The fifth round of the British Sidecar Championship heads to the rapid Thruxton circuit, off the back of three races last weekend at Cadwell Park.
Well known as a daunting prospect for many passengers, this airfield track combines high speed with enormous cornering forces threatening to throw the passenger off the outfit at any moment.
Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Brookland Yamaha LCR) took double victories here last year and on paper are very much the team to beat. They are combining their British Championship season with the FIM World Championship, being reigning champions in both. As a result, they missed out on three races last weekend at Cadwell Park, opting to defend their world title at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. In doing so, they sacrificed the lead in the British Championship. The DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha of Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney profited hugely as a result, and now come to Hampshire with a twenty-four-point lead in the Championship.
Last year at Thruxton also saw double podium spots for George Holden and Oscar Lawrence with their Kawasaki, and they too have jumped ahead of Christie brothers Sam and Tom, who also headed for Austria last weekend. Craig Currie/Justin Sharp now sit fifth with their Honda ahead of Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters.
The Cup class is much more finely balanced behind leaders Phil/Carl Bell. With Phil Hyde on board last weekend, the Marin Motorsport Yamaha of Bell eked out a twenty-six-point lead from Brian Gray/Clement Conil, who in turn are just two points clear of Paul and Tom Kirby. Cadwell hat trick exponents Luke Williams and Jason Pitt are hell-bent on further gains, so their progress from sixth place in the standings should be fun to watch.
All-dominant Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley have the F2 lead, with little or no opposition to date.
Three rounds and six races remain, with no further FIM world clashes and Ellis/Clement in determined mood. The permutations are endless, but Blackstock/Rosney know what they must do, and the season is now set up for a grandstand finish.
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Media Matters – Barry Nutley firstname.lastname@example.org