Words – Tim Langham (F.S.R.A. Press Officer) / Photographs – Ste McNorton
The championship visited the popular circuit of Anglesey for the first time in three years – owing to Covid-19 restrictions preventing a round at the Welsh island in the previous two seasons. Similar to the 2019 event, strong winds made for tricky conditions on Saturday, while on Sunday weather conditions worsened resulting in abandonment of the meeting without any action on circuit.
Round three of the series resumes on the 25th and 26th June at Anglesey Circuit, North Wales, this event following something of a sombre fortnight at the Isle of Man T.T. Races, where three sidecar competitors sadly lost their lives. The thoughts and condolences of all at the F.S.R.A. go out to the families, friends and teams involved, and no doubt there will be much reflection and memories shared over the course of the weekend.
It has been a long three years since the last visit of the British F2 Sidecars to Anglesey – obviously no thanks to the global pandemic. While the series was successfully run in 2021, unfortunately the planned visit to the Welsh island had to be cancelled owing to devolved government restrictions still being in place when the event was scheduled.
Sidecar racing has been my passion ever since I saw my first race in 1956. During the intervening years I have marshalled, competed as a driver and passenger, been a race official and organiser. It has been my privilege to be a member of a very exclusive club, the Sidecar Family. Below is a post that encapsulates my feelings about my chosen sport.
The Isle of Man TT has come and gone, the FIM World Championship has seen three rounds of great action involving last year’s top four teams, and now it is time to resume the domestic series at the popular Fife circuit of Knockhill.
The aim of second-placed Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney must surely be to amass as many points as possible in the absence of series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. The Santander Salt duo will be defending their fourteen-point lead in the FIM World Championship in Hungary, leaving the door open for others to capitalise.
The Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom were early entries in Scotland, with their focus being to retain their British title. For 2022 they also plan to contest selected World rounds, but having missed just the Oulton Park opener, the appeal to stay at home is obvious. That opinion is shared by Birchall Racing team-mates Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe, although a good appearance at the Estoril World finale last season whetted their appetites for more international action.
Ben and Tom Birchall won a shortened 3wheeling.media Sidecar TT race on Friday afternoon, the race being stopped due to an incident at Ago’s Leap when the majority of competitors were on their second lap.
It is with deep sense of sorrow that the Isle of Man TT Races can announce the loss of Roger and Bradley Stockton following an incident on the final lap of the second Sidecar Race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races.
Roger and Bradley were father and son, and driver and passenger respectively.
We extend our deepest sympathy to their families, loved ones and friends.
Aged 56, today marked Roger’s 20th race start in his 11th TT appearance. Bradley, aged 21, was competing in his second race at his first TT. Racing together, they recorded an impressive 8th-place finish in the first Sidecar Race of TT 2022, with a best lap at an average speed of 106.00mph.
Whilst it was Bradley’s first TT as a competitor, it was by no means his first experience of the TT, having grown up in the paddock and made his first visit as a one-year old. Aged 16, he decided that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and asked if he could race alongside him as his passenger. Once he had returned to the Isle of Man to begin studying the course, he said ‘he couldn’t wait to race in the TT‘.
Roger’s first TT was in 2000. He competed regularly until 2008 and returned in 2010, 2017, and for this year’s event. Speaking earlier in the year, he said: ‘I’ve retired a few times before, but always come back for my love of the sport. Going around the course with my own flesh and blood will be incredible.’
The loss of two members of our paddock and two people from the same family is truly heart-breaking, but the bond between a father and son who achieved their dream to compete together at the TT provides us with a glimmer of light at such a dark time.
Ben and Tom Birchall lived up to expectations on Monday afternoon and led the opening 3wheeling.media Sidecar TT race from start to finish, the Haith Honda duo lapping at 119.22mph, just a fraction outside their own lap record, to win their 11th TT and eighth in a row.
No fewer than seventeen crews took to the grid for this, the third round of the 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship.
Absent on Isle of Man TT duty were Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau and Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes. Ordinarily, it might easily have been a case of “when the cat’s away”, but the two crews at the top of the standings maintained the pace which got them there and starred once more in Belgium.
Free practice saw Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) edge out Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha) and Benny Streuer/Kevin Kolsch (Bonovo Action Yamaha) to the tune of half a second.
The Isle of Man TT Races regrets to confirm that Olivier Lavorel, 35, from Sillingy, France was killed in an incident during the first Sidecar Race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races. The accident occurred at Ago’s Leap, just under 1 mile into the Course, on the opening lap of the race.
Olivier was competing in his first TT as a passenger to César Chanel. César was taken to Noble’s Hospital by road and airlifted to Aintree Hospital in a critical condition.
Olivier and César were both newcomers at the Isle of Man TT Races and had been elevated from start number 39 to start number 21 after qualifying as the 15th fastest pairing, having posted an impressive lap speed of 108.420mph.
An experienced pairing, Olivier and César had taken numerous victories and podiums in the French F1 and F2 National Sidecar Championships.
The isle of Man TT Races pass on their deepest sympathy to Olivier’s family, friends and loved ones, and our thoughts and best wishes are with César at this time.
For the full press release including solos.. click read more.
Due to a change in schedule, the Sidecars had got the evening underway at 6.30pm and it was the Birchalls who were again first away followed by John Holden/Dan Sayle, Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau, Dave Molyneux/Daryl Gibson and the Manx Crowe brothers.
Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde made an early stop just after Union Mills before proceeding but all the sector times had the Birchalls as comfortably the quickest and that proved to be the case as they completed the opening lap at 117.516mph. The quickest lap of the week so far, that was some 19.5s quicker than the Crowes whose lap of 115.564mph was another personal best.
Newcomer driver Harry Payne, with Mark Wilkes, went third quickest (112.398mph) with Lee Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (112.354mph) and Reeves/Rousseau (112.34mph). 17-time winner Molyneux was sixth (110.827mph) just ahead of Paul Leglise/Melanie Farnier (110.236mph) but both Holden/Sayle and Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie had stopped out on track.
The Birchalls pulled in to make some set up changes but the Crowes went straight through for a second lap only to retire at Sulby Crossroads. That meant it was Reeves/Rousseau who were first to complete their second lap, at 113.708mph which was six seconds up on Blackstock/Rosney who improved to 113.137mph.
Payne/Wilkes upped their pace to 112.798mph whilst Steve and Matty Ramsden moved into sixth on the leaderboard with a best ever lap of the TT Course of 111.903mph, and although the Birchalls posted another 117mph+ lap, their first lap remained the quicker of the two.