FIM Sidecars: Assen World SBK treated to top-class sidecar action as Schlosser extends lead

FIM Sidecars: Assen World SBK treated to top-class sidecar action as Schlosser extends lead

FIM Sidecars: Assen World SBK treated to top-class sidecar action as Schlosser extends lead

Race one action from Assen

Following the great show provided in Donington Park, the FIM Sidecar World Championship crews were determined to repeat that display at Assen. With only two points splitting the top two teams, it was all to play for as the season hit the half-way stage.

Hot but cloudy conditions greeted the free practice session for the fourteen crews making the trip. There might easily be no stopping Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Racing LCR) and they played their hands early coming out on top with a 1.43.552.

Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha), inspired by victory in Donington were second quickest from defending Champion Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Adolf RS Yamaha), ahead of Santander Salt’s Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement.

A return from injury saw Benny Streuer with new passenger Jeroen Remme slot fifth with a brilliant sixth fastest for Manxman Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes. Ted Peugeot and Lukas Wyssen came next and will also be adding good points if their performance was anything to go by.

Race action from Assen

Qualifying – Again the teams met heat and humidity for the two sessions. It was immediate from the off that the top five or six crews would be competing hard in tomorrow’s eighteen lap race. The top three, Ellis, Schlosser and Reeves were split by fractions of a second, with Ellis/Clement taking pole in session two. The margin was three one-thousandths from his Swiss championship rivals Schlosser/Fries. Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau sat nicely third. But how many times did we see him rocket through from that position?

Markus Schlosser hit electrical problems in Q2, so was praying that issue had been resolved. Row two was completed by Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas, with Kershaw and Streuer on row three.

Race One – After a short delay, the lights went out with Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau jumping into the lead after lap one. Reeves can certainly get his Adolf RS Yamaha off the line, and this was no exception. He had almost a one second lead after the opening lap from Ellis/Clement and Schlosser/Fries. Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood were on Schlosser’s tail as Ellis upped the pace to reduce the gap from race leader Reeves. Streuer, Peugeot and Paivarinta were locked together in a terrific scrap for fifth place, as the front two eased away slightly.

Next came Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes some eight seconds clear of Endeveld/Krone and Wyssen/Hofer. Todd Ellis kept the Santander Salt Yamaha in touch with the eight times champion, albeit one second adrift at the six-lap distance. Seven laps in, and it was becoming a two-horse race at the front, with Kershaw challenging Schlosser for the final podium place.

Approaching half distance and Ellis/Clement eased closer to the leader, now five seconds clear of Schlosser/Fries in third. Reeves had just one third of a second, and Ellis was stalking him every inch of the way. Now it was the Swiss crew’s turn to get closer, as Schlosser turned in three fastest laps in succession to get within two seconds of Ellis’s tail. Further down the order, Kevin Cable was having a good solid ride in eleventh fighting all the way. It really was game on, and a touch of Deja-Vu as Ellis and Schlosser piled the pressure on Reeves. Catching him would be one thing, but as Donington Park showed us, passing is another story entirely. Then Ellis was third, falling victim to a charging Markus Schlosser.

With five laps yet to go, there was still a way back for the young Anglo-French couple. Kershaw and Streuer were also moving up, having both paced themselves perfectly. Five outfits were now within three seconds of each other, and it was looking like a grandstand finish was on the cards.

With three laps to go, another fastest lap by Schlosser had him all over the back of the race leader, so the excitement was heavy in the air. Then drama – Schlosser led, having dived through on Reeves, and Ellis saw an opportunity to follow. There was then an incident between the two British crews which took Ellis out of the race into the gravel. It also cost Reeves twelve seconds dropping him to fourth. The Swiss pair marched on to extend their title lead with Ellis firmly beached, and furiously contemplating what might have been.

The shocks were not over yet. Having been awarded third, Benny Streuer was later disqualified for an infringement on the minimum weight rule. Reeves inherited third and a step on the podium.

Result
1/ Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha LCR)
2/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha)
3/ Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Adolf RS)
4/ Ted/Vincent Peugeot (LCR Yamaha)
5/ Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes (LCR Yamaha)
6/ Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz (Santander Salt Yamaha
7/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (LCR Yamaha)
8/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas (Team 44 Yamaha LCR)
9/ Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters (L&W LCR Yamaha)
10/ Luneau/Bidault
11/ Vinet/Common
12/Ellis/Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
13/ Endeveld/Krone

Schlosser/Fries

Race Two – Scheduled for late afternoon, much anticipation preceded this one. That was not without justification, because Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement grabbed the early lead, thereby depriving Tim Reeves the chance of early supremacy. He was in third place on lap two, with Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas between him and the race leader.

Again, it was shaping up, even in the early stages into a battle royal between the big guns. Schlosser and Kershaw were having their own scrap for fourth place, just three seconds off the lead, so there was already a freight-train at the front. Lap four and eight-times champion Reeves was past Paivarinta and one second behind Ellis the race leader. Any overtaking move would need to be carefully thought through, but Ellis had other ideas.

Schlosser was now third and this was where the real battle would shape up. Kershaw, Biggs, Streuer and Harry Payne were all in the mix scrapping for fifth place. Lap seven and Reeves had made the move by Ellis and set about consolidating it. At this moment in time, Schlosser/Fries were the fastest on track and drawing ever closer to the front.

Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz were having a very good ride in sixth, ahead of Peugeot and Payne, just as their team-mate Ellis was passed by Schlosser on lap ten.

Reeves/Rousseau were in sparkling form and began to eke out a small margin, but at two- thirds race distance there was plenty of time ahead.

It now really was a fifteen-wheeler as Paivarinta and Kershaw joined the party. Ellis then looked to be in trouble as he dropped down the order to fifth. A small mistake cost him dear as Kershaw moved up.

He regained his composer, moving back to fourth as the battle at the front became a two- horse affair between Reeves and Schlosser. Next man to fall to a recovering Ellis was the four-times Champion Paivarinta. Then suddenly, Reeves/Rousseau were sliding back down the table with a mechanical problem. They were not to make the finish, suspecting an electrical fault. Ellis now had three laps to find over a second if he were to make it to the front. Rob Biggs was now a fine fifth, with Kershaw desperate to get past Paivarinta.

This he managed to do, going third on lap sixteen of eighteen. Into the final lap and Ellis had halved the gap to Schlosser, but it was a big ask to find as much again.

That proved to be the case, and the Swiss team extended their title lead even more with victory over Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement with Kershaw/Charlwood on the final podium step.

Kershaw/Charlwood

 Ellis / Clement

Result
1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Kershaw/Charlwood
4/ Paivarinta/de Haas
5/ Biggs/Schmitz
6/ Peugeot/Peugeot
7/ Payne/Wilkes
8/ Wyssen/Hofer
9/ Endeveld/Krone
10/ Cable/Masters

Standings
Schlosser 165
Ellis 133
Paivarinta 113
Kershaw 96
Reeves 85,
Wyssen 58
Peugeot 45
Endeveld 41
Payne 36
Biggs 30
Sattler 26
Cable 24
Vinet 20
Christie 20
Blackstock 20

The next round is from Croatia August 20-22nd.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

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

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

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

Reeves/Rousseau and Schlosser/Fries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podium winners at Donington Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race One –

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

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

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

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

Ellis/Clement

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

Race Two –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos – Mark Walters

FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

Action from Pannonia Ring, Hungary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos – Mark Walters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Championship Standings ahead of Hungary

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

Photo credit – Good-Shoot

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

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

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

Race action from Le Mans

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

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

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

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

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

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

Qualifying

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

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

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

Combined times confirmed the grid as follows:

Qualifying result

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

Race One

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

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

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

Result

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

Race Two

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

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

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

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

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

Result

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

Championship Standings

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

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

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

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

2021 Coronavirus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans poised for 2021 season opener

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans poised for 2021 season opener

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans poised for 2021 season opener

John Holden

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

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

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

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

Provisional dates are now as follows:

June 11-12 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, WSBK 2 x races
July 23-25 Assen, Holland WSBK 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races
RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

RKB-F1 paddock presence 2021 season

Santander Salt Molson Group liveried truck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIM Sidecar: Round Four joins WorldSBK at Assen

FIM Sidecar: Round Four joins WorldSBK at Assen

FIM Sidecar: Round Four joins WorldSBK at Assen

Assen circuit

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

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

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

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

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

Provisional dates are now as follows:

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

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

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

Le Mans Bugatti circuit

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

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

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

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

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

Provisional dates are now as follows:

June 11-13 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary – TBC 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, WSB 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races
FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: Provisional calendar changes announced

FIM Sidecar: Provisional calendar changes announced

FIM Sidecar World championship logos

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

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

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

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

 

TBA one additional round under negotiation 2 x races.

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

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

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: New season almost here – entries are open

FIM Sidecar: New season almost here – entries are open

FIM Sidecar World championship logos

Despite an extremely difficult and uncertain few months, an immense effort by the RKB-F1 team, the FIM and circuit organisers has resulted in the published schedule for the 2021 FIM Sidecar World Championship.

There is a lot riding on this our first actual season as promoters, and everything is in place for what promises to be a terrific year.

The circuits are chosen, the organisation is done, and nothing remains other than to ensure we have good grids and a truly International representation.

Any world title chase can only be as good as the people taking part, so that is where you, the teams need to step up and enrol.

We need as many nations as possible lining up, and we need the cream of talent from those nations to get their entries in and commit to the series. Our entry portal awaits you at https://www.fim-world-sidecar.com/register-enter/

Here’s to the best year ever.

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/

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: September Bol D’Or date cancelled for 2021

FIM Sidecar: September Bol D’Or date cancelled for 2021

FIM Sidecar World championship logos

It is with great regret we are obliged to announce the cancellation of the sixth round of the Championship scheduled to run alongside the Bol D’Or in September.

Despite the best efforts of the promoter and organisers, due to staffing and other problems associated with the COVID 19 pandemic, it has not been possible to negotiate sufficient track time or paddock facilities alongside the WEC World Endurance round. Both parties are extremely disappointed, but there is mutual intent and desire to plan for 2022. RKB-F1 Motorsport is actively seeking a suitable replacement and will advise of such at the earliest opportunity.

Provisional dates are as follows:

April 15-17 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
April 23-25 TBA 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary – TBC 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, UK WSBK 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
September 16-18 Paul Ricard, CANCELLED TBA
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races

 

FIM Sidecar: Donington Park WSBK added to 2021 schedule

FIM Sidecar: Donington Park WSBK added to 2021 schedule

FIM Sidecar: Donington Park WSBK added to 2021 schedule

Wyssen and Hofer

RKB-F1 Motorsport in conjunction with the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme is delighted to announce an additional round to the published provisional calendar.

Agreement has been reached with the WorldSBK promoter, Dorna WSBK Organisation (DWO), to include the FIM Sidecar World Championship on the same bill at the FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park over the weekend of 2-4th July.

This represents a major breakthrough and is the culmination of extensive discussions between the three parties which began early last year.

It has always been the intention to return the sidecar class to the standard of event it deserves, and this is yet another massive step in that direction.

In today’s world, where the spectator experience is ever-more demanding, sidecars provide a colourful and exciting addition to any race weekend, and this move allows trackside and television audiences alike to witness yet another dimension of World Championship racing.

Thanks are also extended to the Auto Cycle Union and Motorsport Vision for their contribution in this exciting venture.

Provisional dates are as follows:

April 15-17 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
April 23-25 TBA 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary – TBC 2 x races
July 2-4 Donington Park, UK WSBK 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
September 16-18 Le Castellet-Paul Ricard, France 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races

 

FIM Sidecar World Championship – Provisional calendar announced for 2021 season

FIM Sidecar World Championship – Provisional calendar announced for 2021 season

FIM Sidecar World Championship – Provisional calendar announced for 2021 season

Wyssen and Hofer

Since becoming official promoters in 2020, the aim of the RKB-F1 Motorsport and Santander Salt organisations has been to work closely with the FIM and circuit organisers to raise the profile and integrity of the FIM Sidecar World Championship.

Under the constraints of a Global pandemic, the challenges have been immense, and it is still possible that obstacles will arise because of the ongoing situation. However, a determined effort and huge cooperation by all parties has resulted in ameaningful eight-round schedule across at least six countries on top class circuits.

Part of the aim was always to bring world-class sidecar racing to the big stage, and there is no bigger platform than the Le Mans 24-hour World Endurance race. That is where the action will begin over the weekend of April 15-17th.

Provisional dates are as follows:

April 15-17 Le Mans-Bugatti, France 2 x races
April 23-25 TBA 2 x races
June 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary – TBC 2 x races
August 20-22 Grobnik-Rijeka, Croatia 2 x races
September 16-18 Le Castellet-Paul Ricard, France 2 x races
October 1-3 Oschersleben, Germany 2 x races
October 15-17 Brands Hatch, UK 2 x races
October 29-31 Estoril, Portugal 2 x races

 

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

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

FIM Sidecar: Le Mans April opener cancelled

FIM Sidecar: ACU Brexit Transition bulletin

FIM Sidecar: ACU Brexit Transition bulletin

FIM Sidecar World championship logos

ACU logo

Brexit Transition

Last Updated: Monday 4 January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end on 31st December 2020. Given the very recent news of a trade deal with the EU, announced on 24th December, ACU is aware of the need for organisers and participants to plan for 2021 and is seeking urgent responses from government to establish clear guidance.

 

What we know so far:

 

What does this mean for me if I want to travel into or through Europe to take part in motorsport events from 1st January 2021?

Individuals and teams travelling to events should be aware of key changes following the anticipated UK departure from the European Union.

So what in particular do I need to think about?

• Travel insurance that includes personal health insurance
• Passports (must have a minimum of 6 months’ validity and be less than 10 years old)
• International Driving Permits (required by some EU states)
• Green Cards (can take up to a month for insurance companies to issue)
• All vehicles will need to display a GB sticker even if there is a GB logo on their vehicle number plate
• Anyone driving their own car within the EU will be required to carry their vehicle V5C logbook
• Anyone wishing to take a rental car out of the UK to the EU will also need to complete a VE103 form requesting permission

Please also note: Arrangements in respect of ATA Carnets and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are yet to be announced. Details will provide an update as soon as this information is available.

Will I be able to travel to the EU without a visa?

It appears that visa free movement will be permitted for 90 days in any 180 days for business (meetings & conferences) and tourism. Sport should therefore be largely unaffected, including the movement of support staff where salaried in the UK, but if persons are salaried from within the EU this may not be so. Longer stays and other business activities will be subject to the immigration rules of individual states. Coaching overseas may be subject to the coach requiring a visa.

Will my current UK health care insurance be sufficient for travel?

Please check with your healthcare provider to see whether you are covered in Europe, as you may need to take out further insurance to provide the necessary cover.

Is a Green Card required and how do I obtain one?

From 1st January individuals require a green card to drive their car in Europe. This is a document motorists get from their insurer to prove their car is covered.

Motorists should contact their insurers six weeks before travelling to ask for a green card. Separate green cards are needed for trailers and caravans. The green card is only proof of a minimum level of third-party cover – individuals will need to check with their insurer to find out what level of cover they would receive.

Will I need an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

An IDP will be needed to drive in some European countries. Government advice is to check with the embassy of the country you are thinking of travelling to.

What about my equipment which needs to come with me?

We are seeking clarification from government on the subject of customs papers/carnets.

What if I am a settled EU Citizen living in the UK?

EU citizens will need to register with the EU settlement scheme before June, in order to continue living and working in Britain.

Successful applicants will be granted the indefinite right to continue living and working in the UK. Further clarity is anticipated on this matter.

Further guidance

We draw competitors’ attention to the following sites for further guidance updates:
https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-brexit
https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad
https://www.gov.uk/taking-goods-out-uk-temporarily/duplicate-list
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/the-sports-and-recreation-sector-from-january-2021

You can also use the Transition Self Checker to get more guidance and actions tailored to your organisation.

FIM Sidecar: Donington Park WSBK added to 2021 schedule

FIM Sidecar: 2020 season cancelled due to COVID-19 pressures

FIM Sidecar: 2020 season cancelled due to COVID-19 pressures

Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes

It is with heavy hearts and a deep sense of regret that in conjunction with the FIM, the decision has been taken to abort the planned five-round series for the current year.

Despite all our best efforts early in the year negotiating dates and facilitating an on-line entry system, the ever-changing situation between countries, and the various lock-down measures implemented as a result, destroyed any confidence teams and organisers had that travel would be possible, or even predictable.

The risk of a fourteen-day quarantine penalty imposed at the drop of a hat, is something most of our teams could not entertain. Virtually all of them have work and family commitments which they need to be home for after each race. That apart, the general uncertainty as to the situation going forward makes it impossible to plan with any degree of assurance.

The FIM is fully behind the decision, and this is yet another casualty in their sporting year with which they have had to deal.
We can all hope that going into 2021 the roadmap for the future is clearer, and we are able to bring you a Sidecar World Championship worthy of the name.

One thing is certain. All the hard work and planning already done will not be wasted. We have a solid relationship and the support of the FIM. We have a new on-line entry portal which makes it easier to enter. We have established good connections with circuit owners and organisers, and we are in great shape for the future.

Santander Salt/RKB-F1 Motorsport wishes to acknowledge all the hard work done, and extends thanks to all teams, colleagues, officials and all at the FIM who have worked tirelessly to get our beloved sport up and running again.

Here’s to 2021. Stay safe all.

FIM Sidecar: 2020 Calendar, Update 27th June

FIM Sidecar: 2020 Calendar, Update 27th June

FIM Sidecar: 2020 Calendar, Update 27th June

Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau
In line with the latest FIM update, the RKB-F1 Santander Salt organisational team are finally in a position to publish a schedule for 2020 which will allow a meaningful World Championship to take place. It has been a difficult juggling act in an ever-changing situation, with differing country rules and regulations playing a major part in the decision making.

Regrettably, the regular Le Mans World Endurance event scheduled for late August is now obliged to run without support classes, in a bid to keep as few personnel on-site as possible.

This means the Le Mans organisers have no choice but to forego their annual sidecar race inclusion, but are absolutely emphatic that sidecars are back on track for 2021. They consider the FIM Sidecar World Championship an important component in their 24 hour race weekend.

The intended German round at Lausitzring over the weekend of 14-16 August, is another casualty, but talks are still ongoing to find a replacement.

Just one clash with The Molson Group British Championship, whereby it will be impossible to do both events, and one combined World/British event at Brands Hatch two weeks later in October, make for a very varied and fascinating title chase, albeit shorter than planned.

Once again, we are governed by Government guidelines and all rules and regulations as they evolve. Ever mindful of this, and always with one eye on the global situation, we now have a championship worthy of the name, and we look forward to delivering the events laid out below.

Revised firm dates are as follows –

New schedule is :-

September 4-6 Rijeka, Croatia
September 26-27 Pannoniaring, Hungary
October 2-4 Oschersleben, Germany
October 16-18 Brands Hatch, Great Britain
October 23-25 Estoril, Portugal

 

All interested teams are now urged to submit their entries at the earliest opportunity, so that we can formulate strong grids at every round.

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