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