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

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

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

Sidecar racing at Cadwell Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

Santander Salt Molson Group liveried truck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British F1: Bitterly cold Snetterton banishes winter blues

British F1: Bitterly cold Snetterton banishes winter blues

British F1: Bitterly cold Snetterton banishes winter blues

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz
Robert Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz

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

Kev Cable and Lee Watson
Kevin Cable and Lee Watson

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

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

Todd Ellis
Todd Ellis

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

George Holden and Oscar Lawrence
George Holden and Oscar Lawrence

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

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

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

Ben Holland and Tom Christie
Ben Holland and Tom Christie

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

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

Phil Bell and James Connell
Phil Bell and James Connell

Photos courtesy of: Jenny ‘Triker’ Wells

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

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

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

Snetterton Round 6 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

Brands Hatch 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

The revised dates are as follows –

25 – 27 June Oulton Park 1 race
9 – 11 July Knockhill 2 x races
23 – 25 July Brands Hatch GP 2 x races
30 July – 1 August Thruxton 2 x races
6 – 8 August Cadwell Park (ISR) 2 x races
20 – 22 August Cadwell Park 2 x races
3 – 5 September Snetterton 300 2 x races
1 – 3 October Donington Park GP 2 x races
15 -17 October Brands Hatch GP 2 x races
British F1: New talent going for 2021 glory in “Generation Game”

British F1: New talent going for 2021 glory in “Generation Game”

British F1: New talent going for 2021 glory in “Generation Game”

Philp / Bryant

Fresh ground was broken at the end of the 2019 season when a youngster, almost a rookie in fact, beat all the established stars to the British Championship title. Todd Ellis, partnered by the experienced Chaz Richardson set the paddock alight, and made everyone sit up and notice.

It’s a known fact sidecar crews can continue racing at a high level far longer than their solo counterparts, and that has led to the age profile in the paddock tending to be higher. The number of youngsters coming into the sport is small, so when we do get real talent at an early age it is something to be celebrated and promoted. In most cases, the younger element is attracted by family involvement with the youngsters growing up alongside three wheels rather than two.

For 2021, three such riders will be hell-bent on making their reputations and following in the footsteps of Todd Ellis.

Tommy Philp made his full debut last year having dominated the Bemsee Club Championship in 2019 with Jonny Allum as passenger.

Now aged 25, Tommy began at the age of 11 on an Aprilia and quickly got to grips with club racing. 2010 saw him lift the BMCRC MRO Superteen Championship before crossing to the BSB paddock on Motostar and 600cc Superstock machinery. 2014 came, and he took overall victory in the MRO 600 Supersport series on Yamaha, with the Champion of Brands and Snetterton titles going his way the same year.

Three more seasons in the British Supersport paddock at BSB and it was time to move to three wheels. His father Bill was an extremely successful sidecar racer at National and World level and is more involved in Tommy’s sidecar career today than he has ever been.

With Tom Bryant now in the chair, Tommy had a couple of British Championship rides to see out 2019, and the pair then had a promising but interesting 2020. Seventh place at the end of the year with mechanical woes did not reflect their capability, so for 2021, we can expect big things from Tommy Philp and Tom Bryant.

Another youngster stepping up, with less actual track time behind him, but an absolute wealth of sidecar knowledge and experience in his head, is George Holden son of TT winner John Holden. Sidecar racing is in the DNA of the Holden family, and John is a regular front runner not just in the Isle of Man, but at British Championship and Grands Prix events. The experience and advice he will be able to pass to George is immense and will seriously shorten the youngster’s learning curve.

George and Oscar Lawrence

George is 27 years old and only began racing in 2019 on an F2 Windle at Darley Moor, teaming up with nineteen-year-old passenger Oscar Lawrence along the way. They moved to Bemsee events in 2020 on an F1 becoming Champions despite the COVID crisis. A promising toe in the water at the Brands finale rounded out the year, and all eyes then turned to 2021. Passenger Oscar too has strong pedigree, as his father Rick partnered Roger Lovelock to British Championship glory. John Cable and Ian Barnes are the main sponsors of this exciting new pairing who will campaign a Suzuki LCR. This young duo will still be learning the game, but certainly have all the theory and support they need to get quickly on the pace.

No so young, but still only 30 years of age and already well established, is Lee Crawford from Bishop Auckland. He and Scott Hardie made a few cameo appearances last year on their TT spec Suzuki powered F2 outfit and really put the “cat among the pigeons” with victory at Donington Park. The highlight of their season however was a clean sweep at Oliver’s Mount. For 2021 they are committed to the British Championship. They have now invested in an ex-John Holden Kawasaki LCR long chassis so will be on level terms.

Crawford / Hardie

A lifetime of racing karts at the top level gave Lee all the track-craft he needed before following in his father Mike’s footsteps with sidecar outfits. To say that Mike has been influential in Lee’s career would be understating a well-known fact. Lee was there in the race paddock from the age of 8 years and became steeped in the sport. Mike has travelled every step of the way supporting Lee, and in doing so has earning himself a reputation as a passionate and lively member of the paddock.

This is another example of sidecar DNA filtering into the next generation, and Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie will be ones to watch once they master the long bike.

So, the series is in good hands for the future, but how easily will the old guard step aside? Not for a minute methinks, but what a prospect we have before us.

British F1: Three makes of F1 Chassis on the grid in 2021

British F1: Three makes of F1 Chassis on the grid in 2021

British F1: Three makes of F1 Chassis on the grid in 2021

Ryde F1 chassis

Four decades of top-level F1 sidecar racing around the globe have seen one chassis manufacturer dominate.

Such is the level of his engineering prowess and innovation that Louis Christen’s monocoque LCR design stood head and shoulders above anything else available at the time, setting a standard which could only be emulated. In its illustrious history, LCR has won no fewer than thirty-six FIM World Championships. That statistic alone speaks volumes.

There have been other manufacturers present, and indeed the late Terry Windle produced a chassis which claimed five world titles in the hands of George O’Dell, Jock Taylor, Darren Dixon and Steve Abbott. Colin Nicholson’s RCN design also met with approval and was used by several continental teams with varying degrees of success.

A relative newcomer to the scene, the Bavarian Adolf RS1 chassis made an immediate impact in the hands of Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes taking them to the 2019 FIM world championship title. As a result, the Adolf RS design has become accepted as a suitable alternative to LCR with John Holden, Simon Gilbert and Rupert Archer also favouring the marque.

It is fair to say that the LCR design is fundamentally correct and hard to improve on. Therefore, to embark on a totally different concept would serve no purpose other than for the sake of being different. To that end, it is a question of making small but important changes and evolutionary development such as LCR themselves are doing courtesy of Ben and Tom Birchall who handle manufacture and distribution of the brand under the title of LCR-UK.

They are also revolutionising the LCR F2 version using their own vast Isle of Man TT experience in that direction. Now there is another new name to conjure with. Dean Ryde, owner of Billet World and a precision engineer in his own right, has been involved in sidecar racing and chassis and parts manufacture for several years. He has embarked on an ambitious project which sees him tooling up at considerable expense to produce a rival to LCR and Adolf RS. The style is unmistakeably LCR inspired, but he has built in his own tweaks and modifications which will differentiate his design from the other two, and hopefully give a competitive edge.

Dean’s goal is to have his chassis running in the British Championship in the hands of a good team by the end of the season. The first chassis has been commissioned and built for Scottish sidecar enthusiast Boris Stroud who will lend it to Phil Bell for evaluation and testing early in the season with a view to racing it at BSB at some stage.

Nineties racer Chris Wright has also ordered a chassis for himself but is also keen on allowing a top British runner to stretch its legs. Another chassis is being prepared for Dean’s own use and as a test bed for potential customers to try. Several top names have already expressed interest, so it looks like the Ryde F1 has arrived. This is borne out by the first order for Australia, confirming global recognition for the new chassis.

The world of F1 sidecar chassis manufacture has never been livelier and with three brands lining up, interest will certainly be high when the new season gets underway.

 

Avon Tyres back on board for 2021

Avon Tyres back on board for 2021

Avon Tyres back on board for 2021

Avon tyres

RKB-F1 Motorsport is delighted to announce the continued support of Melksham based Avon Tyres for the new season.

The Avon product is the proven tyre for sidecar competition and the brand all competitors understand and trust.

There is a new man at the helm of the sidecar motorsport activity for Avon, as Steve Smith our contact for many seasons has moved across to the motorcycle sales team.

Our regular man in the paddock will be Mathew Clifford on 07925 042537, with operations being overseen by the new main point of contact Adam Randall.

We wish Adam well in his new challenge and thank Avon Tyres for their continued assistance.

Adam’s contact details are as follows.
Adam Randall
Technical Sales & Account Manager – Motorsport
COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY EUROPE LIMITED
Bath Road, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 8AA, UK
Office: +44 (0) 1225 357333
Mobile: +44 (0) 7900054996
Email: arandall@coopertire.com
Website: www.avontyres.com/en-gb/motorsport/

British F1: Test days planned for April

British F1: Test days planned for April

British F1: Test days planned for April

2019 Round 2, Oulton Park

RKB-F1 Motorsport in conjunction with MSV is in the advanced planning stages of a two-day open test programme exclusively for sidecars.

Circuits under consideration will be Snetterton or Donington, and the timing is likely to be mid-April, possibly during the week immediately after Easter.

Cost will be £200.00 per day one twenty-minute session each hour between 9am and 5pm.

In order to assess interest and viability, all sidecar teams, whether they be British Championship, Club level, F1, F2 or Classic, are invited to respond and participate.

This is a golden opportunity to shake down the outfits, dust of the COVID cobwebs, and prepare for what we hope will be a full season of competition.

Crews wishing to participate should express interest to Mike Dommett at mikedommett@hotmail.com

British F1: Oulton Park opener moves back to second May Bank Holiday weekend

British F1: Oulton Park opener moves back to second May Bank Holiday weekend

British F1: Oulton Park opener moves back to second May Bank Holiday weekend

Oulton Park 2020

The Bennetts British Superbike Championship organisers today announced a change to the April test schedule and the date for the opening round at Oulton Park.

This means that the opening round for the British Sidecar Championship is also affected and will now take place over the second May Bank Holiday weekend 29-31 May.

MSVR cite the reasons for the change as wishing to occupy dates traditionally held by the road racing fraternity, thereby removing the wide gap between rounds one and two.

It does mean that Oulton Park and Thruxton are now back-to-back rounds to kick the new season off in style.

All other dates in the provisional calender are unchanged. They remain as per the original schedule.

British F1: Biggs and Schmitz join Santander Salt line-up for 2021

British F1: Biggs and Schmitz join Santander Salt line-up for 2021

British F1: Biggs and Schmitz join Santander Salt line-up for 2021

Biggs and Schmitz

Following the announcement that newly crowned Champions Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood are making their own plans for 2021, comes the exciting news that the Anglo-Dutch pairing of Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz will join the Santander Salt team for the new season.

Often front runners and always consistent, whilst immaculate in their presentation and attitude, the duo caught the eye of Roger Body, for whom professionalism and appearance is a major part of being a complete racer.

2016 saw Rob finish a strong fifth in the title chase with podiums at Knockhill and Brands Hatch with Ben Ransley alongside. Rob and Jeroen have been knocking on the door in subsequent seasons, and with the renewed backing of regular sponsor Ian Hamilton (Express Tyre Service) allied to the Santander Salt connection, chance of even greater success beckons.

The Biggs family is another of those dynasties involving several family members and spanning generations. Its name is also recorded in the annals of sidecar racing folklore, with brother Jamie partnering Steve Abbot to the 2002 FIM Sidecar World Championship.

Rob for his part, has had his share of physical woes, with a slipped disc causing him untold pain and discomfort a couple of seasons ago. With that now apparently sorted, the pair can look forward to a full season in which they plan to contest the British Championship as a priority, whilst taking in a couple of FIM World rounds.

Rob is very upbeat about the season ahead. “Jeroen and I are delighted with this new venture. The Santander Salt awning is the centre of the paddock, and the team has a strong record to live up to. We thank Ian Hamilton for his loyal support, and Roger Body for this opportunity. The rest is now up to us, and we intend to take this chance with both hands”.

For his part, Roger Body had this to say. “I have been watching Rob for a while and believe he will be a great asset to our team. He ticks all the boxes in terms of professionalism, and their riding ability is not in doubt. He has big shoes to fill, but we are one big family with lots of positive attitude. I really welcome them on board”.

British F1: Nine rounds planned for a great 2021 season

British F1: Nine rounds planned for a great 2021 season

British F1: Nine rounds planned for a great 2021 season

The Santander Salt team

Despite the disruption to 2020 caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the new season promises much to look forward to.

The RKB-F1 team has been working flat-out to bring a full season of racing to the table. Plans for the FIM Sidecar World Championship are also well underway and will be announced shortly on the dedicated website.

Now established as a fundamental component of the Bennetts British Superbike calendar, the British Sidecar Championship is once again kicking off its year at Oulton Park over the May Bank Holiday.

The BSB race schedule is later than in previous years, but we all hope that by the time we get to late spring 2021, the situation will be something approaching normal, and spectators will once again be trackside.

Eight rounds are scheduled with BSB, with a ninth taking place at the now familiar Cadwell Sidecar Revival. The date for the Revival is the weekend of 7/8 August, with a test day scheduled for Friday 6th.

Once again, the race format will utilise the reverse grid for race two when deemed safe and appropriate to do so, with the finale carrying double points at Brands Hatch in October.

Dates are subject to all outside factors remaining stable, and therefore must be regarded as provisional –

May 1-3 Oulton Park (one race)
June 4-6 Thruxton
June 18-20 Snetterton
July 9-11 Knockhill
July 23-25 Brands Hatch
August 6-8 Cadwell Revival
August 20-22 Cadwell Park
October 1-3 Donington Park
October 15-17 Brands Hatch

British F1: Double top for Team Santander Salt whilst 2021 beckons and Kershaw moves

British F1: Double top for Team Santander Salt whilst 2021 beckons and Kershaw moves

British F1: Double top for Team Santander Salt whilst 2021 beckons and Kershaw moves

The Santander Salt team

In what was without doubt one of the strangest and shortest seasons in recent years, the Santander Salt Team awning had much to celebrate at close of play at Brands Hatch.

Roger Body’s involvement in the team evolved from his already massive role in the promotion and organisation of the British Sidecar Championship series and proved to be a phenomenally successful venture. A long-held desire to run his own team in Santander Salt colours resulted in the formation of the team three seasons ago with Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, and then newcomer and novice, Todd Ellis/Charlie Richardson. Both crews opted for LCR machinery. A solo element was added with young Jack Nixon in the KTM Cup and Motostar series, and that structure continues until the present day.

The sidecar teams more than delivered their respective promises with Kershaw/Clarke winning the title in 2018, and Ellis/Richardson becoming champions in 2019. The 2020 season could not have ended on a higher note, with Kershaw once again lifting the British Championship, this time with Ryan Charlwood alongside, and Ellis/Richardson taking top honours in the “new for 2020” two-round, four-race International Sidecar Superprix. The winning margin could not have been closer, with Ellis stealing the prize by one slender point from multiple World Champion Tim Reeves (Adolf RS1 Yamaha).

Jack Nixon has progressed and matured, demonstrating winning form in both championships, whilst carrying that experience forward very successfully into the Pirelli National Superstock 600 championship on a Kawasaki, finishing a very creditable sixth overall in his debut season.

For 2021 however, there will be change in the line-up with Kershaw and Charlwood embarking on a new venture running their own team with sights on World Championship honours. The departure of the pair, now with five British titles between them, has the blessing of Roger Body, and is a natural progression now the second title is wrapped up.

Steve said “I have always wanted to run my own team. We are a very close-knit family, and Ryan has slotted into that scene perfectly. Without Roger Body and his support over the past three seasons, none of this would have been possible, and we are eternally grateful to him for all he has done”.

Roger Body for his part, was equally complimentary. “Steve has been a real asset to our colours, and a true professional throughout our relationship. We could not have chosen a better ambassador for Santander Salt, and I wish him all good luck and fortune in the future”.

Both Ellis and Kershaw have eyes on World honours and will now be rivals on both the World and the British stages. Hopefully, the COVID crisis will be behind us and calendars for both series will minimise date clashes. This will enable the cream of Britain to attack all the major meetings. As promoter of both Championships, Roger Body and his RKB-F1 organisation have work to do to ensure that happens.

Brands Finale sees Kershaw/Charlwood crowned Champions, as Ellis/Richardson lift International Superprix victory

Brands Finale sees Kershaw/Charlwood crowned Champions, as Ellis/Richardson lift International Superprix victory

Brands Finale sees Kershaw/Charlwood crowned Champions, as Ellis/Richardson lift International Superprix victory

Kershaw / Charlwood

I was reminded why we do not race beyond October as the weekend dawned on Friday. Cold, damp conditions prevailed, but the mood in the paddock was upbeat and buzzing.

A record entry, including the top three International crews, all former World Champions, were set to do battle for points and big money prizes in the Superprix category.

Meanwhile, the Molson Group regulars were intent on maximising the points opportunity with Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood (Santander Salt Quattro Group Yamaha) within touching distance of the title.

Qualifying – Ambient temperature had plummeted by late afternoon, and with it, any heat the track might have had was vanishing fast. It was important therefore, for early times to count. Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson set a good time early on, and then sat back with only six laps completed. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau bided their time and circulated steadily before attacking the pole position. Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood went second fastest, with Ellis/Richardson the only team in the 1m.32 sec. bracket.

That is how it stayed for most of the session, with Reeves edging ever closer grabbing second with two minutes left on the clock. Blackstock/Rosney and Streuer/de Haas duked it out for rows two and three, ahead of Pekka Paivarinta/Emmanuelle Clement. Into the final lap with the dying seconds ticking away, Kershaw who had kept his powder dry, played his hand, stealing pole position from his Santander Salt team-mate.

Just one and a half seconds split the top ten on the grid.

Grid – 1/ Kershaw/Charlwood, 2/ Ellis/Richardson, 3/ Reeves/Rousseau, 4/ Blackstock/Rosney, 5/ Streuer/de Haas, 6/ Paivarinta/Clement, 7/ Holden/Lowther, 8/ Philp/Bryant, 9/ Christie/Christie, 10/ Stevens/Allum

Race One – From the lights the championship leaders made the most of their start and led the pack into Paddock Hill Bend from Ellis/Richardson and Reeves Rousseau.

Very quickly, Ellis showed his intent and shot past Kershaw just as Reeves made a similar move. The main threat to Kershaw in this position were the Christie Brothers, but they were in eighth place on the opening lap.

Benny Streuer and Ilse de Haas came next and moved past the series leaders. Kershaw did not panic; he knew that in this position he would do enough, even with double points available in race two.

Tommy Philp and John Holden had a coming together on lap one, as Philp took the outside line at Paddock Hill Bend getting his nose ahead before he turned in. John Holden and Jake Lowther kept the power on hoping to beat Philp into the turn, but it was not to be.

The resultant contact put them both in the gravel trap, with the SBR outfit of Holden/Lowther suffering a severely dented nose. Both were firmly stranded, and it was an early bath for both crews.

Ricky Stevens and Jonny Allum WPS Racing Kawasaki) had a good ride after a race-long scrap with the Christies and a hard charging Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney.

Also in the top ten were a rejuvenated Ben Holland/Tom Christie and the short Suzuki of Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie. On a dry track, against the long bikes, the Barnard Castle pair showed once again they have what it takes to run well at the front. Meanwhile, as Streuer went wide, Kershaw regained third with a watching brief.

Reeves and Ellis were fighting for victory, unaware that a savage blow about to befall the title hopefuls. With one lap remaining, Ryan Charlwood’s hand was in the air signalling a mechanical problem. It appeared to be a cooling issue caused by a faulty battery terminal interrupting water pump flow. Taking nothing for granted, they changed the entire system ahead of race two. It was nothing short of a personal disaster for the Santander Salt/Quattro Yamaha duo, leaving them to do it all over again with a reduced series lead and the prospect of fighting through from the back of the grid.

Race Result – 1/ Reeves/Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha), 2/ Ellis/Richardson (Santander Salt Honda), 3/ Streuer de Haas (Bonovo Action Yamaha), 4/ Blackstock/Rosney (Silicone/Barnes Yamaha), 5/ Stevens/Allum (WPS Racing Kawasaki), 6/ Christie/Christie (CES Yamaha), 7/ Holland/Christie (WPS Racing Kawasaki), 8/ Crawford/Hardie (Team ARC Suzuki), 9/ Peach/Edwards (Lifesafety Motorsport Yamaha), 10/ Bell/Connell (Marin Motorsport Yamaha).

Race Two – With a reverse grid for the top ten, and Kershaw/Charlwood even further down the order, this was going to be a humdinger of a finale.

Add to this the fact that Reeves, Ellis and Streuer were chasing big money for the International Superprix aggregate result, and the air was thick with anticipation.

The drama which unfolded made for a hugely entertaining race. Once more the traditional reverse grid gave Phil Bell and Jimmy Connell the tools for a good job. They flew from the lights chased by Lee Crawford (Team ARC Suzuki) who shot through the middle gap from row two. They almost unbelievably had Todd Ellis and Chaz Richardson for company at the end of the opening lap. Ellis’s Gary Bryan prepared CBR600 Honda was running beautifully, and Ellis was not going to miss a chance like this.

He had gained a huge margin over Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau who simply did not get through the traffic as smoothly as Ellis. Phil Bell proved a hard nut to crack and fought tooth and nail in the top six for the opening laps. Eight times World Champion Reeves was to spend the early part of the race battling through, only to encounter Ricky Stevens and Jonny Allum on lap four. They were flying, but sadly capsized in a big way with six laps completed. It was good to see the green WPS Racing Kawasaki pairings of Stevens/Allum and Holland/Christie so much more in the mix. Both crews are clearly enjoying their racing again.

Tim then met up with former World Champion Benny Streuer and took a lap getting by his team-mate in the Bonovo Action camp. Despite Reeves now being in second position, Ellis was a long way down the road, and that would prove a step too far for the maestro.

Meanwhile, there was a championship to be won for Kershaw/Charlwood, and they were very aware that a safe finish would secure it. By half distance they had done enough, but not content they pushed on, making it to a safe fifth by lap twelve, and an eventual fourth when a red flag signalled the end of proceedings.

Simon Gilbert/Paul Thomas had gone out on lap two, Paivarinta/Clement on lap five, Stevens/Allum crashed on lap seven, George Holden and Oscar Lawrence had a big moment on lap twelve, and Ken Edwards was thrown heavily from Andy Peach’s outfit one lap later. The red flag was to safeguard Edwards who was concussed in the incident and was still on the track. Kershaw/Charlwood were crowned champions, Ellis and Richardson runners-up and Superprix victors, with Sam and Adam Christie rounding out a great season with third overall.

Race Two Result – 1/ Ellis/Richardson, 2/ Reeves/Rousseau, 3/ Streuer/de Haas, 4/ Kershaw/Charlwood (Champions), 5/ Blackstock/Rosney, 6/ Bell Connell,7/ Biggs/Schmitz, 8/ Holland/Christie, 9/ Philp/Bryant, 10/ Crawford/Hardie.

Molson Group Final Standings – Kershaw/Charlwood 193, Ellis/Richardson 170, Christie/Christie 130, Reeves/Rousseau 115, Bell/Sharpe/Connell 103, Blackstock/Rosney 101, Philp/Bryant 92, Stevens/Allum 83, Biggs/Schmitz 78, Holland/Pilmoor-Brady/Christie 60, Holden/Lowther 58, Kirk/Smithies 54.

Final 2020 Molson Group championship standings >>

Santander Salt International Superprix Overall result – Ellis/Richardson 99, Reeves/Rousseau 98, Streuer/de Haas 84, Schlosser/Fries 50, Cable/Masters 50, Archer/Chandler 45, Holden/Lowther 37, Nicholls/Mahl 30, Paivarinta/Clement 21.

Final 2020 International Sidecar Superprix standings >>

NEWSFLASH: Eurosport TV coverage

NEWSFLASH: Eurosport TV coverage

NEWSFLASH: Eurosport TV coverage

Eurosport logo

Due to the World Superbike Estoril clash, both Brands Hatch sidecar races take place in the morning before Eurosport TV is on air with BSB. The races are therefore live on www.Eurosport.com on the Eurosport Player.

They will also be on our RKB-F1 website during the week in full.

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

Week ending the 17th and 18th of October we will see the second of two “Sidecar Superprix” challenge weekends. The first one in Oschersleben, Germany was the “Sidecar Superprix by Bonovo Action”. This one will be the “Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt”.

This will be at the 2.433 GP circuit of Brands Hatch. These two weekends of sidecar racing have been all down to the hard work and effort by promoters Jurgen Roeder and Roger Body.

In Oschersleben the weekend belonged to the Swiss pairing of Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries, the pair had a faultless two races and went home with a maximum 50 points. Unfortunately, Schlosser and Fries will not be at Brands Hatch. Driver Schlosser has torn ligaments in his knee and has to have this operated on. The team is disappointed not to attend this event.

Also, it has been a very hard year for all types of sport, due to the situation with the COVID pandemic. Because of this a lot of the international teams who would have been coming to Brands Hatch will not be present. This is down to travel restrictions and quarantine rules set out by their countries governments.

With Schlosser and Fries not going to be at Brands the battle will be hot for top honors. The second place team with 36 points is Bennie Streuer and his partner Ilse De Haas, the Dutch pairing will be hoping for a good weekend at Brands Hatch, Streuer a former World Champion has stood on the top spot of the podium at Brands in the past. The team was very fast and smooth in Oschersleben, they will hope for the same this weekend coming.

However, Streuer and De Haas will have to fend off the local, eight times world champion Tim Reeves and his French passenger Kevin Rousseau. Reeves and Rousseau have 33 points, third place in the challenge. Reeves knows this track like the back of his hand, he comes from Tenterden, Kent, just down the road. Rousseau from Le-Mans France, they will be hoping for a trouble free weekend.

Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, current British sidecar Champions had a great weekend in Germany, even with a, in sidecar terms “a roofing” are coming to Brands Hatch in fourth place with 29 points. Ellis and Richardson will certainly be going for glory; they took third place in the second race at Oschersleben.

Fifth place in the challenge coming to Brands Hatch is the Finish driver Pekka Paivarinta with his French passenger Emmanuelle Clement they have 21 points. Paivarinta himself a five times world champion has had mixed results here at Brands in the past. Again though, the team will certainly be going all out for glory.

Sixth place in the challenge goes to John Holden and Jake Lowther, they have 19 points. Holden and Lowther had a good solid weekend’s racing in Germany, although driver Holden was a little despondent with the results, I think this could have been down to the fact that the team had lonely races, out on their own, but none the less a good
solid weekend for the team.

The next two teams will not be at Brands, Ted and Vincent Peugeot, seventh with 17 points and Josef Sattler and Luca Schmidt, eighth 14 points.

Next up is Kevin Cable and Kyle Masters, they have 13 points in ninth place. Cable and Masters came to Oschersleben with no previous visits to the track. The team worked hard all weekend and their lap times dropped considerably throughout the weekend. They will be hoping that their local knowledge of Brands Hatch will bring them up the point’s board.

The only team left in the “Superprix” challenge that will be present at Brands will be Rupert Archer and Ben Chandler. They had a nightmare weekend, first they had an oil pipe split in qualifying leaving the team to work hard changing an engine, this was only a precautionary decision just in case there was going to be any damage to their engine due to the oil pipe leak. Then disaster in the second “Superprix” race, the team had problems with the safety lanyard causing their machine to cut out bringing them into pit lane for a DNF.

All the other teams contesting the “Sidecar Superprix” challenge with points are international teams and will not be present at Brands Hatch due to the travel constrictions mentioned earlier.

The “Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt” will be running in conjunction with the “Molson Group British Sidecar Championship” There will be two races a 12 lap race on Saturday and a 14 lap race on Sunday. All the teams will be hoping for fair weather and a good weekends racing.

Copyright text and images Mark ‘Wally’ Walters.

British F1: All eyes on Brands Finale 16-18 October with Kershaw/Charlwood in charge

British F1: All eyes on Brands Finale 16-18 October with Kershaw/Charlwood in charge

British F1: All eyes on Brands Finale 16-18 October with Kershaw/Charlwood in charge

Kershaw / Charlwood

Typically, the season winds up at the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Finale at Brands Hatch, and typically the entry list is the biggest it has been all season.

The final round includes an International element, with part two of the International Sidecar Superprix lining up with the Molson group regulars.

Those teams who are registered for both competitions, will be eligible for points in both, so expect hectic action throughout.

The Championship arrives in Kent with 2018 Champion Steve Kershaw and his new passenger Ryan Charlwood (himself a double champion) fifty-six points clear of Sam and Adam Christie on their Christie Engineering Services Yamaha. The Beverley based brothers took the decision to focus on the British Championship long before COVID-19 signalled the cancellation of the FIM World Championship.

They will, however, need to produce the ride of a lifetime to hang onto their position, because reigning champions Todd Ellis/Charlie Richardson and Multiple World Champion Tim Reeves are back from Germany where they attacked part one of the Superprix.

The latter pair, despite Kershaw’s handsome lead, still pose a threat for the Quattro Group/Santander Salt teamsters, as double points are up for grabs in the final race of the series. Reeves, however, cannot win the title, as he has scored in just one round with a maximum fifty points from Snetterton. He can, however, be a spoiler for Kershaw if he
takes valuable points from him.

There are seventy-five points available for two victories at Brands, so you can bet several pairs of eyes will be on them.

Ellis trails in third place sixty-one points adrift of his Santander Salt team-mate, so it is a big ask. He and Richardson, along with the Christie brothers, are the only two crews who can potentially steal the title from Kershaw.

Behind the top three, there has been great action from fourth placed Tommy Philp and Tom Bryant. The newcomers on their Roberts Construction/Tops Autos Yamaha were a revelation at Donington park in the previous round taking thirty-eight points away with them. A tooth and nail scrap with Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie in race one saw them narrowly beaten to race victory by Crawford’s rapid Suzuki.

The next four crews are split by a mere fifteen points with Phil Bell/Jimmy Connell leading the charge from Ricky Stevens/Jonny Allum, Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and their Silicone Barnes Racing buddies John Holden/Jake Lowther.

Then in ninth place it is Robb Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz ahead of Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau. Add to this bevvy of talent a colourful foreign entry, and we have a great spectacle to look forward to.

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