British F1: Ellis/Clement take big lead back to home ground
Just three weeks ago the Cadwell Sidecar Revival witnessed a dominant display by Santander Salt’s Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement as they took three out of three. They further increased their points lead two weeks ago at Thruxton. Now they’re back again at Ellis’s home circuit for what they hope will be more of the same August 27-29.
The twenty-seven-year-old and his French lady passenger hail from Market Rasen, and list Cadwell Park as their favourite UK circuit. Their most recent performance on the iconic track built by Howard Wilkinson was testament to that, as they swept away the 600cc and 1000cc lap records on their Yamaha to break new ground as the fastest ever Cadwell sidecar lap.
Their main opposition comes in the form of Sam and Tom Christie from Beverley on their CES Yamaha, and Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney on the DHR/Express Tyres Services Yamaha.
George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki) have also grown in confidence, speed, and ability as the season progressed, resulting in a strong fourth place in the standings. They have profited by Blackstock’s misfortunes and are closing the gap race by race. Last time at Cadwell they achieved their first runner-up spot in the series, with just one more step to aim for on the podium.
The Christie brothers trail the leaders by twenty-five points, with Blackstock/Rosney a further twenty-six behind. With two races on the programme, and twenty-five points for each win, these are not insurmountable odds, and you can be assured the top four teams will be doing their utmost to gain those points.
Last time in Lincolnshire, Ben and Tom Birchall, along with Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe chose to use their short chassis F2 Hondas. If that situation is repeated, they are unlikely to be at the sharp end, but if they do appear on the long LCR’s then they will certainly be in the mix. Relative newcomers Simon Robinson and Mick Fairhurst sit fifth in the table ahead of Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde.
The sidecars are always immensely popular at Cadwell Park and there will be no shortage of entertainment on and off track. This round is important to all concerned as there is one more clash with the FIM series later in the year, taking Ellis/Clement out of the equation. At a time when sidecar racing – whilst one of the most fascinating mysteries of Motorsport – is going through something of a crisis, there will be a huge crowd, live Eurosport TV and a real party atmosphere at this traditional BSB holiday weekend.
If you can’t be there, you’re missing out, and if you can – well simply enjoy the occasion.
Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells