A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship – Round Four Preview
Words – Tim Langham (F.S.R.A. Press Officer) / Photographs – Ste McNorton
With the series at it’s halfway stage, the teams head to what is unarguably their “flagship event” of the year at Cadwell Park, with three points scoring races and a potential 75 points up for grabs which could prove pivotal in the chase for the final placings in both the Super and Cup sections of this two tier championship.
In 2021 two wins went the way of Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley (LCR Honda) and the other in the favour of Harry Payne / Mark Wilkes (GPR Yamaha). Ultimately though, the consistent podium finishing form of reigning champions Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie (LCR Suzuki) saw them accumulate more points than any other crew over the weekend, as they continued their dominance on their way to a championship victory. Last year’s event was a record-breaking affair with both the Super and Cup laptimes being shattered several times.
However, this year it is four times champions Founds / Walmsley who head for Cadwell with a commanding lead in the standings of 29 points over Crawford / Hardie. Last time out at Anglesey, only a single race was held with the entire Sunday programme cancelled due to adverse weather – Founds / Walmsley took the sole win while Crawford / Hardie were sidelined due to terminal mechanical issues in qualifying.
Consistency and reliability have seen the Manx pairing of Mike Jackson / Jake Roberts (DMR Suzuki) jump to third in the standings – thanks to a fine second place finish at Anglesey. They hold a five point advantage over the father and son combination of Steve and Matty Ramsden (LCR Honda) who despite scoring three podium finishes so far this year endured a disappointing meeting last time out and did not take the start. There are numerous teams capable of challenging for podium finishes including former champions John Holden / Jake Lowther (LCR Yamaha); Conrad Harrison / Andy Winkle (Bellas Honda); Ryan and Callum Crowe (LCR Honda); Wayne Lockey / Ben Binns (LCR Honda) and Gary Horspole / Kenny Cole (Baker Suzuki) to name but a few.
A perfect start to the season in the Cup has seen Rob Atkinson / Mark Middleton (Bellas Yamaha) take all five wins so far – and they also occupy fifth place in the overall championship standings. Similarly, Brian Ilaria / Arlo Brown (DDM Suzuki) have been runners-up on each occasion, with a healthy fifty five point advantage over third placed Chris Schofield / Shane Colbrook (Baker Honda). Schofield / Colbrook were having arguably their best performance to date at Anglesey until they suffered a minor incident at The Corkscrew on the final lap. The Cup as always is sure to throw up some interesting battles in the midfield, with the likes of David Schofield / Josh Smith (Windle Suzuki); Bruce Moore / Amy Dodd (Ireson Honda); Mike Russell / Vicky Cooke (Shelbourne Suzuki) and Tom and Thomas Quaye (MRE Suzuki) all likely to figure.
A healthy entry of “wild-card” contenders join the series regulars including: multiple World and British Championship F1 title winners Tim Reeves / Kevin Rosseau (LCR Yamaha); 2018 F2 Cup champions Daryl Gibson / Ashley Moore (CES Suzuki); Ralph Remnant / Samantha Tilley (Lumley Kawasaki) and Bob Dawson / Matt Sims (DMR Yamaha). These teams are racing solely for trophies, and are not eligible for championship points.
Current Lap Records:
Super F2 – 1:36.104 – Founds / Walmsley (07/08/21)
F2 Cup – 1:36.206 – Payne / Wilkes (07/08/21)
Thanks as ever go to the A.C.U., along with the series sponsors: A.R.C. (Binchester / Newton Aycliffe); A.V. Craine & Son; Hegarty Plant Ltd; Leeds Parcel Company; Lockside Engineering; Pagid Racing (Breitenbach Rennsport); Rowtec Engineering Maintenance; and Whitby Cottages. Finally the F.S.R.A. would like to thank RKB-F1 Motorsports and B.M.C.R.C. – and to all their dedicated staff, officials, marshals, medics and all the other volunteers involved in running the event.
While there have been significant pauses in the championship schedule over the last three months to accommodate the T.T. and Southern 100 Road Races, the series now gathers momentum as it reaches it’s climax. The penultimate round is just a fortnight’s time at North Yorkshire’s Croft Circuit on the 20th and 21st August at their annual “Battle Of Britain” meeting. In the meantime, please keep up to date with F.S.R.A. news, including race reports and up to date championship points on the website – www.fsra.org.uk