The 2022 F.S.R.A. / Wintec Racing Pre-Injection Sidecar Championship
Round Seven – Anglesey – Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th October
Words – Marianne Walford & Abbey Brooks / Photographs – Sid Diggins
The weather was looking a lot more promising for the teams than the previous visit to Anglesey back in June. This report is in two sections – regular Pre-Injection reporter Abbey Brooks was unable to attend on Saturday due to University commitments, so Marianne Walford kindly offered to report on Saturday’s action, with Abbey joining the teams on Sunday to resume her usual role.
In practice the front-running teams were setting some impressive lap times with being mixed with the club sidecars – a number of whom were British F600 and F2 regulars. The pairing of Kieran Clarke / Andrew Johnson (Windle Yamaha) set the F2 pace, with Liam Saunders / Ben Stell (Ireson Yamaha) looking again to make up lost ground after their DNF last time out at East Fortune. F2 Championship leaders Andrew Bingham / Steven Dalton (Shelbourne Honda) were putting in some competitive lap times aswell. Billy Gilroy & Redd Gilroy (Suzuki) were hit by mechanical problems, and were unable to select second gear, pulling over onto the grass out of pitlane. Although Jan Tyrrell / Lewis Kemp (Baker Yamaha) finished the practice session, the bike was not staying in gear and they were unable to fix it so did not race. Gerald Hodgson / David Williams (Shelbourne Honda) qualified, but unfortunately had to miss the first race.
The F1 of Mark Burns / Steve Winfrow (Baker Yamaha) headed the grid for Saturday’s races, followed by the F2s of Saunders / Stell; Clarke / Johnson; and Bingham / Dalton. Then came the F1s of Simon Horton / Jordan Forrest (Wintec Yamaha); Gary Fairhurst / Billy Andrews (Windle Kawasaki), with the F2 of Wesley Pettman / Tom Dawkins (Windle Yamaha) in the middle of the F1 sandwich of Steve Brooks / Sarah Hulme (Heys Kawasaki) and Dave Tibbles / Raitch Greenwood (DDR Yamaha). The F2 of Derek Salleh / Jack Fairhurst (Ireson Yamaha) and F1 of John Stephenson / Amanda Mason (Suzuki) who had not passengered on an F1 before completed the grid.
Clarke / Johnson took the lead from the start and were never challenged by second place Burns / Winfrow who took the F1 honours. In the F2’s, Saunders / Stell were also unchallenged for runners-up, as main rivals Bingham / Dalton lost their clutch and pulled out half way around the first lap. Horton / Forrest and Brooks / Hulme had a good battle race long but Fairhurst / Andrews got the better of them, moving ahead on the last lap.
After clutch rebuilds for Bingham / Dalton and Tibbles / Greenwood, the second race got underway in the late afternoon sunshine. Although there was a cool breeze, the conditions could not have been better for this time of year. Again Clarke / Johnson were away with a good lead over Burns / Winfrow and Saunders / Stell. Tibbles / Greenwood pulled out on the back straight on lap three. Again, there was a good battle in the midfield, with Fairhurst / Andrews passing Brooks / Hulme on the third lap, while being chased by Bingham / Dalton who passed Brooks / Hulme on the penultimate lap. Horton / Forrest had been in front of this battle, but were forced in retirement on lap five. Pettman / Dawkins came home ahead of Salleh / Fairhurst, Stephenson / Mason and Hodgson / Williams.
After a windy night Sunday looked like being a bright day again. The teams headed to the grid in readiness for the first race of the day. Clarke / Andrews led the way from the start, with Saunders / Stell hoping to stay with them, but unfortunately Clarke / Johnson had almost immediately pulled a huge gap and began to mix with the top six Wirral 100 club sidecars. Again, we saw the F1 pairing of Burns / Winfrow lead their class, with a comfortable gap over their rivals. The battle between Fairhurst / Andrews and Brooks / Hulme went on throughout the race as the championship placings of runners-up and third place were still to be decided. Tibbles / Greenwood were also challenging their fellow F1’s, currently sitting second in the championship, but engine problems hampered their progress, allowing the rest of the F1 field to pull away from them. However, Tibbles / Greenwood had the consolation of being interlocked in a good race with the F2 of Pettman / Dawkins. Unfortunately, Salleh / Fairhurst had to retire after lap 2 and the F1 of Horton / Forrest was nowhere to be seen following their DNF the previous day. As the chequered flag was waved, Clarke / Johnson took a dominant win, with Saunders / Stell and Bingham / Dalton completing the F2 podium. Burns / Winfrow secured the F1 win, and in turn the championship, followed by Fairhurst / Andrews and Brooks / Hulme.
Race two on Sunday was not looking promising as the weather began to close in, but Wirral 100 pushed through and we had our full race distance race as the rain stopped and despite the high winds. However, the grid seemed somewhat empty as some teams had decided to go home rather than risk getting wet! As the field set off on the final race of the year for the series, we saw Saunders / Stell fly of the line, leading into the first corner with some close action behind them as teams battled their way through. Saunders / Stell led the F2 section throughout the whole race to take the maximum points in hope this with push them to the top of the championship. However, Bingham / Dalton’s second place in class sealed the title for them in their first year competing together. Again, it was Burns / Winfrow who took the F1 win, with Fairhurst / Andrews having some close racing with Salleh / Fairhurst. Tibbles / Greenwood were nursing a rather sick engine round to finish to secure third place points to keep them in good stead in the championship standings.
We have had a brilliant year as a championship and the racing has been close, with both F1 and F2 classe not decided until this final round of the year. Of course, none of this would be possible without Dave Tibbles co-ordinating the championship and taking a lot of time out of his own race weekend to organise and liaise with the clubs. As a “thank-you” the teams clubbed together and gave Dave a gift to recognise his efforts at the Saturday presentation.
The F.S.R.A. would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the clubs who have invited us to join them this year and we look forward to joining some of them again next year. Please don’t forget to order your tickets for the dinner and dance which is on Saturday 19th November at the Radisson Blu East Midlands Airport Hotel. The A.G.M. will be held at the same venue at 12.15pm on Saturday 19th November also.