announce the cancellation of Round One of our 2021 season.

In the face of the COVID pandemic situation in France, the organisers have no alternative but to shelve the event planned for April 16-18.

The statement reads –
“Following discussions with medical staff and in agreement with the Prefecture of Police, the organiser of the 24 Heures Motos Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the French and international motorcycling federations FIM and FFM and Eurosport Events, the championship’s promoter, have decided to cancel the event due to the ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a result of the health crisis and of hospitals being under considerable strain, hospitals in Le Mans are not in a position to provide the service required to ensure the safety of riders and teams during the race.”

This is a massive blow to all concerned, but work continues apace to bring a complete calendar to fruition.

The management team of RKB-F1 Motorsport and Santander Salt would like to extend sincere thanks to the FIM, circuit organisers and all other involved parties for continuing their tireless efforts in making the 2021 season possible.

British F1: Snetterton practice 10-11th April kick-starts 2021 season

British F1: Snetterton practice 10-11th April kick-starts 2021 season

British F1: Snetterton practice 10-11th April kick-starts 2021 season

Snetterton Round 6 2019

Once again Roger Body and RKB-F1 Motorsport, ahead of the new season have delivered on a promise made to provide two days of pre-season testing and practice. This will take place at the centrally placed Snetterton 300 circuit. This opportunity is the result of huge effort by Roger with great cooperation on the part of MSV against a difficult backdrop of a COVID affected 2021 schedule.

The weekend of 10-11th April is earmarked for the track-time, with Saturday 10th as an exclusive sidecar booking. Three twenty-minute sessions each hour will cater for F1 national licence holders and F2 national licence holders with the third session for club, classic and others. This will be a full day of sidecar action at an entry cost of £220.00 per team.

Sunday 11th is slightly more restricted in that we will be sharing the track-time with “No Limits Trackdays” who have generously allowed us to participate in their programme. As a result, we are obliged to restrict Sunday participation
to F1 and F2 National licence holders ONLY. The cost for the Sunday is £180.00. Garage rental is available on a “first come/first served” basis with two outfits permitted in each garage at a cost of £70.00 per garage (£35.00 per team). There is exclusive sidecar availability on Saturday, although Sunday will be limited to eight garages.

Because the two days are effectively leased by two separate entities, and there are strict COVID conditions in place, Saturday sidecars will not be allowed to remain in the paddock OR anywhere else overnight. You MUST leave the circuit, and re-join Sunday morning.

Whilst this might seem to be an inconvenience, we have no alternative other than to obey the conditions laid down by the Government guidelines and circuit owners.

As stated, this opportunity has taken no small degree of energy and effort to bring about, so we are asking as many sidecar teams as possible to support the initiative and participate.

Bookings for BOTH DAYS will be online via bemsee.net from Wednesday 24th March CLICK ON RACE ENTRIES at bemsee.net

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: Provisional calendar changes announced

FIM Sidecar: Provisional calendar changes announced

FIM Sidecar World championship logos

The published dates for the FIM Sidecar World Championship are still very much on target with the global pandemic situation appearing to be significantly improved.

One early planned date however, that being the 23-25 April TBA event, is now formally removed from the schedule.
Work is at an advanced stage between RKB-F1 Motorsport, the FIM and a major circuit organiser to replace this round later in the year.

News on those negotiations is expected imminently, so we anticipate the scheduled number of rounds will be unaffected.

April 15-17 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary – TBC 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, WSB 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races

 

TBA one additional round under negotiation 2 x races.

Effective 2021 the two different race length format is discontinued i.e (Sprint and Gold). All rounds will now host two races of the same duration.

The management team of RKB-F1 Motorsport and Santander Salt would like to extend sincere thanks to the FIM, circuit organisers and all other involved parties for their tireless efforts in making the 2021 season possible.

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

Brands Hatch 2019

The Bennetts British Superbike Championship celebrates its 25th anniversary season against a challenging backdrop of COVID-19 restrictions and a ban on spectators during 2020.

The current regulations on crowd attendances at non-seated venues are set to be lifted on June 20th, so MSVR has taken the bold decision to postpone the start of the new season until the legions of loyal fans can return in force to support and celebrate a quarter of a century of the series.

Intrinsically linked with this decision, the British Sidecar Championship will also benefit from the returning hordes of spectators.

The traditional Oulton Park season opening race will now move to the first available restriction-free weekend, that being 25-27 June.

The two other rounds scheduled prior to 21 June (Thruxton and Snetterton) have also found new homes later in the season. Round two now finds itself at Knockhill 9-11 July.

All rounds except for the Oulton debut event will each feature two races with the new schedule making for an action-packed if somewhat tight season. First and foremost, the prospect of having spectators returning trackside is the all-important factor and one which will be of huge benefit to the teams.

The revised dates are as follows –

25 – 27 June Oulton Park 1 race
9 – 11 July Knockhill 2 x races
23 – 25 July Brands Hatch GP 2 x races
30 July – 1 August Thruxton 2 x races
6 – 8 August Cadwell Park (ISR) 2 x races
20 – 22 August Cadwell Park 2 x races
3 – 5 September Snetterton 300 2 x races
1 – 3 October Donington Park GP 2 x races
15 -17 October Brands Hatch GP 2 x races

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