F.S.R.A. / Wintec Racing Pre-Injection Sidecar Championship – Round Four – Croft – 20th & 21st August

Words – Abbey Brooks / Photographs – Sid Diggins

This meeting kicked off on Saturday morning with a warm up which invited all sidecar teams to take part in, some of the pre-injection teams decided not to go out in this having tested on the Friday afternoon. We saw a couple of the teams go out to get some laps in before qualifying.

The morning looked promising for a dry qualifying session but it soon became apparent that this was not the case, as the teams left the holding area it began to rain very lightly, the teams managed to get two quick laps in before the rain fell heavier which made the track very slippy. The session was soon red flagged due to a incident involving Gary Fairhurst / Billy Andrews (Windle Kawasaki). I caught up with them later in the paddock and both appeared to be okay and hoping to be back out by the end of the year. The session ended with the fast pairing of Liam Saunders / Ben Stell (Ireson Yamaha) leading the pre-injection class (the race also combining club F600 and F2 sidecars) into race one, closely followed by Andrew Bingham / Steven Dalton (Shelbourne Honda); Mark Burns / Steven Winfrow (Baker Yamaha); Simon Horton / Jordan Forest (Wintec Yamaha) and Steve Brooks / Sarah Hulme (Heys Kawasaki) making up the top six

The sun came back out for the first race of the day in the mid-afternoon. Brooks / Hulme led the way into the first corner with rest of the pre-injection teams hot on their tail, this soon changed however, as Saunders / Stell made a nifty move to take the lead, with Bingham / Dalton and Horton / Forrest following to make the top three at the end of the first lap. Further down the field there was some close racing between Wes Pettman / Tom Dawkins (Windle Yamaha) and Dave Tibbles / Raitch Greenwood (FJ Yamaha). This appeared to stay this way during the race with Saunders / Stell pulling a gap from the rest of the field. The pairing of Derek Salleh / Jack Fairhurst (Ireson Yamaha) led the lower half of the pack, putting in some good lap times as a newcomer pairing who are improving on every outing. The results were as follows: Saunders / Stell (F2); Bingham / Dalton (F2); Horton / Forrest (F1); Brooks / Hulme (F1); Burns / Winfrow (F1) and Pettman / Dawkins (F2) making up the top six.

The second race of day was the last race in the Saturday schedule, and had a exciting start as Brooks / Hulme led the way into the first corner with Saunders / Stell close behind as the rest of the field streamed through. Unfortunately as they came round the second right hander, Saunders / Stell spun in the track as the rest of the pack blasted past, Brooks / Hulme managed to lead the way until Bingham / Dalton made a move and hit the front on lap two. Next time around, Horton / Forrest and Burns / Winfrow were also able to make their way past Brooks / Hulme. Further down the field we saw Tibbles / Greenwood and Pettman / Dawkins having another good battle between themselves throughout the whole race, Jan Tyrell / Lewis Kemp (Baker Yamaha) and Redd Gilroy / Dave Baxter (ZZR Kawasaki) had a close battle between themselves early on in the race with Jan really enjoying being in the driving seat. We saw Saunders / Stell make a brilliant recovery from their early spin with them being half a lap behind the rest of the teams when they got going again to finish third F2 in the six lap race. The top 6 results for this race were Bingham / Dalton (F2); Horton / Forrest (F1); Burns / Winfrow (F1), Brooks/Hulme (F1); Saunders / Stell (F2) and Pettman / Dawkins (F2).

With only one race on the Sunday due to not being able to start racing until 12pm due to noise restrictions, we saw some teams head out for another free warm up to make sure they were all dried off after the downpour we had on the Saturday night. We saw some quick laps being done during this busy session which also featured the A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar teams.

The race came around quickly in the afternoon, being straight out after the British Championship race. Again, we saw some close racing into the first corner, with Bingham / Dalton off to a flying start followed by Horton / Forrest; Burns / Winfrow and Brooks / Hulme. Unfortunately we saw a early retirement from Horton / Forrest which moved the majority of the field up the rankings. Bingham / Dalton was able to pull away from the pack with the next F2 battling their way through the F1 outfits, this being Saunders / Snell. We saw some good racing from Tibbles / Greenwood with the guest teams of Graham & Neil Davenport and Richard Butler / Joanne Thomas not far behind them. Brooks / Hulme experienced some gearbox problems putting them at the back of the field. Pettman / Dawkins had pulled away from Tibbles / Greenwood this time around, having been in close company all weekend, and had guest team Alan Crowe / Alex Laidlow chasing him down. However, the red flags came out on the track as the first few teams had taken the chequered flag. The stoppage was due to Saunders / Stell having a incident going into The Complex. After catching up with them when they got back to the paddock it was a relief to find that they were both okay. This concluded the racing as competitors had all completed over 50% race distance. The results for this race were as follows: Bingham / Dalton (F2); Burns / Winfrow (F1); Pettman / Dawkins (F2); Tibbles / Greenwood (F1); Salleh / Fairhurst (F2) and Brooks / Hulme (F1).

We would like to thank our guests for the meeting for supporting our championship and our sponsors Wintec Racing and Pagid Brakes for their support to us and also the F.S.R.A. for putting on a great championship.