British F1: The cat is away, so who will play, 1-2 October at Donington Park?

British F1: The cat is away, so who will play, 1-2 October at Donington Park?

British F1: The cat is away, so who will play, 1-2 October at Donington Park?

Christies at Snetterton

The British Sidecar Championship goes to Donington Park without the series leaders present to enhance their advantage. Santander Salt Racing’s Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement are away in Germany protecting their lead in the FIM Sidecar World series, which is also reaching its conclusion.

That leaves the door wide open for second in the title stakes Sam and Tom Christie (CES Yamaha) to dramatically close the gap. They cannot however, overhaul Ellis/Clement who enjoy a fifty-five-point cushion currently, with one more round to go after Donington. That round at Brands Hatch carries double points however, so the title is far from won, even at this late stage.

Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney sit third, a further forty-one points behind the Christies, so the Express Tyres Services Yamaha is still in with a shout, albeit a distant one. They appeared in the distinctive blue DAO1886 livery at Snetterton and that is expected to continue.

Ben and Tom Birchall made a debut 2022 appearance at Snetterton taking one race win and second place in the other, moving immediately into the lower order of the rankingsm with forty-five points. They are more than likely be at the sharp end again at Donington Park, so will steal big points from the title contenders. This will inadvertently assist Ellis’s cause.

George Holden and Oscar Lawrence crashed in a big way at Snetterton severely damaging their Holden Racing Kawasaki. It is therefore doubtful if they will re-appear at all this season due to the sheer amount of work and cost involved to repair it. Having said that, do not be surprised if they somehow scrape onto the grid, because an overall fourth place finish is at stake and determination can weave magic spells.

The top four are well clear of the chasing bunch, but Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst, and Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde have Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor and a rapidly improving Andy Peach/Anthony Hildige breathing down their collective necks. Just nineteen points split these four crews for the fifth-place spot, so expect a battle royal there.

Also heading for Germany are Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson (L&W Contractors Yamaha), so they will not improve their standing in the British table ahead of Brands. They have a respectable placing in the FIM rankings to defend.

Once again, Eurosport will cover both races live, although timings will determine whether the races are in the live TV broadcast or confined to the Eurosport App. Either way the highlights will appear on the RKB-F1 YouTube Channel a few days later.

Photo credits: Barry Clay

British F1: One apiece for Birchalls and Ellis/Clement at sunny Snetterton

British F1: One apiece for Birchalls and Ellis/Clement at sunny Snetterton

British F1: One apiece for Birchalls and Ellis/Clement at sunny Snetterton

Birchalls at Snetterton

There was a sombre mood across the paddock early on Friday morning following the announcement of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the previous evening. The MSVR organisers moved back the start time for Friday practice and scheduled an hour of “quiet period” at lunch time during which no engines would be run or track activity take place. Given the series’ title is “The British Superbike Championship” these measures were entirely appropriate.

Happily, there were several more teams present than in previous rounds, so we were looking forward to a busy weekend and close racing. Free practice across most classes took place in mixed weather conditions, but it was dry with patchy sun for the one sidecar session late on Friday afternoon.

Ben and Tom Birchall (Birchall Racing Haith Honda), along with series leaders Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) headed the field in the early stages of free practice, but well shy of lap record pace. Half-distance and Ellis took out another second, gathering pace and momentum all the time. The top four regulars ran fastest with the added interest of the Birchall Brothers high on the list as we might have expected, with newcomers Luke Williams/Jason Pitt the best of the rest. Already this was pointing towards a Birchall versus Ellis battle but qualifying would show the real picture. The Christie brothers (CES Yamaha), and Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (Express Tyre Services Yamaha) sporting Dao 1886 livery, were strong in contention ahead of George Holden/Oscar Lawrence. Luke Williams sneaked ahead of Holden with three minutes left on the clock.

Christies at Snetterton

Qualifying

The weather was dull and grey early morning but improved as the day unfolded. By the time the sidecars got out for qualifying, the sun had dried the track in parts, but there were still tricky areas to be mindful of.

Craig Currie was late to the start and was almost locked out of the session but scraped in through a side gate to make his mark.

Coram, the fast right-hander towards the end of the lap, was wet, and caught out several teams, with Todd Ellis spinning at high speed, and the Birchall brothers doing the same twice. Both teams avoided contact with anything, but the same is not true of George Holden/Oscar Lawrence who locked up under the bridge and totally wrecked the bike, hitting the barrier hard.

The expected clash between the Birchalls and Todd Ellis did eventually materialise, with the Honda of Birchall on top of the pile in the closing stages. As conditions improved, Ellis/Clement upped the pace, claiming pole position by over one tenth of a second on their final flying lap. The time of 2.00.974 was way off lap-record pace, but conditions were far from ideal for record speeds. Ben and Tom Birchall would join them on the front row. The Christie brothers were next up, with Blackstock/Rosney close behind. Then newcomers Luke Williams/Jason Pitt headed Craig Currie/Justin Sharp for fifth and sixth. Andy Peach and Anthony Hildige had a great ride to lead Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde home for seventh and eighth fastest.

Andy Peach at Snetterton

Race One

The sun was very low in the sky as the lights went out, so much so, that Ben Birchall didnot get a clear view and almost missed the boat. He was fourth away as the others moved and had to fight back as a result. Ellis/Clement got a flyer and took the lead into Riches.

Sam and Tom Christie went with them, with Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney holding the Birchalls at bay for the early part of the lap. They quickly moved third, but the Christie brothers were a harder nut to crack. Once past them, Ben and Tom set after the race leaders and the two crews had a good scrap, with the Haith Honda determined to find a way past. Todd Ellis kept his cool, even when Ben Birchall came alongside at Riches as a dress rehearsal. Next lap he tried the same move, got his nose in front, went a little bit sideways and Ellis clipped the rear of the Honda. Both outfits slewed, with Ellis/Clement taking to the grass on the exit. They spent the rest of the race recovering and closing on the new leaders. They were close at the end, but the chance had gone. On their way to victory the Birchall brothers claimed the fastest lap, albeit outside their own lap record. Behind, the Christies were never far off the back, staying within five seconds of the two leaders the entire race. Blackstock and Rosney took the Express Tyre Services Yamaha to another solid fourth.

Race action from Snetterton

Andy Peach with Anthony Hildige alongside, had arguably his best race this season, and enjoyed a good battle mid-pack finishing sixth, with Rupert Archer also part of that action until he retired. Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst, from the back row fought through well and were looking impressive. Sadly, they too, were to expire into pit lane once more. There were decent scraps all the way down, with Craig Currie/Justin Sharp ten seconds behind Peach, having overhauled Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson.

Result

1/ Birchall/Birchall (Haith Honda)
2/ Ellis/Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
3/ Christie/Christie (CES Yamaha)
4/ Blackstock/Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
5/ Luke Williams/Jason Pitt (Williams Yamaha)
6/ Andy Peach/Anthony Hildige (Lifesafety Yamaha)
7/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharp (Birchall Racing Honda)
8/ Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson (L&W Contractors Yamaha)
9/ Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor (Centurion Packaging Honda)
10/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Vinyls 4U Adolf RS)

Race two

The sun was out again on Sunday, and there was a score to be settled. A reverse grid always throws up an interesting race and this one was another cracker.

Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson dived through from row two as the lights went out to lead off the line. It was short lived, as they were three abreast into Riches for the first time, with Andy Peach/Anthony Hildige also getting a flyer to nose alongside on the exit. Sam and Tom Christie were very quick to establish their place at the front, making a great start to lead at the end of lap one. The opening lap was crazily busy with outfits swarming right and left to make the most of the advantage. Half-way round the lap, Luke Williams and Jason Pitt lost the back end, spun, and capsized without injury. Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement meanwhile, had fought through from row five, weaving through the lead bunch, taking the Birchall brothers with them two outfits back.

Ben and Tom were third on lap two, moving past the Christies one lap later. Also riding well were Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney who made it through to fifth, and into fourth shortly after.

The pattern was then set for the race, with Ellis/Clement out in front from Birchall/Birchall, and the Christies chasing in a strong third, from Blackstock/Rosney.

Dean Nicholls had a problem at the back of the grid and slowed. They ran in eleventh for the entire race, eventually retiring on lap nine ahead of Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor. Craig Currie/Justin Sharp moved up one place from their start position, but whilst enjoying a good scrap with Andy Peach and Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst, were unable to improve beyond sixth, until the final lap when an intermittent problem slowed the Christies and dropped them down to seventh ahead of Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde. The Beverly based team suspected a quick-shifter issue, so will have that sorted for the next round. Sadly, they did not need to drop points at this stage, but at least they finished and maintained a full house of scores. Currie/Sharp, along with Simon Robinson and everyone else behind the CES Yamaha, profited from the Christies’ misfortune. Most delighted were Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney who took the Express Tyre Services Yamaha with its new Dao1886 livery to their first podium since early August at the Cadwell Revival.

Race action from Snetterton

Kevin Cable meanwhile had been very active in scrapping with the Honda of Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor to finish ninth and tenth respectively.

This was yet another best performance by Andy Peach (Lifesafety Yamaha) in many races, and he was to end up fourth within sight of sixth place in the standings. At the front, Ellis/Clement never looked back, opening a two second margin at one point, but that was shaved down to under one second on the final lap, with the Birchalls again setting the fastest lap of the race on their way to runner-up spot.

On a sad and sombre weekend, the sidecars gave a thoroughly entertaining and disciplined display, covered live on the Eurosport App/Player. Both races will be available shortly on the RKB-F1 YouTube channel.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Birchall/Birchall
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Peach/Hildige
5/ Currie/Sharp
6/ Robinson/Fairhurst
7/ Christie/Christie
8/ Archer/Hyde,
9/ Cable/Richardson
10/ Clarke/Ensor
11/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Ellis/Clement 320
Christie/Christie 265
Blackstock/Rosney 224
Holden/Lawrence 172
Robinson/Fairhurst 117
Archer/Hyde 103
Hauxwell/Taylor 99
Peach/Edwards/Hildige 98
Clarke/Ensor 66
Cable/Richardson 63
Birchall/Birchall 45

The next and penultimate round is at Donington Park – September 30/October 2.

Photo credits: Barry Clay

British F1: Ellis and Clement take unbeaten form to Snetterton 300

British F1: Ellis and Clement take unbeaten form to Snetterton 300

British F1: Ellis and Clement take unbeaten form to Snetterton 300

Ellis and Clement

With a full house of eleven victories from as many starts, the Santander Salt pairing of Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement will arrive in Norfolk in record breaking form over the weekend of 10-11 September.

Two weeks ago, at Cadwell Park they demolished the lap record twice to confirm the fastest ever three wheeled lap time. It remains to be seen if they can manage the same at the very fast and technical Snetterton 300 track.

They now enjoy a commanding lead in the points table from Beverley based Sam and Tom Christie on the CES Yamaha. They in turn are well clear of a somewhat frustrated Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) who have suffered one DNF and a mysterious loss of speed since double victory at Knockhill propelled them to the head of the standings. They vowed to be at Snetterton with a fresh attitude and a quicker engine, so let us watch with interest how and if that pledge is fulfilled.

Closing rapidly in fourth with a string of podium finishes are George Holden and Oscar Lawrence on their Holden Racing Kawasaki. Their speed has steadily increased over the season, but they still must find the top podium step.

Blackstock/Rosney

One year ago, Ben and Tom Birchall were double winners on this track on their way to the title, but they have yet to register an attendance or any points in the series this season. That should change, as they have signalled their intention to compete, along with fellow Birchall Racing teamsters Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe. The grid is much stronger than in previous weeks anyway with some new names joining the fray. Dean Nicholls and Belgian passenger Ruben Janssens are back to see the year out, and former car racer Luke Williams is down to join in the action. World runners Kevin Cable and Charlie Richardson (L&W Contractors Yamaha) are also on the list of returning crews. The Snetterton circuit is a favourite with teams and spectators alike and at this crucial stage in the championship is bound to deliver great racing action.

Race action from Snetterton

Every round so far has been very close at the front, with great battles between the top four teams. Eurosport once again will cover both races either live TV or the Eurosport App.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

British F1: Bumper Bank Holiday bonus for Ellis/Clement in Cadwell spectacle

British F1: Bumper Bank Holiday bonus for Ellis/Clement in Cadwell spectacle

British F1: Bumper Bank Holiday bonus for Ellis/Clement in Cadwell spectacle

Ellis/Clement race action

Back at the Lincolnshire circuit where they dominated just four weeks ago, series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement were back for more over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A crunch meeting for the British Superbike Championship ensured a massive trackside crowd in party mood. The action was also scheduled to be screened live on Eurosport and Quest.

Qualifying

As with previous rounds, the grid size was smaller than normal, but the quality was high at the front. In free practice, Ellis/Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) showed their class with a time just one second off lap record pace. Sam and Tom Christie were close behind, with Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney frustrated by a speed deficit. George Holden/Oscar Lawrence maintained the pace which had carried them to fourth in the title chase. With the clock now ticking for twenty minutes of the real session, the gloves were off.

A change of exhaust system was tried by Blackstock/Rosney to find the missing horses, hoping that would allow them closer to the front men. They had started this campaign in fine style but had slipped back in recent weeks and were now playing catch-up. There was added interest in the first showing this year of Lee Crawford on the long bike, partnered now by the experienced Jake Lowther.

Blackstock/Rosney

Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt had completed free practice with no sign of the gremlins which plagued them all season and ran strongly in the early stages moving second fastest to Ellis/Clement. Ten minutes in, and the Christie brothers were left in Ellis’s wake as he banged in a 1.31.924.

Speed trap times showed Blackstock still off the pace where it mattered, although they held fourth behind a delighted Biggs/Pitt. Their new-found speed was a revelation and something to celebrate. All the indicators pointed to a great battle for the podium places, with five crews all around the same pace behind Ellis/Clement. In the closing stages, the Christies moved to under one second behind Ellis, maintaining their challenging pace. Holden’s Kawasaki was very quick through the speed traps, and that is where he seemed to score as he and Oscar shot to third quickest.

Biggs kept Crawford at bay to stay fourth fastest, with Blackstock in sixth, still perplexed.

Race One

Another glorious day had turned into a cooler situation by the time the teams formed up late afternoon. Qualifying potentially, had thrown up a five-way scrap between the leading bunch. That proved to be the case as the lights went out, with Blackstock/Rosney, George Holden/Oscar Lawrence and the Christie brothers’ side by side, getting the better of the pole position Santander Salt bike of Ellis/Clement. The Christies came out better and led lap one, losing out to a determined Ellis at Park Corner on lap two. Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt were going strongly in the mix, slotting fourth and looking more like the Biggs we know. Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther were also very much in touch, as Blackstock and the Christies tangled at the foot of the mountain, dropping Blackstock into the clutches of Holden. This gave Sam Christie the chance he needed to break clear, which he eventually did.

Christie Racing

Crawford/Lowther moved into third, but George Holden had other ideas. This four-way scrap was very entertaining and raged for a few laps with Blackstock throwing everything he had at anyone in front. It was all in vain because he was simply outgunned. Holden just had to get by Crawford once Sam and Tom Christie had moved into a safe second place, and he tried the move down towards the chicane before the mountain. This resulted in a sideways slew and effectively handed the final podium spot to Lee Crawford. The newcomers were delighted with their first trip to the box and will be looking for more. Meanwhile, race leaders Ellis/Clement had calmly breezed to a new lap record of 1.31.264 on lap three and victory number ten in what is proving to be a stellar season.

Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt were unable to make the best of their early showing from the start when they ran wide out of Mansfield when in sixth, kissing the barrier on the right side of the track. It then transpired Rob had other issues which caused them to retire from the action. Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst had a solid sixth ahead of Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde.

Down the field was an equally exciting scrap involving Andy Peach/Ken Edwards and Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor. This whole race was an absolute testament to sidecar racing, and but for a long delay in the earlier Superbike race, would certainly have enthralled and delighted a live TV audience. Nonetheless, those fans watching on the live stream were treated to a magnificent show.

Andy Peach

It was action from lights to flag and once more demonstrated the incredible talents of the series leaders who are now possibly dreaming of double titles at World and National level.

Result

1/Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/Sam and Tom Christie (CES Yamaha)
3/Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther (ARC Kawasaki LCR)
4/George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
5/Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
6/Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Couriers Yamaha)
7/Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha)
8/Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
9/Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor (Centurion Packaging/CYB Glass Fibre Yamaha, 10/Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Hazbeans Racing Yamaha).

Race Two

The weather had cooled considerably from previous days, but once again the skies brightened for the late afternoon race. As with Cadwell tradition, the reverse grid option was abandoned, and qualifying times dictated the formation.

Once again, a determined charge from the line saw the Christie boys neck and neck with Ellis into Coppice. Lewis Blackstock had his sidecar wheel on the grass as he fought to gain a couple of places but was thwarted in the attempt. If there were a reward for sheer effort in the face of adversity this weekend, Blackstock/Rosney get my vote. George Holden found himself behind Rob Biggs and Lee Crawford on lap one, with Biggs/Pitt absolutely flying this time out.

Race action from Cadwell Park

Sam Christie is growing in confidence daily, and he led the pack into lap two. The favoured passing place for Ellis was Park Corner, and again he used it to perfection. Once ahead, that is where he and Emmanuelle stayed, chased hard by the Christies for at least half the race. The battle for the lead was now firmly on, with Ellis/Clement yet again breaking their own lap record set earlier in the weekend. A new time of 1.31.100 was indeed fresh and uncharted territory. Even if the old guard of former World Champions were to return to the fray, this would be a hard nut to crack. With eleven wins from eleven starts, this has been an incredible season for the Anglo-French pairing. The new kids on the block are in town and you’d better believe it.

The leading two crews then cleared off, as Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther in third headed a freight-train of Biggs, Holden and Blackstock. These four outfits were welded together lap after lap, with ever desperate measures taken by all crews behind the very calm-headed Crawford. He’s a big presence on and off track and was proving impossible to pass. Once more, the spectacle of this dogfight was something to behold for the huge crowd all around the circuit who stayed to watch the final race. They were not disappointed and applauded universally when the chequered flag came out. Further down the field, Rupert Archer overshot Park Corner, and once on the grass was heading for the tyre wall. He avoided contact, but by that time passenger Phil Hyde had abandoned ship. Back at the front, it was lap six before Holden/Lawrence had dived through along the bottom stretch with Biggs/Pitt repeating the move two laps later. This was the Rob Biggs of old and was good to see.

Race action

Despite his best efforts, Blackstock’s Yamaha was no match for the Kawasaki of Crawford in terms of speed, the that is how they finished. Holden/Lawrence closed to within twenty- three points of third place in only their second full season.

Sam and Tom Christie, second in the standings, have never been off the podium including eight runner-up spots, and now trail Ellis by thirty-five points.

Result

1/Ellis/Clement
2/Christie/Christie
3/Holden/Lawrence
4/Biggs/Pitt
5/Crawford/Lowther
6/Blackstock/Rosney
7/Robinson/Fairhurst
8/Peach/Edwards
9/Clarke/Ensor
10/Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Ellis 275
Christie 240
Blackstock 195
Holden 172
Robinson 107
Archer 95
Hauxwell 87
Peach 74
Clarke 52
Cable 47
Biggs 38
Kirby 35
Crawford 27

The next round comes from the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk 9-11 September.

Photo credits: Barry Clay

British F1: Ellis and Clement take unbeaten form to Snetterton 300

British F1: Ellis/Clement take big lead back to home ground

British F1: Ellis/Clement take big lead back to home ground

Ellis and Clement

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.

Race action from Cadwell Park 2021

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

British F1: Ellis/Clement turn up the heat at thrilling Thruxton

British F1: Ellis/Clement turn up the heat at thrilling Thruxton

British F1: Ellis/Clement turn up the heat at thrilling Thruxton

Blackstock/Rosney

The tropical conditions continued as the Molson Group sidecars arrived in Hampshire for the half-way mark in the 2022 season. This round is one of the toughest on the calendar due to the unforgiving speeds and cornering forces. This would prove to be a crucial test for the top runners, with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement carrying an eleven-point lead over Sam/Tom Christie who in turn were a further sixteen points clear of Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney.

Qualifying

The one session went the way of the series leaders as expected. Ellis/Clement have earned the respect of the entire paddock and rightly so. The lap record held by Ben and Tom Birchall was bettered by the Santander salt duo on their way to pole position, but they would need to wait for the races to make it official. They set a time of 1.19.032 on lap two of the session and then sat back. Sam and Adam Christie got the better of Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney early on, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence repeating the feat to lead row two. Rob Biggs and Simon Robinson were next, with Peach and Nicholls destined to fight from row four.

The back row contained Rupert Archer and new passenger Rhys Gibbons alongside the Hazbeans Yamaha of Hauxwell/Taylor.

Race One

As the crews lined up, Race Director Stuart Higgs made an impromptu visit to the grid and spoke quickly to every team with a safety message, basically giving them the chance to signal if they were in trouble with the extreme heat. As it happened, all teams went the distance except for Rob Biggs, who was still plagued with his mechanical woes and forced to retire at two thirds distance.

From the start, the Christie brothers grabbed the lead chased by Ellis/Clement. The CES Yamaha led lap one right to the final chicane, at which point, Ellis went ahead and held the lead throughout. Behind them, Blackstock/Rosney and Holden/Lawrence fought over the third place slot, with Holden gaining the advantage.

These four teams were ahead of Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst in fifth, and a great battle featuring Peach/Edwards, Nicholls/Janssens and Archer/Gibbons. This went all the way to the flag with a delighted Dean Nicholls getting the verdict.

The leading pair were still very close at half-distance as the Christie brothers kept the pressure on Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. At one point approaching the end of the race they had narrowed the gap to under one second, but then Ellis responded.

There have been consistently fast, record-setting performances from Ellis/Clement on every stage they have performed this year. In doing so, they have pulled others with them to raise their game. The Christies have never gone faster (Tom was way ahead of previous Thruxton performances and into new territory), George Holden/Oscar Lawrence have exceeded anything they have ever done before, and apart from the unusual recent hiccups, Blackstock and Rosney are also very much on the pace. This year is going a bit wrong for them, but we have the second half of the season remaining.

At the flag, the lead gap was around six seconds, with Sam/Tom Christie keeping their challenge on target.

Result

1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Sam/Tom Christie (Christie Engineering Services Yamaha)
3/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki
4/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
5/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Courier Service Yamaha)
6/ Dean Nicholls/Ruben Janssens (TSR Racing Honda)
7/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
8/ Rupert Archer/Rhys Gibbons (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha),
9/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Vinyls 4U Adolf RS Yamaha).

Race two

The reverse grid rule often throws up some interesting situations and today was no exception. Blackstock/Rosney hit the front impressively with Ellis/Clement bogged down in fifth place into the complex. Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst and Andy Peach/Ken Edwards were in the early mix on lap one and literally the entire pack was bunched up and together into the chicane for the first time around. Blackstock made good his escape into lap two, as Ellis set about planning his out-braking move on Christie to propel himself and Emmanuelle to second place. George Holden was now fourth, with Robinson, Peach, and Rob Biggs line astern.

Blackstock/Rosney got cracking in a strong attempt to gap the championship leaders and they did a great job for three laps. Next time around, Ellis had made the move which we all saw coming, lapping with four tenths of the record to go ahead. That left Blackstock at the mercy of an advancing Sam Christie with brother Tom doing a great job on his baptism of fire at this formidable circuit.

Dean Nicholls was to survive just two laps after a collision with Craig Hauxwell, but the Hazbeans outfit battled on regardless, seemingly unaffected by the incident. Lap six and Biggs/Pitt were gone with yet another technical issue. The midnight oil will be copiously burned to get this bike sorted for Cadwell Park next time out.

At the front, the convoy had narrowed down to a battle for second place with the Christies climbing all over Blackstock/Rosney, and Holden/Lawrence waiting for their chance. It came in dramatic style when Sam Christie dived for the inside at the chicane. He made contact with Blackstock, pushing him sideways and wide. It was an unintentional and reasonable move, which simply did not come off. However, Blackstock was compromised and shoved wide. Race Direction took the view it was aggressive and penalised the Christie two seconds. This elevated George Holden to second place.

Down the field, most performances can be described as heroic given the conditions. Young Rhys Gibbons stayed the pace with Rupert Archer for seventh, Peach and Edwards had another finish for sixth, itself an achievement, Simon Robinson, again lonely in fifth racked up good points, with the top four positioned as described. Ellis/Clement once again displayed title-winning form to come away with maximum points.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Holden/Lawrence
3/ Christie/Christie
4/ Blackstock/Rosney,
5/ Robinson/Fairhurst
6/ Peach/Edwards
7/ Archer/Gibbons
8/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Ellis 225
Christie 200
Blackstock 174
Holden 143
Robinson 88
Archer 85
Hauxwell 75
Peach 58
Cable 47
Clarke 38
Kirby 35
Biggs 25

The next round is back at Cadwell Park 27-29 August at the big BSB weekend.

British F1: Fearsome Thruxton marks half-way stage in 2022 title chase

British F1: Fearsome Thruxton marks half-way stage in 2022 title chase

British F1: Fearsome Thruxton marks half-way stage in 2022 title chase

Race action from Thruxton

The Molson Group sidecars head for Hampshire over the weekend of August 12-14 at the mid-point of a topsy-turvy season.

Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) had built a decent advantage going on to round three at Brands Hatch. A retirement cost them dear, compounded by double victory for Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement on the Santander Salt Yamaha. Last weekend, three more races at Cadwell Park Revival put a different complexion on the standings, with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement emerging series leaders after ruling the roost with a devastating performance. They took three wins in Lincolnshire, smashing all known sidecar records along the way.

The Santander Salt duo also lead the World standings and will be away in Germany when this domestic series goes to Donington Park defending that lead. That is why they need another good weekend at Thruxton to get points in the bag ahead of that clash weekend in late September.

The Thruxton track is feared by sidecar passengers due to its outright high speed, grippy surface and enormous cornering forces. It will test the best, and last year, Ben and Tom Birchall emerged, after a tough battle, with double victory.

They, along with Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe, appeared for the first time this year at Cadwell Park last weekend on the F2 Honda TT spec machine but were ineligible for points. If their long bike is still not ready, the same could well apply at Thruxton. We are reliably informed the long bikes are on target to appear at Snetterton early September.

I sense this could be a pivotal round for those in contention, with Ellis/Clement in formidable form and Blackstock and Rosney, along with Sam and Tom Christie, on target for their best seasons yet. They have much to fight for and will not be holding back. Ellis/Clement are without doubt the in-form team, sweeping all before them this year, but this will be a new circuit for the French lady passenger, so that will be something of a challenge.

Ellis has an eleven-point lead over the Christies going into Thruxton, with Blackstock a further sixteen back, so with fifty up for grabs, anything could happen.

Neither should you discount George Holden and Oscar Lawrence. This young pair are not far off the top three and improving every week, claiming their first second place finish in race three Cadwell.

With half the season still to fight for and double points at the Brands Hatch finale, the next few weeks will be riveting, and it all starts at Thruxton this coming weekend.

Photo credit: Jenny “Triker” Wells

British F1: Ellis/Clement masterclass at fantastic Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival

British F1: Ellis/Clement masterclass at fantastic Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival

British F1: Ellis/Clement masterclass at fantastic Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival

Cadwell Revival poster

The weather was very kind, and the entry was superb across all classes for the fourth Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival. This Bemsee organised meeting is the only one outside of the British Superbike calendar and caters for all classes of sidecars ancient and modern.

Three races for the Molson Group F1 Championship with seventy-five points up for grabs were a meaningful target for all concerned, with Ben and Tom Birchall making their first appearance in the series this year. Both they and Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe were out on their short chassis TT Honda engine projectiles. They would not be eligible to take points however, due to their technical specification, and chose to compete in the FSRA F2 category. Todd Ellis had a degree of experimentation with the new Ryde F1 chassis, putting it through its paces extensively in Friday testing with great success. This was home ground for Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement, and they would be going for it as usual. Trying to stop them would be the top two crews in the series, Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and Sam/Tom Christie.

Qualifying

Saturday dawned with glorious sunshine from the word go, with just one session scheduled for late morning. Todd Ellis popped out in the Bemsee session with the Ryde F1, posting a best time of 1.36.6, a clear six seconds ahead of the closest club outfit.

In the session proper, the Anglo-French par did the same again but this time on the LCR, circulating at sub-lap record pace ahead of Sam/Tom Christie and the series leaders Blackstock/Rosney. Just behind came George Holden/Oscar Lawrence who were easily the best of the rest, two seconds clear of Rob Biggs and new passenger Jason Pitt. They in turn, were well ahead of Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson and Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde.

Race One

A flying start took the pole sitters into an immediate lead at Coppice with Blackstock/Rosney in close company from the Christie brothers and Holden/Lawrence. Then came Rob Biggs and Jason Pitt and Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst.

The top three broke away in perfect track conditions, opening a slight gap back to the Holden/Lawrence Kawasaki. These four outfits were steadily pulling away with Ellis/Clement easing out a slight edge on lap two.

Then Sam/Tom Christie were on the back of the Express Tyre Services Yamaha, with Blackstock suffering from tyre degradation. They had a moment on the grass and never felt safe thereafter. They simply lost confidence in the feel, lost their speed, and dropped to third, never to recover. Ellis/Clement meanwhile, set a new race lap record of 1.32.099 on lap four and headed the Christies home over the ten laps.

The pace was fierce, and the improvement in lap times by Ellis, Christie and Blackstock before his tyres went off was remarkable. Holden too has steadily gained pace and smoothness. Further down the order, Biggs and Robinson were enjoying their own scrap, with Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson pulling a gap on Archer. Andy Peach and Ken Edwards sported new Gulf livery and spent the race fighting off Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor, eventually losing out. The Hazbeans duo of Hauxwell and Taylor had another enjoyable outing to claim more points.

Result

1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Sam Christie/Tom Christie (CES Yamaha)
3/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
4/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki),
5/ Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt (Santander Salt Yamaha)
6/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Courier Service Yamaha)
7/ Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson (L&W Contractors Yamaha)
8/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Yamaha RSR)
9/ Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor (Centurion Yamaha)
10/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
11/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Hazbeans Yamaha).

Race Two

It was more of the same this time around in terms of glorious sunshine, with Blackstock/Rosney sporting new rubber. They had a flying start fired up with determination with Ellis/Clement in second and the Christies third ahead of Holden/Lawrence. The lead was short-lived however, as Ellis shot the Yamaha past on the opening lap. From then on, he and his lady passenger just piled on the coals, setting yet another lap record of 1.31.617 on lap two. This surpassed the previous 1000cc record held by Tim Reeves, so the World Championship leaders were clearly setting new standards in 2022. The battle for second place raged between Blackstock/Rosney and the CES Christie brother’s Yamaha, with Blackstock slipping back to third.

Behind came Holden/Lawrence again, closing a little on Blackstock towards the end of the race. Next was a fine fifth throughout by Simon Robinson and Mick Fairhurst celebrating his 2021 “passenger of the year” award presented the previous evening. Their result put them fifth in the standings after race two.

Kevin Cable fought a race-long duel with Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde ahead of Clarke and Hauxwell. It was retirement for both Andy Peach and Rob Biggs who was suffering with a distinct lack of engine performance as the race wore on. It is hard to see any answers for the devastating speed of Ellis/Clement. With one more race to go here, and Thruxton coming up, they were moving towards a strong series challenge.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Christie/Christie
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Holden/Lawrence,
5/ Robinson/Fairhurst
6/ Cable/Richardson
7/ Archer/Hyde
8/ Clarke/Ensor,
9/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Race Three

The heat had gone up considerably ahead of the final outing with Ellis again almost making the best of the pole position start. He shot off the line but was beaten into Charlies by Blackstock/Rosney, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence third and fighting. The Christie boys were fourth, but eager and desperate to get back in touch. Lap two, and Holden/Lawrence were not about to give their second spot away, with Blackstock/Rosney nipping at their heels, and the frustrated Christies stuck in fourth. As Ellis/Clement gave a masterful display on the singing Yamaha, the trio behind circulated lap after lap in close formation with Holden looking strong, if a little under pressure.

Robinson/Fairhurst were next, ahead of a despondent Rob Biggs/Jason Pitt. These crews have the speed when all is well, but the bikes were simply not playing ball in this final outing. Both were eventually to retire towards the end of the race on laps seven and eight respectively. The field was now down to eight finishers with Andy Peach/Ken Edwards already non-starters in this one. A gleeful Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson who had spent the entire race defending another challenge from Archer/Hyde, found themselves in fifth with more solid points. Rupert Archer is another competitor who, by sheer doggedness and consistency, is now placed fifth in the standings just two points ahead of relative newcomers Robinson/Fairhurst. But for their retirement, they would have been in that position.

At the front the battle raged into the final two laps with Ellis/Clement now twenty seconds clear of the trio behind. Blackstock/Rosney were down to fourth with the Christies climbing all over George Holden/Oscar Lawrence on the Holden Racing Kawasaki.

Then the inevitable happened approaching the mountain section before the final lap. A coming together between third and fourth saw the Christies emerge with wheel arch damage and a smoking tyre, whilst Blackstock/Rosney appeared later. They were still fourth, but the chance had gone. Holden/Lawrence meanwhile were cock-a-hoop with their best result at this level.

This championship might have been missing some top names early in the season, but those teams who have turned up and supported the series, have had good racing, and found reward for their efforts.

As for Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement, they are simply in a special pace at this precise moment and few, with any honest knowledge of this sport, could possibly argue with that.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Holden/Lawrence
3/ Christie/Christie
4/ Blackstock/Rosney,
5/ Cable/Richardson
6/ Archer/Hyde
7/ Clarke/Ensor
8/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Ellis/Clement 175
Christie/Christie 164
Blackstock/Rosney 148,
Holden/Lawrence 107
Archer/Hyde 68
Robinson/Fairhurst 66
Hauxwell/Taylor 60
Cable/Richardson 47
Peach/Edwards 40
Clarke/Ensor 38
Kirby/Kirby 35

RKB-F1 Sidecar initiatives to end after 2022 season

RKB-F1 Sidecar initiatives to end after 2022 season

RKB-F1 Sidecar initiatives to end after 2022 season

Race action from Cadwell Park Revival

After twelve years of organisation of the British F1 Sidecar Championship (ten of those alongside the prestigious British Superbike series) and more recently, a five-year deal to organise and promote the FIM Sidecar World Championship, the RKB-F1 organisation is calling it a day.

From a sport languishing in the doldrums ten years ago, with a poor image, low grid attendances, shabby paddocks and no recognition or commercial value, under Roger Body’s stewardship and significant investment, sidecar racing has achieved unprecedented exposure and profile.

The vision was always to raise the sport back to a level which justified placing it on big stages and re-establishing it as an attractive product for sponsors and organisers alike.

From little more than a club sport, it became a major part of a Superbike race weekend, with live television, extensive web and media coverage and a vibrant and stylish paddock scene. The time and investment over the period to get the sport to that level cannot be underestimated.

Sadly, the perfect storm of Brexit, the global pandemic, and more recently the Ukraine war have all contributed to a downturn in entries for both series, and rising costs at just about every turn. The result of these and other factors is that once again grids are dwindling, and good teams who should be racing in one or both championships, are not able to. For a minority and niche sport (for that is what sidecar racing is) to succeed and grow, everyone needs to buy into the dream and support any programme designed to deliver the ideal.

The bottom line is, that however tough the decision, for the reasons listed above and more, enough is enough and at the end of 2022, Roger Body will cease his activities under the RKB-F1 banner and close the shop. The implications of that decision will become apparent if, and when, a new season gets underway. Meanwhile, there is the remainder of the 2022 season to deliver, and as a man of his word and more, Roger and his team will deliver it.

RKB-F1 would like to thank all the fans, the teams, the sponsors, and organisations who have shared his vision and supported the initiative over the years. We would also like to extend sincere thanks to Stuart Higgs and his MSVR organisation for having faith in what we were intent on achieving and providing us with the platform to realise the ambition.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

RKB-F1 Sidecar Racing Announcement

RKB-F1 Sidecar Racing Announcement

After much consideration (and the onset of old age) I have decided to hang up my boots at the end of the year.

We have had a good run from the conception in 2010 with Thundersport right through to 2022 with BSB.

My thanks go out to all those people who have helped over the years to put the show on the road. In particular, Mike Dommett and his BEMSEE team, Barry Nutley, Glenn Walsh, Darren Philpott, Gary Bryan, Jane Haselden and Stuart Higgs at MSV and all of his team.

I will also be disbanding our team (Santander Salt) and again many thanks go out to all theriders we have had at the team and the team helpers. We will obviously be finishing the year, and look forward to the continued success of Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement with back up from Rob Biggs team. We also have an interest with Jack Nixon in the FHO Team, again we will continue to support him.

I know there are many people in the wings looking to continue and improve on the series and I wish them every success in the future.

Roger Body

British F1: Double top for Ellis/Clement as Blackstock and Rosney falter

British F1: Double top for Ellis/Clement as Blackstock and Rosney falter

British F1: Double top for Ellis/Clement as Blackstock and Rosney falter

Blackstock/Rosney

An eclectic mix of competitors made for a very interesting grid at Brands Hatch for the third round. From World and British Championship regulars and series leaders for both series, to new names and wild cards testing the water for the first time, the weekend was always going to have an unknown flavour. Certain predictions were inevitable, but equally there were surprises along the way.

For the first time ever, the Santander Salt team featured two lady passengers, as Sarah Stokoe joined Rob Biggs alongside Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. Sarah is well known in the sidecar world, partly as George Holden’s partner, but also for her exploits alongside multiple TT winner Rob Fisher in classic racing.

A newcomer to the series was Bemsee Championship runner Luke Williams with Jason Pitt alongside, running very well inside the top ten in free practice.

The feeder system in identifying new talent at club level has once again provided strong candidates for the higher order. Williams, at thirty years of age, already has over twenty years of kart and motor racing experience behind him. He follows his father into the world of three wheels. Bemsee F1 series leader Gordon Pottinger/David Dodd were another crew to step up and try their hand at a new level.

Qualifying

Just as the session got underway, rain started falling, catching out a couple of outfits on the opening lap. Gordon Pottinger collected a spinning Craig Clarke, with Pottinger’s passenger David Dodd suffering concussion and an overnight hospital stay for observation. All teams came back to pit-lane or the paddock to change tyres causing a further delay to proceedings. The resumption of qualifying left ten minutes on the clock, with Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde setting the early standard. Ellis/Clement got stuck in and shot to the head of the times, with a respectable 1.47.348 given the conditions.

Rupert Archer and Phil Hyde

Blackstock and Rosney then took control at the front, with Kershaw/Charlwood rushing to change tyres in pit lane, vainly trying to get one lap in. A red flag brought it to a close, with Kershaw unable to complete his lap. He would now start from the back of the grid. Conditions were against them
today, but not so the series leaders. Blackstock and Rosney would start from pole position, ahead of Ellis/Clement and the Christie brothers from George Holden on row two.

Race One

The blue sky was back for Saturday morning with warm-up scheduled for midday and race one late afternoon. It was to be hoped the weather would hold and the prognosis was good. It was indeed hot stuff when the lights went out and the pack streamed into Paddock Hill Bend. Blackstock and Rosney got the initial drop, but Ellis/Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) dived up the inside and took control. They were never to look back, breaking the lap record in the process of building an eight second lead over the twelve laps. Behind them, Sam and Tom Christie (CES Yamaha) fought tooth and nail with Blackstock/Rosney before the Express Tyres Services Yamaha pair pulled a gap. By the end of lap one Rob Biggs/Sarah Stokoe were out after an incident at Stirlings. Further down the order, Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood had a problem from the start and ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend, so their race was over too. There appeared to be an electrical fault on the Quattro Yamaha which remained undiagnosed late into the evening. The rate of attrition in the early laps was high, accounting for three teams in the early stages. As Ellis/Clement marched on at the front, the Christies had a good scrap with Blackstock/Rosney until the red “ninety-five” bike let go and was also out with a blown engine. This allowed George Holden/Oscar Lawrence to grab their third consecutive podium spot, and a delighted Luke Williams/Jason Pitt moved into fourth in their debut Championship race.

Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst, Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde and Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters all scrapped throughout, with Robinson claiming fifth. Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson had a solid ride to eighth in their first appearance in this title chase this year ahead of an entertaining battle between the Haz Beans Yamaha of Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor and Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor. Shawn and Anthony Hildidge claimed the final points in ninth.

Total retirements included Peach/Edwards with another mysterious electrical fault, Biggs/Stokoe, Blackstock/Rosney and Kershaw/Charlwood.

Result

1/Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/Sam Christie/Tom Christie (CES Yamaha)
3/George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
4/Luke Williams/Jason Pitt (WSRT Yamaha)
5/Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24 Seven Courier Service Yamaha)
6/Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannifin RS Yamaha)
7/Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters (MK Racing Yamaha)
8/Kevin Cable/Charlie Richardson (L&W Contractors Yamaha)
9/Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor (Centurion Packaging Honda)
10/Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Haz Beans Yamaha)
11/Shawn/Anthony Hildidge (H&K Racing Yamaha)

Race Two

Warm-up set the scene on another beautifully sunny day, with the race scheduled late morning. Rob Biggs had drafted in Adam Christie alongside, so needed to get his three laps in. Kershaw’s problem appeared sorted he ran third fastest to Ellis but would start from the back of the grid. The Christie brothers were on top of warm-up times. A reverse grid once again was entertaining with Hauxwell/Taylor on pole, and three of the top four crews right at the back.

Christie / Christie

From the lights, the two front row crews Hauxwell and Clarke were under pressure, first from Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson, and then by Sam/Tom Christie. The Christie boys had started alongside Todd Ellis but made a better job of hitting the front. This they did on lap one, and immediately pulled a three second lead over the pack. Ellis/Clement conversely, were almost on the grass into turn one from the lights, and then had a fight to get past Holden/Lawrence. By lap two they had made it through, but Sam and Tom Christie were flying, holding the lead for four laps. Wild card and new kid on the block Luke Williams with Jason Pitt in the hot seat was fourth on lap one behind Holden/Lawrence but quickly fell victim to the charging Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood, who earlier had claimed the scalp of Blackstock/Rosney. The series leaders coming to Brands were not having the best of days by their high standards. Deep into what was a fantastic race, Ellis/Clement were away with it, not quite bettering their new lap record set earlier, but still faster than the 2021 time set by Ben and Tom Birchall.

Further down, a great ride by Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters saw them move from eighth to fifth at the flag in Kirk’s first ride for well over a year. Simon Robinson headed Rupert Archer, from Kevin Cable and the original front row occupants Hauxwell and Clarke. Ellis’s winning margin at the flag was three seconds over Kershaw/Charlwood who were just happy to know their mysterious gremlins had gone away. Third place for the Christies moved them further ahead in the tile chase. Rob Biggs and Adam Christie had an issue which put them into the pits, but they re-joined to finish in twelfth place behind Shawn/Anthony Hildidge.

Result

1/Ellis/Clement
2/Kershaw/Charlwood
3/Christie/Christie
4/Blackstock/Rosney
5/Kirk/Masters
6/Robinson/Fairhurst
7/Archer/Hyde
8/Cable/Richardson
9/Hauxwell/Taylor
10/ Clarke/Ensor
11/Hildidge/Hildidge
12/Biggs/Christie
DNF – Holden/Lawrence lap 9
Williams/Pitt lap 8

Standings

Christie 108
Blackstock 103
Ellis 100
Holden 61
Robinson 45
Archer 41
Hauxwell 40
Kirby 35
Peach 34
J Holden 22
Kirk 21
Kershaw 20
Cable 17
Biggs 14

The next round comes from the Cadwell Sidecar Revival August 6-8.

British F1: Blackstock/Rosney take eighteen-point lead to Brands 22-24 July

British F1: Blackstock/Rosney take eighteen-point lead to Brands 22-24 July

British F1: Blackstock/Rosney take eighteen-point lead to Brands 22-24 July

Brands Hatch race action

Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney head for Kent with a sizeable series lead over Sam and Tom Christie after double victory in Scotland on the DHR/Express Tyres Services Yamaha. This is the first time they have found themselves in this position and will be very keen to preserve the margin against all odds.

It will not be an easy task, as FIM World Championship leaders Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement are fresh from Croatia and will be aiming to double their current tally of British points for the Santander Salt Yamaha team.

We have yet to see Ben and Tom Birchall in action this year, but they are entered at Brands Hatch hoping to open their score in style, along with Birchall Racing team-mates Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe. Both crews have had a slow start to the domestic scene having focussed on a successful Isle of Man TT.

Sam and Tom Christie (CES Yamaha) sit second in the title chase twenty-two points ahead of Ellis/Clement who claimed a maximum fifty points in the opening Oulton Park round. The Christie brothers from Beverley were also in World action recently in Croatia and are currently in top form, so they will expect to be in the big numbers.

George Holden and Oscar Lawrence are fourth in the table after two podiums in Knockhill and will be rueing their DNF in the opening race of the season at Oulton Park. But for that, they would almost certainly be ahead of Ellis coming here to Kent.

The full entry list is still taking shape as I write, and there might well be one or two surprises.

The Grand Prix circuit at Brands is very popular with the sidecar crews, and Pilgrims Drop is the fastest part of the lap. With one race on Saturday and another Sunday, there are fifty points up for grabs for the double win. Will there be any takers? One thing you can be sure of is there will be no shortage of teams trying their luck.

Eurosport are providing their usual live coverage, with our regular highlights package available later on www.rkb-f1-sidecars.com. Make sure you stay across all the action as it happens, or better still, find your way to Brands Hatch for a summer festival of racing.

Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells

British F1: Knockhill thrills as the title lead changes hands

British F1: Knockhill thrills as the title lead changes hands

British F1: Knockhill thrills as the title lead changes hands

Blackstock/Rosney

As the southern half of the UK basked in Mediterranean temperatures, Fife was a total contrast, with a very wet opening day on Friday.

A relatively small entry was amplified by a clash with the FIM World Championship in Hungary which kept the series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement away. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau also signalled a late change of plan and were not present, along with double TT winners Ben and Tom Birchall. This left the door well and truly open for others to capitalise.

The invitation was gleefully accepted, with some serious fighting at the front for  the big points. Making a one-off return was Stuart Clark, who accompanied Steve Kershaw to the 2018 title. He jumped in with Simon Robinson for a one-off appearance, and the pair did pretty well once they had adjusted to each other. Free practice saw Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney run at the front, with Sam Christie giving brother Tom only his second trip out at Knockhill ahead of Phil Bell and his cousin Carl on the Marin Motorsport Yamaha.

Qualifying

The weather had improved significantly ahead of the only timed session. The sun  was out although there was a very stiff breeze in the backs of the crews as they came up from the hairpin and away over the start-finish line.

The Christie brothers Sam and Tom made the early running, but it was not long before Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney on the DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha made their presence felt at the front.

Team Christie racing

They opened a slight advantage, with Simon Robinson and Stuart Clark sitting third. Once ahead, Blackstock/Rosney were never to let the lead slip, making pole position theirs in fine style. Locals Lewis Nicol and Rhys Gibbon were mid-pack behind Scottish Championship rivals Phil and Carl Bell. In fourth, halfway through the session were George Holden and Oscar Lawrence, with every chance of grabbing a podium at this event. That possibility was reinforced as they moved third with seven minutes remaining. Simon Robinson fought back to reclaim third place however, as the Christies tried to close down Blackstock/Rosney. Paul and Tom Kirby went seventh fastest, underlining their steady improvement, with Andy Peach/Ken Edwards, Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde and Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor on the Hazbeans Adolf RS Yamaha completing the grid.

Race One

Late in the day, with a low sun, there was a good crowd of sidecar fans staying for what would be a welcome move to three-wheeled action. Would there be a new series leader at the end of the race? There was every chance, and
away they went for fifteen hectic laps.

Blackstock/Rosney

Blackstock/Rosney led the charge off the line into Duffus Dip with the Christie brothers and Simon Robinson/Stuart Clark neck and neck behind. Next came George Holden/Oscar Lawrence looking left and right for a way through. Phil and Carl Bell were also tucked in behind. These five outfits circulated in close formation with Blackstock easing a small gap on lap two. Equally, Sam and Tom Christie had a small cushion over a lot of action behind. George Holden eventually muscled the Kawasaki past Robinson, who seemed to be in handling trouble, taking to the grass and gravel exiting Leslie’s. It later transpired that his bike for some reason had become almost unrideable, eventually spitting Stuart Clark out. They would need to sort the problems before race two.

Further down the order, young Scotsman Lewis Nicol was having a great ride chasing down his local championship rival Phil Bell and Andy Peach/Ken Edwards. Phil Bell had to pit late in the race with Carl suffering from arm-pump. He was dejected and very disappointed but determined to make the grid for race two. It was to be a fine fourth place for the Nicol/Gibbon pairing in only their second British Championship race.

Race action

Race leaders Blackstock/Rosney were away with it, posting a time just seven tenths outside Todd Ellis’s lap record, so clearly were in form. Peach/Edwards, Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde and Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor had their own fun further down the field, but Peach was rewarded with fifth.

Result

1/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
2/ Sam/Tom Christie (CES Yamaha)
3/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
4/ Lewis Nicol/Rhys Gibbon (Nicol Racing Yamaha)
5/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
6/ Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde (Hannafin Adolf RS Yamaha)
7/ Paul/Tom Kirby (Adolf RS Yamaha)
8/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (Adolf RS Hazbeans Yamaha).

Race Two

The reverse grid was always going to be interesting into Duffus Dip and we were not disappointed. Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor were keen not to repeat their Oulton Park antics as they headed off from pole position.

They did a good job on the opening lap, but George Holden/Oscar Lawrence were on them, as indeed were the Christies. Blackstock/Rosney had a heart-stopping moment after the first warm-up lap with a dead engine. They pushed off the grid and onto the grass, only for it to fire up again. The second warm-up lap gave them the breathing space to take their place.

They had a harder fight through but made it on lap three to take the lead, Behind them however, there was lots going on. Simon Robinson had his handling sorted, and he and Stuart Clark were fighting hard, as indeed was Phil Bell. Carl was in better shape this time and they had a good race.

Race action

The Bell pairing claimed fourth place when the rear tyre of Robinson’s outfit failed on the final lap. Knockhill was a weekend to forget for Robinson and Clark. Young Lewis Nicol/Rhys Gibbon enjoyed a good scrap with Andy Peach/Ken Edwards behind the Bell outfit, and Rupert Archer/Phil Hyde stayed ahead of Paul/Tom Kirby. The Gloucester duo have been steadily improving, are consistent, and the standings reflect their efforts.

Archer and Hyde enjoyed their weekend in Scotland picking up twenty-one points for their trouble. Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor, from pole position, slipped to the back of the field, but smiling faces in the “Hazbeans Racing” camp told a great story. Who knows, if there had been prize money, Craig might even have bought some razor blades!!!

Race action

At the flag, Blackstock/Rosney had a two second edge over Sam and Tom Christie, getting to within seven tenths of Todd Ellis’s lap record. Holden/Lawrence were again on the podium in third and that was good to see. Events conspired against a strong entry here, but the ten crews present put on a good show, throwing the title race wide open. When the big guns return from foreign parts, the title race will be very interesting with Brands Hatch next up.

Result

1/ Blackstock/Rosney
2/ Christie/Christie
3/ Holden/Lawrence
4/ Bell/Bell
5/ Peach Edwards
6/ Nicol/Gibbon
7/ Archer/Hyde,
8/ Kirby/Kirby
9/ Hauxwell/Taylor

Standings

Blackstock 90
Christie 72
Ellis 50
Holden 45
Kirby 35
Peach 34
Hauxwell 26
J. Holden 22
Robinson 22
Archer 21
Bell 13
Biggs 10

Round Three comes from Brands Hatch July 22-24.

British F1: Double top for Ellis/Clement as Blackstock and Rosney falter

British F1: Knockhill awaits as Blackstock/Rosney eye up series lead 17-19 June

British F1: Knockhill awaits as Blackstock/Rosney eye up series lead 17-19 June

Blackstock/Rosney

The Isle of Man TT has come and gone, the FIM World Championship has seen three rounds of great action involving last year’s top four teams, and now it is time to resume the domestic series at the popular Fife circuit of Knockhill.

Paddy Rosney must surely be to amass as many points as possible in the absence of series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. The Santander Salt duo will be defending their fourteen-point lead in the FIM World Championship in Hungary, leaving the door open for others to capitalise.

The Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom were early entries in Scotland, with their focus being to retain their British title. For 2022 they also plan to contest selected World rounds, but having missed just the Oulton Park opener, the appeal to stay at home is obvious. That opinion is shared by Birchall Racing team-mates Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe, although a good appearance at the Estoril World finale last season whetted their appetites for more international action.

Race action from Oulton

Back here, the British title race looks strong, with any number of fast, reliable teams able to score consistently at every round. Most prolific of those are, as stated, Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney. The DHR/Express Tyre Services Rishton based pair have shown a great ability to run at the front and mix it with just about anyone. Their time as a team over several seasons has resulted in a good understanding and mutual desire to win. They could easily be dark horses for a debut title if they finish every race strongly. Twice runners-up at Oulton gave them a great start in that regard. Santander Salt’s Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz will defend team honours in Scotland and have a good record on the Knockhill circuit. John Holden and Jason Pitt ran their TT outfit at Oulton Park, with a question mark over future appearances on the long chassis. Nonetheless, they emerged fourth overall, just ten points behind Sam and Tom Christie. The Beverley brothers are regular front runners with the potential to spring a surprise at season end.

Previously there were no planned British Championship appearances for either Tim Reeves or Steve Kershaw, both choosing to focus on either the World Championship, or in the case of Reeves, Germany. That is where his sponsor is active, so it made commercial, if not sporting sense to stay in his back garden.

Bonovo Action - Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau

However, a late entry will now see the eight-times World Champion line up on the grid in Scotland. The lure of real competition against top line rivals is surely what all top sportsmen and women aspire to and relish? One thing is for sure, we now have greater strength in depth at our disposal than for many years. The prospect of most of those main British crews getting stuck in at Knockhill will indeed be a sight to behold.

There are also some new names earning reputations this season, and they will be in Scotland enhancing those credentials. Simon Robinson, former F2 Champion has taken to the long bike well, with Mick Fairhurst doing a
great job alongside. George Holden and Oscar Lawrence have moved to Kawasaki power and claimed a fourth place at Oulton Park after a race one DNF spoiled their day. Cupar’s Lewis Nicol and Rhys Gibbon wave the Saltire for Scotland and must surely know their way round Knockhill.

British F1: Double top and lap record for Ellis and Clement at Oulton Park

British F1: Double top and lap record for Ellis and Clement at Oulton Park

British F1: Double top and lap record for Ellis and Clement at Oulton Park

Race 1 podium

​The opening two races of the 2022 season at a packed Oulton Park gave the spectators good value for money, despite a reduced grid size. Clashes with other events diluted the normally strong attendance. However, it was clear to see the crowds were delighted to be back trackside at BSB, with its full programme of support classes.

Following free practice in which Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement set quickest time on the Santander Salt Yamaha, the sunny conditions which prevailed for two days prior, turned into a grey day with spots of rain in the air just as the outfits rolled out for qualifying.

Thirteen crews were entered, with a good bunch of fast boys intending to give Ellis a run for his money. Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and Sam/Tom Christie (CES Yamaha) were second and third quickest, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Kawasaki LCR) running a strong fourth. John Holden/Jason Pitt were impressive on their TT F2 chassis with a standard specification motor fitted. Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde were another crew
bedding in their TT LCR Honda, looking not in the slightest rusty.

Qualifying

From the word go, despite tricky conditions, Ellis/Clement were in attack mode, with the Christie brothers giving it their best shot. The race lap-record set by Ben and Tom Birchall last season was the benchmark, and the World Series leaders surpassed that on lap six. A time of 1.43.644 was two tenths inside the record, and that was on a cold and very slightly damp track, which the French lady was seeing for the first time. Behind them, the Christie brothers and Blackstock/Rosney were strong, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence marginally quicker than Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley on their Rowtech Honda. Always a force to be reckoned with, Pete Founds was his usual determined self.

Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz suffered head gasket failure, with Paul/Tom Kirby out of action with suspected clutch problems on their KRT Racing Yamaha Adolf RS. Both crews were busy in the garage at the close of play, and would do their best to make the grid for the opening race, albeit from the back. So, the front row featured Ellis/Clement and Blackstock/Rosney, from Sam/Tom Christie and George Holden/Oscar Lawrence, then came F2 rivals Founds/Walmsley and Holden/Pitt, with row four carrying Andy Peach/Ken Edwards and Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst.

Two ten lap races were scheduled, so there was plenty of opportunity to grab big points. Given there were a couple of clashes between World and British title fights, it was imperative that Todd Ellis scored as many as possible here at the opener.

Race One

Overnight rain fell, but by the time the outfits arrived at the line, the track had seen hectic British Superbike action dry the track. Pole sitters Ellis/Clement got a flyer, chased by Blackstock/Rosney. The Christies were up into third and there they stayed. The speed differential between them and Blackstock was tight but overtaking on the Oulton Park circuit is not easy. Next came Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley. The leading F2 outfit was hassled in the early laps by a hard charging George Holden/Oscar Lawrence.

Holden / Lawrence

There was a new level of determination from the former Bemsee champions, and their bike was fast. They swarmed all over Founds/Walmsley until the 600 Kawasaki let go in a big way, breaking a con-rod. The dry sump configuration contained the oil in the tank, so there was no contamination to the track. That left Pete Founds to make fourth place his, ahead of John Holden/Jason Pitt, who with their standard engine, claimed the fourth place points.

Shawn and Anthony Hildige had a hairy moment exiting Old Hall on lap three, slamming the Armco barrier at 115 MPH before spinning and throwing Anthony from the chair. They were lucky not to go in head-on. This ended their day. Another rare, if not unique situation saw Phil Hyde exit Gary Bryan’s Honda, only to jump straight back in and claim a ninth- place finish.

Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst made great strides from a pit-lane start to overhaul Andy Peach/Ken Edwards for sixth place, with Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz still with coolant trouble, not completing a lap. Tom Kirby was feeling the effects of no track-time and found Oulton Park almost a bridge too far in race one, but after a good night’s sleep, had his head in a better place for race two. Nonetheless, they were credited with a finish and points. This pair of Kirbys are committed to the season, and simply need to be more on the bike. Lap times were good, and all the signs are there. They were up there with Craig Hauxwell and Gary Bryan, so they can take encouragement from that.

Hauxwell / Taylor

At the front, Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement were cruising, but banged in a new lap record on their way to victory. They were half a second quicker than Ben and Tom Birchall were this time last year. Blackstock/Rosney and the Christie brothers completed the podium with polished displays.

 

Result

1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
2/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
3/ Sam Christie/Adam Christie (Christie Engineering Services Yamaha)
4/ Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley (Rowtech Honda F2)
5/ John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes Racing Yamaha F2)
6/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (24/7 Courier Service Yamaha)
7/ Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha)
8/ Craig Hauxwell/Derek Taylor (VINYLS 4U Adolf RS Yamaha)
9/ Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde (GBR Honda LCR)
10/ Paul Kirby/Tom Kirby (KRT Racing Yamaha)

Race Two

In keeping with tradition, the reverse grid saw Paul and Tom Kirby on pole position alongside Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde. The first few laps were spectacular, in fact the action surpassed the first race in terms of entertainment. Craig Hauxwell and Derek Taylor went onto the grass at Cascades on lap one, spinning on the gravel and ending up capsized. Neither was hurt, dented pride being the only affliction. Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley were not about to pass up the chance of having top crews behind and led after lap one from Blackstock/Rosney and Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde. Todd Ellis was fifth but on a charge. He was soon up with the leaders and went ahead on lap three.

He and Clement were never to look back, setting another new lap record in the process. They came to within one second of Tim/Tristan Reeves 1000cc best from 2017 with a time of 1.42.987.

Race action

Sam/Tom Christie’s Yamaha was the fastest through the speed traps, and testament to their engineering skills. They fought from eighth on lap one to third at the flag, although it took them five laps to muscle past Pete Founds. Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz spun the other Santander Salt bike, but given the way their weekend had gone, were more than happy to recover and claim ten valuable points. Once the Christies had dispensed with Pete Founds, it was the turn of George Holden/Oscar Lawrence to tangle with the F2 star. Lap after lap he was hassled and harried, but only succumbed in the closing stages, as the youngsters shot by on the final lap. This scrap, with Holden junior using the spare engine – in his own words “an old motor”, was almost the highlight of the race.

Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst did another great job, bringing it home in sixth, ahead of Biggs and John Holden/Jason Pitt on their resplendent TT bike. Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde, along with pole men the battling Kirbys, completed the top ten, with another eight championship points going to the latter crew. They emerged from Oulton in sixth place overall – get in!!!

Ellis / Clement

Andy Peach/Ken Edwards, after scoring well in the opener, were deemed non-finishers along with Hauxwell/Taylor. All in all, given the shortage of entries due to alternative event clashes and TT preparation, the racing was good, if a little eventful, with the Ellis/Clement bringing their World series class to bear in emphatic style.

Result

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Blackstock/Rosney
3/ Christie/Christie
4/ Holden/Lawrence
5/ Founds/Walmsley
6/ Robinson/Fairhurst
7/Biggs/Schmitz
8/ Holden/pit
9/ Bryan/Hyde
10/ Kirby/Kirby

Standings

Ellis/Clement 50
Blackstock/Rosney 40
Christie/Christie 32
Holden/Pitt 22
Robinson/Fairhurst 22
Kirby/Kirby 16
Holden/Lawrence 13
Biggs/Schmitz 10
Peach/Edwards 10
Hauxwell/Taylor 9

Round Two comes from north of the border at Knockhill, Fife, June 17-19.

RKB-F1 Sidecar initiatives to end after 2022 season

British F1: Cadwell Sidecar Revival is not far away – get on board

British F1: Cadwell Sidecar Revival is not far away – get on board

Race action from Cadwell Park Revival

The way time is running, we will be into full swing with racing action before we know it. Our season kicks off at Oulton Park, with Knockhill and Brands Hatch the next up. It is then off to Cadwell Park for the excitement and spectacle of the Sidecar Revival Festival.

The early August date is guaranteed to appeal to all sidecar fans, who have demonstrated in previous years how much they welcome the variety of outfits and personalities on show.

Given the difficult circumstances surrounding the past two seasons, we are determined to make this the best Revival ever, and for that reason we urge all owners of modern, classic, and period sidecar outfits to enter or become involved. There are classes for virtually all types of racing outfits from F1 British Championship spec. machinery to the grass roots bikes in the BHR Bears category.

If there is no specific class available for your machine in terms of actual competition then why not come along and join in the parades. This event has become a standard in the annual calendar with stars from far and wide joining in the fun.

Entries for the event are open and there is already strong interest, but the more the merrier, and we are keen to make this another memorable event. If you’ve registered before on the Bemsee website, then just go to www.bemsee.net and click on “Race Entries”.

If you are a new entry for the Revival you will need to register on the site and then will be free to enter the meeting.

Molson Championship dates are as below.

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
Sept 30-Oct 2 Donington Park
October 14-16 Brands Hatch

 

British F1: Cadwell Sidecar Revival is coming in August – don’t miss it

British F1: Cadwell Sidecar Revival is coming in August – don’t miss it

British F1: Cadwell Sidecar Revival is coming in August – don’t miss it

Cadwell Park flags

With all eyes on a full Molson Group British Championship in 2022, it’s important to note the fourth round will be at the popular and now well-established Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival.

This event has become a favourite with teams and spectators alike, and with restrictions imposed by two years of pandemic now easing, the entry is expected to be bigger than ever.

Classes over the weekend are as before, with the FSRA British F2’s and Wintec Pre-Injection brigade featuring strongly. Bemsee F1 and F2 outfits add to the spectacle, along with the ever popular and thunderous Camathias Cup and BHR Bears outfits completing the supporting line-up.

Grand Prix Legends and historic outfits will parade as before, with several former World Champions appearing in person.

Add to this the Molson Group Championship runners with the series at the half-way stage and this is bound to be another memorable weekend.

Entries for the event are already open. If you’ve registered before on the Bemsee website, then just go to www.bemsee.net and click on “Race Entries”.

If you are a new entry for the Revival you will need to register on the site and then will be free to enter the meeting.

Molson Championship dates are as below.

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
Sept 30-Oct 2 Donington Park
October 14-16 Brands Hatch

 

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

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

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