Pannonia Ring Hungary.
"Flying Finns take Top Spot and History Made"
With the sun basking the 4,740km Pannonia Ring circuit in 35 degrees, it was going to be a hard race from word go. With only ten laps, it was "Full Gas" from the lights out.
It was Pekka Paivarinta and Kirsi Kainulainen on their "44-Racing" LCR, BMW, who led into the first complex of corners, right with them was Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze on their "Remse Racing Team" LCR, Yamaha. Pole sitter, Sebastien Delannoy and Kevin Rousseau on their "Team Sand Seb 72" LCR, Suzuki. Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer with their "Sidecar Racing Team Schlosser" LCR, Suzuki were right with Delannoy and Rousseau.
Bennie Streuer and Geert Koerts were in the wheel tracks of Schlosser/Hofer, on their "Team Streuer" LCR, Suzuki. Streuer and Koerts were fighting hard, until on lap two their drive chain snapped, giving them a DNF. John Holden and Stuart Ramsay on their "Silicone/Barnes Racing" LCR, Suzuki, had a good start from row three and slotted in behind Streuer and Koerts, and just in front of Sean Hegarty and James Neave on their "Hegarty Racing" LCR, Suzuki.
Hegarty and Neave were to DNF on lap seven with an ill handling machine. Hegarty said after, "We have been having handling problems for most of the weekend. I will chill out tonight and have a good think, and see what we can do tomorrow".
The battle at the front was hot with Paivarinta/Kainulainen, Reeves/Cluze, Delannoy/Rousseau, and Schlosser/Hofer. Reeves and Cluze managed to get past for the lead, but Paivarinta/ Kainulainen were battling hard with Reeves/Cluze, however Reeves and Cluze hit trouble, their air box came loose, with Reeves/Cluze nearly stopped, passenger Cluze was franticly trying to fit the air box to their machine, but they got going again, they were on the chase again. Their fight back was all in vain though, they battled through for the lead again, but on lap eight of the race, it was all over, their engine let go, and they had to sit out the rest of the race.
Next to fall by the wayside was Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer, they had a hard battle with Reeves and Cluze, but on lap nine their machine came to a halt, coughing and spluttering with fuel problems.
With all this going on up front, Holden/Ramsay were going well, and found themselves up to third place.
Ben and Tom Birchall on their "Birchall Racing" LCR, Honda, were having a good race through out, and being the first of the FIM Sidecar F2 World Trophy teams, were mixing it with the bigger machines, and got themselves up to fourth overall in the race.
As the race came to a close, Paivarinta/Kainulainen were having a battle royal with Delannoy/Rousseau. It was Paivarinta/Kainulainen who were to take the chequred flag for the win by only 0.277 over Delannoy/Rousseau.
This win will go down in the history books, with passenger Kirsi Kainulainen being the first woman to take a win, and stand on the top spot of a podium in a world Championship road race. Kainulainen was overjoyed with the win and said after "I am so pleased, I wanted to stand on the top spot at least once this year, and it has happened" With tears of joy in her eyes, she thanked everybody who has made this dream come true, and continued, "maybe I can do it again, Pekka has helped me so much, and it's great for us as a team, let's see what happens tomorrow in the Gold race".
Third place went to Holden and Ramsay, they were so pleased with the result, they have not been having a trouble free weekend so far, with Holden saying, "This makes amends for the problems we have had with the bike this weekend, and the team has done great, with our sponsor Ian Barnes getting his hands dirty again!! And doing the pit board, hats off to him."
A great fourth place overall in the race and first place in the FIM Sidecar F2 World Trophy went to Ben and Tom Birchall, they fought hard all through the race and battled with the bigger engine machines, and their consistency was rewarded in this result, they are looking forward to tomorrow's race.
Fifth place overall in the race, but fourth in the FIM World Sidecar Championship class went to Mike Roscher and Anna Burkard on their "Roscher-Burkard Penz 13 Racing" LCR, BMW. They were really pleased with the result, and can't wait for tomorrow's race.
Sixth place went to a very happy Billy Gallros and Gerard Daalhuizen on their "Sidecar Team Gallros-Daalhuizen" LCR, Suzuki, they were really pleased with the result, they did not have a trouble free practice and qualifying. They spun of track with tyre problems in qualifying and had some other small problems with their machine, so this result has really lifted the spirit in the team.
Seventh overall in the race but second in the FIM Sidecar F2 World Trophy class was Michael Grabmuller and Sophia Kichhofer on their "Polizeisportverein Wels Delta Racing Team" LCR, Yamaha. They were really happy with the result after all the problems they had last weekend in Croatia.
Eighth place went to Brian Gray and Adam Christie on their "Brian Gray's Powerbiking" LCR, Yamaha. A good result for the team as they have been having problems with their machine, and had an off in qualifying, but all was okay for them in the race.
Ninth overall in the race, but third in the FIM Sidecar F2 World Trophy class was Gunther Bachmaier and Manfred Wechselberger on their "MSV-Schwanenstadt/PSV-Wels" LCR, Suzuki, another team who were really pleased with the result, and hope to do the same if not better in Sundays race.
Tenth place overall and Fourth place in the F2 World Trophy class went to Eckart Rosinger and Steffen Werner on their "Team Early Gray" Baker, Suzuki. They were happy with this result. They worked away steadily all through free practice and qualifying. They hope for a good result tomorrow.
There will be a 15 lap Gold Race starting at 13.50 local time.