FIM Sidecar World Championship. Donington Park preview.
From Mark Walters – The FIM Preview for the Donington Park World Championship round
The 4.02km Donington Park circuit in the heart of England will host the sixth round of the FIM Sidecar World Championship, again as with Assen earlier in the year supporting the World Super Bike championship for solo motorcycles.
Championship leaders, with 210 points, Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement will want to forget about their last race in Croatia. They encountered problems with the front of their machine and scored a DNF. A far cry from their race one victory, which was taken with them well in control. But they will want to come back here to Donington Park to try and replicate their first GP win, which was here last year. They have stood on the top spot of the podium regularly since then but the first win is always special.
The opposition will be making life hard for Ellis and Clement though.
Only 16 points adrift is Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries. They had two good podium finishes last time out in Croatia, but these were hard fought for. Firstly a lack of power problem in race one then a clutch problem in race two. Schlosser and Fries will have mixed thoughts about Donington Park too. The second race last year was a non-starter for them as they had engine problems as they headed to the grid.
Stephen Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood, third in the championship with 150 points, will be on a high as they stood on the top spot of the podium in race two in Croatia, in fact, it was a second and a win for the team, a great weekend in Croatia, and like Ellis and Clement they took their first GP win here at Donington. The team have been working hard throughout the season so far with chassis and suspension set up. They will be going all out for success at their home GP.
With 101 points, Lukas Wyssen and Thomas Hofer come to Donington Park feeling satisfied with how their season has been going so far. The team have had some niggly problems with their machine early on in the season, but seem to have sorted these out. The team have also been involved in some great battles throughout the season so far. These battles have involved the next team in the championship standings. Ted and Vincent Peugeot have 93 points; these battles between the two teams have been close and have been pretty evenly matched. Ted and Vincent Peugeot were so close to getting their first podium spot in Croatia, but Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries spoiled their day. Another new track for the Peugeot’s, I am sure they will enjoy it, like they have all the other new tracks they have competed at this year.
Bennie Streuer and Kevin Kolsch will defiantly want to forget about the whole weekend in Croatia. The weekend before in Hungary, they stood on the podium twice, race two was a decisive win for the team, with the team in high spirits and jumping up in the championship standings to fourth, it all came crashing down. The team were looking good throughout practice and qualifying. Unfortunately in race one, contact with Kevin Cable and Charlie Richardson, resulted with the team crashing out in dramatic fashion with their machine turning upside down, passenger Kolsch was battered and bruised, but driver Streuer had to go to hospital for checks. He was given the all clear, but advised not to race, but rest. The team will be coming to Donington, and trying to get on the podium, this could be a big problem for the top teams as valuable points would be taken away from them fighting for the championship. They have 91 points and are sitting in sixth place in the championship.
With 73 points and seventh in the championship, Harry Payne and Mark Wilkes have certainly mixed it with the top teams; a fourth place and a second last time out in Croatia did the team spirits no harm. They missed out on two races earlier in the season too, so they could be up with the top teams again, and like Streuer and Kolsch could be upsetting the top teams with their championship expectations.
With 49 points and tenth in the championship so far, Kevin Cable and Charlie Richardson will be wanting a good weekend here at Donington. Two DNF’s in Croatia certainly was not what the team were needing. Back here at Donington the team will be hoping their knowledge at home will be an advantage and hopefully claw back good points for their championship.
It was great to see the Christie Brothers, Sam and Tom in Croatia, they had two solid races and good results, they did suffer a bit with race distance as it has been a while since they have raced long races. They will be at Donington, and I am sure they will be ready for the challenge.
Unfortunately, it will be a depleted field at Donington, which is very unusual, but a few of the foreign teams will not be attending, but hopefully there will be some wild card teams from the British championship entered.
There will be two 18 lap races, one on Saturday, and the other on Sunday.#