FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

Close racing and late drama at Pannoniaring 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)

Media Matters – Barry Nutley –