FIM Sidecars: Full house of dates for 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship

FIM Sidecars: Full house of dates for 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship

FIM Sidecars: Full house of dates for 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship

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

After a difficult yet nonetheless very successful 2021 season which saw Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries crowned champions, Roger Body and his RKB-F1 management team in conjunction with the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme are delighted to announce a full eight-round Championship for 2022.

With most European countries now well advanced in their Covid-19 vaccination programmes, there is a real sense of optimism that the global pandemic which has so severely affected sport and travel, will not disrupt arrangements and plans for a full racing season.

There is additional excellent news in that there will be two rounds with the FIM Superbike World Championship as well as two with the FIM World Endurance series. These are big stages to perform on, and further indication of the way the FIM and major organisers view the renaissance of the FIM Sidecar World Championship. Final negotiations on the absolute detail are still taking place, but the proposed dates are listed below.

April 14-16 – France, Le Mans World Endurance.
April 22-24 – Netherlands, Assen World SBK (TBC)
June 2-4 – Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps World Endurance
June 17-19 – Hungary, Pannonia Ring
June 23-26 – Croatia, Rijeka
July 15-17 – UK, Donington Park World SBK.
September 30-Oct 2 – Germany, Oschersleben (TBC)
October 28-30 – Portugal, Estoril.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: Wet Estoril tests the best as Schlosser/Fries hold their nerve

FIM Sidecars: Wet Estoril tests the best as Schlosser/Fries hold their nerve

FIM Sidecars: Wet Estoril tests the best as Schlosser/Fries hold their nerve

Team Schlosser

The final weekend of October might not be the best time of year to stage the final round in a World Championship but the climate in Portugal on arrival favoured exactly that scenario.

Whilst not sunny, the temperature was warm and humid, with thundery showers forecast all weekend. Three races on the programme, with double points allocated to the final two, ensured a good attendance by the main championship regulars and those teams not in the running, but keen to finish the season on a high. The bad weather certainly arrived with a vengeance and made for a very interesting weekend.

The consistently high standard set by Swiss duo Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha LCR) meant they arrived in Portugal with a fifty-five-point advantage over the Santander Salt crew of Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. Six times IDM German series winner Schlosser had a top three in the world standings previously, and now felt his time had arrived.

With one hundred and twenty-five points available in this final weekend, there was still a real chance for the rookie youngsters to become champions. Realistically though, Schlosser has shown he makes few mistakes, and is normally mechanically sound. Nonetheless, the series was still wide open going into the three races. Ellis/Clement needed to have the weekend of their young lives, whilst others were hoping the top two crews would hit problems. An even bigger challenge stood ahead of third placed Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas with a one hundred-and three-point deficit.

They have been just off three front all season but have enjoyed a good year together. Next up and with all hope gone for the title barring a miracle came Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau, just two points ahead of fifth placed Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood.

All hope of a dry session went out the window mid-afternoon when severe rain set in. The general forecast was for a wet weekend, and this was just the beginning. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau banged in an early time which established provisional pole, whilst Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement gave chase. Earlier in free practice they had spun and rolled the outfit fortunately without injury.

Unbelievably they were to suffer another spin in this opening session, ending up in the gravel. They had however set a time good enough for second quickest before the incident. The Birchall Brothers were next up, unable in the conditions to profit from the Haith Honda’s superior corner speed. Then came Paivarinta/de Haas, with Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes in strong contention ahead of Benny Streuer. The championship leaders Schlosser/Fries could manage no more than eighth fastest, with one more session to come.

It was unlikely times would improve as the weather worsened for the final qualifier, but despite that, in semi-dark conditions, crews turned out to see what could be done. Todd Ellis was fastest ahead of Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes, with Tim Reeves resting on his laurels to stay pole. He would share the front row with Ellis Clement. Schlosser meanwhile could not improve on his earlier time but sat sixth in this session.

Race One
Eighteen laps in damp conditions gave the teams a massive dilemma. With no championship to fight for, Ben and Tom Birchall had nothing to lose, so opted to go out on cut slicks. Those fighting for the title selected full wet tyres and that decision was to play a massive part in the outcome.

Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement took the lead from pole sitters Reeves/Rousseau on the opening lap and looked to be heading for glory. Tim Reeves had other ideas and fought back to resume control. Those teams who had intermediate tyres ran strongly as the race unfolded, and the two leaders were under pressure from lap five. The Birchall Brothers were coming fast as the track came to them and their tyre choice. Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes were up to third after fighting with Paivarinta and Benny Streuer.

Paul Leglise moved to an incredible third place on intermediate tyres displacing Ellis. Then dramatically, series leader Schlosser pitted to change tyres, one of which was an ancient Yokohama. He was eventually to finish thirteenth for three points. Meanwhile, the Birchalls had opened a huge lead of over forty seconds. Streuer was in second place with Reeves third and Ellis down to fourth. Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe had a great ride moving through the pack to get their Birchall Racing Yamaha into fifth.

With fifteen laps completed, Reeves stopped and Paul Leglise, one of the French crews had an incident which caused a red flag. Ellis scored sixteen points for third, thereby pegging back thirteen points on the series leader.

Result Race One
1/ Ben/Tom Birchall (Haith Honda)
2/ Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme (Bonovo Action Yamaha)
3/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
4/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas (Team 44 Racing)
5/ Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe (Birchall Racing Yamaha)
6/ Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes (Adolf RS Yamaha)
7/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (Gustoil Yamaha)
8/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Kershaw Yamaha).

Race Two
Track conditions were saturated ahead of eighteen laps, as Reeves and Rousseau repeated their flying start to lead the pack. Ellis/Clement slotted into second and looked to be holding a strong position. This was a real lottery, but it was a masterful wet weather display by the former multiple champion Reeves.

His earlier breakdown went to the back of his mind as he led lap after lap on standing water. Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes were a brilliant second on lap five and closing down the leaders. By this time, Todd Ellis had dropped to sixth after two spinning moments, putting them at a disadvantage given the double points. This scenario gave Schlosser an unassailable title lead if Ellis could not improve. To say conditions were shocking was a massive understatement, and still the bad weather intensified. The Championship leaders Schlosser/Fries were fifth, but moving up, as indeed were Kershaw/Charlwood. Ben and Tom Birchall were unable to repeat their feat of earlier and were obviously not happy in the wet. Ellis recovered one place to follow Schlosser, but another moment put him behind Paivarinta and out of championship contention.

Schlosser kept his cool and stayed safely around fifth, moving to fourth and eventually third when leader Reeves once again retired with a mechanical problem.

At the front, Kershaw and Payne had a terrific closing lap battle, with the Manxmen getting the verdict. It was a brilliant display of wet weather racing from both crews and a justly deserved result. With one more race on Sunday, Schlosser/Fries were declared 2021 FIM Sidecar World Champions with their fine third place and thirty-two precious points.

Result Race Two
1/ Payne/Wilkes
2/ Kershaw/Charlwood
3/ Schlosser/Fries
4/ Paivarinta/de Haas
5/ Ellis/Clement
6/ Wyssen/Hofer
7/ Streuer/Remme
8/ Biggs/Schmitz.

Race Three
With luck, this third and final race would get underway in drier conditions, but rain was in the air as the teams lined up. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau needed a finish this time out, to make their long trip to Portugal worth the effort. They were justified in feeling robbed by two late DNF’s, so were keen to make amends from pole position. Once again they hit the front and made the most of the early laps when the track was still quite wet. Most had chosen wet tyres but there was no rain falling. Ellis sat second with Kershaw passing Paivarinta to move third.

The Birchall brothers were sixth in the early stages but gained momentum to move ahead of Kershaw in pursuit of Ellis. Payne/Wilkes were also in the mix, but were to go out on lap nine, as the newly crowned champions consolidated fourth by passing Kershaw. Lap fourteen and Birchall was past Ellis/Clement, with the Haith Honda coming into its own on a drying track.

They had eyes for the leaders, but Reeves/Rousseau were still fifteen seconds up the road. With three laps remaining, the Birchall Brothers were lapping fastest, but was there enough time? Penultimate lap and they were close, but Reeves/Rousseau had everything crossed, and it worked. Ellis’s rear tyre had all but fallen apart, whilst Reeves had found the wet strips to conserve his Michelin rear.

Kershaw held off Paivarinta by a couple of seconds, but the Finn had more up his sleeve and pegged Kershaw back on the final tour. The five times World Champion is a self- confessed veteran and was delighted with his finish given the strength of the new young talent coming through. He and Ilse were to claim third in the standings behind Ellis/Clement and the popular
Swiss first-time champions Schlosser and Fries.

Result Race Three
1/ Reeves/Rousseau
2/ Birchall/Birchall
3/ Schlosser/Fries
4/ Ellis/Clement
5/ Paivarinta/de Haas
6/ Kershaw/Charlwood
7/ Streuer/ Remme
8/ Currie/Sharpe

Championship Podium
1/ Schlosser/Fries (Champions)
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Paivarinta/de Haas.

Final standings will be available shortly after publishing on the FIM website.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: Three races and huge points at Estoril Finale

FIM Sidecars: Three races and huge points at Estoril Finale

FIM Sidecars: Three races and huge points at Estoril Finale

Race action

Following the unfortunate late cancellation of the British round at Brands Hatch last weekend, urgent negotiations between RKB-F1 Motorsport, the FIM and the Estoril promoter have resulted in one additional race being added to the schedule. All parties recognised the impact of removing potential points scoring opportunities from the schedule and were keen to address that situation if possible. The extra race will therefore go some way towards making up that deficit.

It was always intended the final two races in Portugal, just as with the British series, would carry double points. That rule will still be applied, but the additional extra race scheduled for Saturday will be worth the standard twenty-five points for victory, with the normal points allocation applied for all other finishing positions. The final two races however will offer a real chance for the teams to make up lost ground, with one hundred points on the table for double victory.

Equally, the chance is there for the series leaders to finish of their season in style. RKB-F1 Motorsport and Santander Salt wish to extend thanks and appreciation to the teams who have supported this difficult season, and the FIM and race circuit organisers who have made the races possible.

All eyes are now on Portugal over the final weekend of October for a finale which promises much in bringing the season to a close.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: All roads lead to Estoril and double points 29-31 October

FIM Sidecars: All roads lead to Estoril and double points 29-31 October

FIM Sidecars: All roads lead to Estoril and double points 29-31 October

Reeves/Rousseau and Schlosser/Fries

The Circuito do Estoril, located about nine kilometres outside the Portuguese Capital Lisbon is home to the final round of the 2021 Championship.

A moderate climate at this late stage of the year, and double points on offer for both races, make it an attractive proposition for a host of crews to make the trip. At the time of going to press, no fewer than eight nations will be represented from eighteen teams.

The late cancellation of the UK Brands Hatch round means that there is an even greater sense of urgency for those teams at the top of the standings. Mathematically it is now a two-horse race, with Swiss duo Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha) leading Britain’s Todd Ellis with his French passenger Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) by fifty-five points. The youngsters have enjoyed a brilliant debut season together, showing a remarkable level of maturity and consistency. With one hundred points up for grabs, it adds huge drama to this final round of the “new-look” series.

Old war-horse Pekka Pavairinta with Ilse de Haas alongside sits third, eleven points in front Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha). These crews have twelve world titles between them, so the achievements of the two leaders are even more remarkable.

Pavairinta de Hass

Next up is another debutant crew in the shape of Scot Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood. This privateer team has quietly got on with the job, collecting podiums and victory along the way.

There is strength in depth all the way down the field with close racing between similarly matched teams, so we can expect great entertainment in the two championship races.

As we emerge from the dark period of Covid-19 restrictions, and life begins to return to something like normal, it has been refreshing to have enjoyed a meaningful world championship, with the best yet to come.

RKB-F1 and Santander Salt would like to thank all the teams who have supported the series, the FIM for its cooperation and administration skills, and all the circuit owners and organisers who have given us the platform to promote and run this, our first full world championship season.

The future for the series is bright, and we have established good relationships and contacts going forward. Meanwhile, there is a job to do in Portugal as we all look forward to a fantastic season closer.

We’ll see you there over the weekend of 29-31 October.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: Brands Hatch penultimate round cancelled

FIM Sidecars: Brands Hatch penultimate round cancelled

FIM Sidecars: Brands Hatch penultimate round cancelled

Gustoil Sidecar Racing Team - Whyssen & Hofer

It is with huge regret that RKB-F1 announces the cancellation of the planned round at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 15-17 October.

Many of you will recall that last season we ran a Santander Salt/Bonovo two round series under the guise of the International Sidecar Superprix in which we had a mixed grid of World and National Championship teams. This was a one-off series which provided a pragmatic solution to a catastrophically disrupted season and delivered a spectacle of 26 teams to an International TV audience.

The Sponsor acknowledges now that the assumption to run a similar approach this year, could not in fact be applied to a mixed World & British grid at a World Championship event. Nonetheless, much time has been spent in trying to make a joint grid happen between the current British series and the World Championship, but it is simply not feasible on two counts. They are as follows:-

This being the final round of the British Superbike Championship there is no scope within the program to run separated World and British Sidecar races. Furthermore, the licensing and insurance conditions that the FIM would offer to World sidecar entrants are not possible under mixed grid conditions.

We are sorry therefore that the World Sidecar round at Brands Hatch is cancelled, and we look forward to the finale in Estoril where double points will be on offer for the two races. This has been a great season this far, and the series has yet to be decided so we will all go to Portugal with much still to play for.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Six Oschersleben Germany

FIM Sidecars: FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Six Oschersleben Germany

FIM Sidecars: FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Six Oschersleben Germany

Podium from Oschersleben

There was a great turnout for this German round including a strong British contingent. The Oschersleben Sidecar Festival featured a round of the German IDM Championship, ensuring Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau and Bennie Streuer/Jeroen Remme had a busy weekend.

Qualifying took place in bright sunshine with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement setting second fastest time on the Santander Salt Yamaha behind series leaders Schlosser/Fries with a lap of 1.31.986. Time Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha) were fourth behind Streuer/Remme.

Q2 and it was more of the same in equally great weather conditions. This series is firmly a four-horse race with Reeves, Streuer, Ellis and Schlosser setting the pace at the front.

These four crews filled the front rows, with Pekka Pavairinta/Ilse de Haas also very strong. There was also a good showing form Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood leading the rest of the pack.

Pavairinta de Hass

Race One

A flyer from the lights had Ellis/Clement narrowly ahead of Schlosser/Fries into the first turn. They began to extend the lead on the opening lap, pulling Schlosser with them, along with Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme in third. A twenty-one-lap race was plenty of time to sort the positions and Tim Reeves would need it. He and Kevin Rousseau had a shocker off the line in around eighth place on lap one. Young Ted Peugeot sat fourth followed by Pavairinta de Haas and Kershaw/Charlwood.

Reeves/Rousseau had to get their heads down and that they did. They were to make headway through the field to third and even challenge for second place towards the end. Given the start they had, credit must be paid to the Bonovo Action crew for a valiant effort.

Meanwhile, tyre issues hampered Todd Ellis’s aspirations for victory, and the Santander Salt Yamaha was overhauled by the clinical riding of Markus Schlosser. Once again, the Gustoil Yamaha of the Swiss series leaders sat atop the pile.

There were strong battles all down the field with Kershaw/Charlwood bagging sixth, Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz eighth behind the Peugeot pairing, and Scott Lawrie/Shelley Smithies in ninth.

Further back, there was a race-long scrap which saw Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters continue their string of finishes with a points-scoring ride to fourteenth.

Todd Ellis leading race two

Race One Result

1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Ellis/Clement
3/ Reeves/Rousseau
4/ Streuer/Remme
5/ Pavairinta/de Haas
6/ Kershaw/Charlwood
7/ Peugeot/Peugeot
8/ Biggs/Schmitz
9/ Lawrie/Smithies
10/ Wyssen/Hofer
11/ Kimeswenger/Kolsch
12/ Endeveld/Krome
13/ Remse/ Welschelberger
14/ Cable/Masters
15/ Vinet/Farnier.

Race Two – Cloudy and cooler weather greeted the second twenty-one lap race as Todd Ellis once again shot into the lead from the lights.

This time, Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau made no mistakes and were on their case from the word go. Line astern it was Schlosser, Streuer and Kershaw next up.

Behind them was a French/Finnish scrap involving the Peugeots and Pavairinta, followed by a slightly more distant Rob Biggs/Jeroen Schmitz. This was a good showing from both Santander Salt teamsters, and a thoroughly successful weekend.

The pace at the front was once again fierce, as Tim Reeves made his move and took the lead on lap nine with Schlosser also lining up a move. He was to go through, passing both Ellis and Reeves to lead the world once again. Tim Reeves had no answer for the charging Swiss and that was how it stayed. There was drama aplenty, with Rob Biggs taking a trip into the gravel and various scraps all the way down the field. It was also a great race and weekend for the ladies with Clement third, de Haas fifth, Smithies ninth at her first effort and Farnier thirteenth and in the points.

Kevin Cable/Kyle Masters made their weekend complete with twelfth place and more solid points.

Kevin Cable

Race Two Result

1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Reeves/Rousseau
3/ Ellis/Clement
4/ Streuer/Remme
5/ Pavairinta/de Haas
6/ Peugeot/Peugeot,
7/ Kershaw/Charlwood
8/ Wyssen/Hofer
9/ Lawrie/Smithies
10/ Kimeswenger/Kolsch
11/ Biggs/Schmitz
12/ Cable Masters
13/ Vinet/Farnier
14/ Gallerne/Bidault,

Full Championship Standings were not available at time of going to press. Updated totals will follow.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: FIM World circus heads for Oschersleben 1-3rd October

FIM Sidecars: FIM World circus heads for Oschersleben 1-3rd October

FIM Sidecars: FIM World circus heads for Oschersleben 1-3rd October

Early laps race two Schlosser leads

After five weeks away, the FIM Sidecar World Championship swings back into action in Germany. Sixteen crews from eight nations are entered for the event with six making the journey from the UK.

The Motorsport Arena of Oschersleben is their destination, a popular and regular venue in recent years, located mid-way between Hanover and Berlin. Leading the points table by a healthy forty-one-point margin is the Swiss pairing of Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries. They have shown good speed and consistency all season despite the ravages of last lap battles with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement and Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau. Eight-times champion Reeves is not going quietly, and with six races still on the agenda, there is much to play for.

Ellis/Clement, on the Santander Salt Yamaha sit second, thirty-four points clear of reigning British Champions Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood, with Finnish legend Pekka Pavairinta/Ilse de Haas next up in fourth.

Reeves/Rousseau trail Kershaw by a further fifteen points, putting them one hundred adrift of the series leaders.

Lukas Wyssen and Thomas Hofer, Schlosser’s teammates are best of the rest in sixth.

This round clashes with a British Molson Group round at Donington Park, but there is strength in depth at both events, making the weekend a fascinating prospect for sidecar racing lovers and enthusiasts.

All these teams will be coming together at the next British round in Brands Hatch, where both FIM and Molson Group crews will take to the Kent circuit in a combined event.

Meanwhile, the focus is on the top four crews heading for Germany and the appetising prospect of yet more drama as Schlosser/Fries aim for their first title, and Ellis/Clement close in on what could be a sensational debut year on the world stage.

There are two crews equally determined to stop that happening at whatever cost, as Reeves/Rousseau and Pavairinta/de Haas prepare for battle.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: More success for Schlosser/Fries in Rijeka as Ellis/Clement consolidate championship position

FIM Sidecars: More success for Schlosser/Fries in Rijeka as Ellis/Clement consolidate championship position

FIM Sidecars: More success for Schlosser/Fries in Rijeka as Ellis/Clement consolidate championship position

Early laps race two Schlosser leads

The 2021 FIM World Championship is well and truly alive and kicking. Even with a grid depleted by COVID and travel restrictions, all the main players were on duty in Rijeka, welcomed with open arms by an enthusiastic crowd at the Automotodrom Grobnik.

Eleven teams made the long journey, with three trekking from the UK. Former eight-times World Champion Tim Reeves with his French passenger Kevin Rousseau set the standard in free practice, from series leaders Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha). Third and fourth came Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) followed by reigning British Champions Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood.

Qualifying – In very good weather conditions and twenty-eight degrees on them mercury, the Swiss pairing of Schlosser and Fries took control of the first qualifying session, heading Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement home by three tenths of one second, with Reeves/Rousseau a further couple of tenths back in third. Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme replaced Kershaw Charlwood to go fourth fastest. Session two and it was more of the same, with Reeves/Rousseau edging out Ellis and Clement by one tenth to claim position two on the grid from the young Anglo- French couple. Kershaw/Charlwood share row two with Benny Streuer, followed by Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas alongside Lukas Wyssen in row three. At this pace, Schlosser looked to be the man with a target on his back, as well as being series leader. His pole time of 1.30.963 was impressive.

Race action

Race One – The ambient temperature was through the roof for the start, sitting at the early thirties, this was going to be a hot one. There was no doubting the speed at the front of the race as the three favourites fought tooth and nail. Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau needed a strong win here to re-establish them as championship contenders.

That was not to be, as their Adolf RS Yamaha was to retire from proceedings after fourteen laps. Their problem was once again overheating and has become a cause for serious frustration to the Anglo-French duo. Prior to that, they had been scrapping throughout with the lightning-fast Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries. They grabbed the lead from Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement, with Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme slotting third. Reeves sat a close fourth, looking dangerous, but as stated, was a condemned man. As the brace progressed, he and Kevin Rousseau fought past Ellis/Clement and then made a successful move on Schlosser, only to be re-taken.

After such a good race, Reeves must have been utterly gutted to retire with mechanical issues. He certainly was fast here.

The Swiss Gustoil Yamaha pairing finally brought it home for victory just six-tenths of a second ahead of Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) for victory.

This was becoming something of a habit for Schlosser, but well deserved. Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood had been quietly chipping away, and once more picked up a good finish, as they completed the podium ahead of Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme and Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas.

Croatia podium

Todd and Emmanuelle, Rijeka

Result –
1/ Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha)
2/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha)
3/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha)
4/ Benny Streuer/Jeroen Remme (Bonovo Action Yamaha)
5/ Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas (44 Racing Yamaha)
6/ Lukas Wyssen/Thomas Hofer (Gustoil Racing Yamaha)
7/ Peter Kimeswenger/Kevin Kolsch (LCR Yamaha)
8/ Claude Vinet/Melanie Farnier) LCR Yamaha
9/ Janez Remse/Manfred Welschelberger (Adolf RS Yamaha)

Race Two – If ever there was an advertisement for close sidecar racing, this was it. Again, it was a very vivid scrap at the front with Schlosser, Reeves, Ellis and Kershaw in line astern in the early stages. These four teams were all in the 1.31’s, with Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau claiming the fastest lap of the race on lap three with a 1.31.201. This probably gave them the edge they needed, because the winning margin was as close as that.

Lap after lap the three at the front circulated within a few lengths of each other, but after such huge disappointment with his earlier retirement, the eight times world Champion was in no mood for compromise. He is the first to acknowledge he has real competition this season, but still has a point to prove, and he did just that. Even the great talent that Pekka Paivarinta has was overshadowed by the sheer speed of the front pack. He and Benny Streuer had a scrap in the early stages, but Pekka came home twelve seconds off the sharp end, and six seconds behind Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood.

Meanwhile, words cannot describe the action at the front going into the final lap. All three outfits would have fitted into a large van, they were so close.

At the flag, Tim Reeves’ winning margin over Schlosser was just eight one- hundredths of a second, with Todd Ellis a similar fraction behind in third.

But for that phenomenal lap three for Reeves, it would have been a different story. Despite his best efforts, he still finds himself one hundred points behind Schlosser, with newcomers Ellis/Clement sitting second, forty-one points adrift.

Croatia podium

Standings –
Schlosser 210
Ellis 169
Paivarinta 135
Kershaw 125
Reeves 110
Wyssen 77
Peugeot 45
Endeveld 41
Vinet 38
Payne 36
Kimeswenger 35

(Full standings can be found on

Round Five comes from Oschersleben Germany October 1-3rd.

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

FIM Sidecars: All eyes on sunny Croatia for round five 20-22nd August

FIM Sidecars: All eyes on sunny Croatia for round five 20-22nd August

FIM Sidecars: All eyes on sunny Croatia for round five 20-22nd August

Race action from Assen

As the 2021 season moves into its second half, the battle at the top of the standings reflects a dominant performance by the vastly experienced Swiss crew Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries (Gustoil Racing Yamaha).

They enjoy a thirty-two-point advantage over series newcomers Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement and their Santander Salt Yamaha LCR.

An incident last time out at Assen involving Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau left Ellis/Clement in the gravel in race one, empty-handed as far as points went, hence the wide deficit.

The Bonovo Action duo of Reeves/Rousseau salvaged third place in that race, but now sit in fifth place in the standings, eighty points behind Schlosser. The long journey to the Automotodrom Grobnik will give Ellis the opportunity to close the gap at the top, and he will certainly be aiming to make up the deficit.

A somewhat rejuvenated Pekka Paivarinta is third, twenty points behind Ellis, and he is more than capable of springing a surprise at this stage in the season. Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood have got their act together and play a smart game waiting and watching the others knock the ball out of the park. Twice already they have benefitted from incidents ahead of them, so who’s to say Croatia will be any different? They find themselves just seventeen points off third place and eleven ahead of Reeves/Rousseau.

Fourteen teams from eight nations have signed up for the long haul to Croatia with some of the lesser lights almost certain to gain respectable points for their efforts.

Schlosser is fast, very fast, and he is obviously the target for everyone to aim at. For Ellis to win the title in his debut year would be a dream come true, but he has the speed too, and already has shown a huge amount of maturity and patience. With four more rounds ahead of them, it is all very much still to play for.

Live timing for the event next weekend can be found here >>

Photo credits: Mark ‘Wally’ Walters

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.

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


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.


 Ellis / Clement

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

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: All roads lead to Estoril and double points 29-31 October

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.


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 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 Sidecars: Full house of dates for 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship

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.


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.


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.


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.

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