Author: Barry Nutley

Molson British Sidecars

Dramatic end to season at Brands with Birchalls already champions

The late cancellation of the FIM World Championship entry at Brands Hatch freed up some top names to race alongside the Molson regulars as wild cards. Reigning British Champion Steve Kershaw with Ryan Charlwood made an appearance on that basis.
Other top teams had registered for both series, so were eligible to score points. Among those crews were Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement, currently lying second in the world rankings. With double points on offer in this final round, they had a good opportunity to make the Birchall Brother’s lead look less dominant, although they too would be going for glory. Also on the race card were Kevin Cable and Kyle Masters, having enjoyed their foreign trips, now back to score British points. Also falling into this category were Ellis’s Santander Salt teammates Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz.

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Brands Hatch penultimate World Championship round cancelled


It is with huge regret that RKB-F1 announces the cancellation of the planned round at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 15-17 October.
Many of you will recall that last season we ran a Santander Salt/Bonovo two round series under the guise of the International Sidecar Superprix in which we had a mixed grid of World and National Championship teams. This was a one-off series which provided a pragmatic solution to a catastrophically disrupted season and delivered a spectacle of 26 teams to an International TV audience

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Molson British Sidecars

Birchalls put the title out of reach at Donington Park

A distinctly winter feel greeted the crews at Donington with heavy rain and wind on Friday. Saturday was another tricky day with the organisers moving the schedule to fit the weather which was predicted to deteriorate as the day unfolded.
Free practice saw a good performance by John Holden, with the Birchall brothers distinctly faster in the dry. They expressed concern that Avon had not brought enough of the new wet radial rear tyre with them. So, they would be obliged to use the older cross-ply version which did not perform as well.

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Molson British Sidecars

Birchalls prevail at Snetterton as they and Ellis smash lap record

All photos courtesy of Jenny Triker Wells – JTW Photography

Fresh from double victory in the German national championship in which they defeated main rivals Tim Reeves and Markus Schlosser, Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement had every reason to feel buoyant ahead of this home series round. In free practice, it became clear this would be a renewal of the battle between the Santander Salt pairing, and the Haith Honda of Ben and Tom Birchall. They had edged free practice by seven one-hundredths of a second.

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Molson British Sidecars

Snetterton Preview – Ellis and Clement versus Birchall brothers in round six Snetterton September 3-5th

TIMETABLE, LIVE TIMING FOR THE WEEKEND AND ENTRY LIST ON THIS LINK
(GOES TO STEVEENGLISH.COM/BSB)

Well into the second half of the season, Ben and Tom Birchall have taken the lion’s share of victories, having been defeated just twice. The only crew running them close on a regular basis is the Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney duo on the DHR/Express Tyre Service Yamaha. Last time out at Cadwell Park, inclement weather conditions played a part, with Blackstock/Rosney just one second behind at the flag. They sit second in the table by a comfortable margin.
It was in similar weather conditions one month ago, also at Cadwell, that World Championship runners Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement took the Santander Salt Yamaha to twin victories ahead of the Birchalls and will be looking to do the same at Snetterton.

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Molson British Sidecars

Birchalls and Ellis/Clement dominate damp Cadwell Park

Molson British Sidecar Championship, Cadwell Park 7/8 August

The celebrated Cadwell Sidecar Revival attracted a full entry of all manner of sidecars, with the main focus being on the three championship races.
Todd Ellis (Santander Salt Yamaha) had his French lady passenger alongside for his second British Championship appearance in as many weeks. Ben and Tom Birchall (Haith Honda) were more than keen to fight for their unbroken record of victories.
Absent from Cadwell Park were Sam and Adam Christie because of Adam’s Thruxton injuries. At this moment in time, the Christie bike will continue to be missing, with the ankle injury to Adam more serious than initially thought. Asked if he might be tempted to use a replacement passenger to protect their points, Sam said the family feeling was, that racing was on hold pending Adam’s recovery. Let’s all hope it is sooner rather than later.

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Molson British Sidecars

Fast Thruxton and six not out for Birchalls

Round Three, Molson British Sidecar Championship

Cooler and mixed weather provided interesting racing conditions on what is widely acknowledged as one of the toughest tracks in the UK. With no FIM World round clash for the next two domestic championship weekends, there was a strong entry for both this, and the upcoming Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival. Fresh from success in Assen, Todd Ellis, reunited with Charlie Richardson for home rounds on the Santander Salt Yamaha, was determined to pick up where he left off when last on UK business.

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Molson British Sidecars

Birchalls prove hard to beat in Kent

Molson British Sidecar Championship, Brands Hatch

A slightly smaller grid than normal due to a World Championship clash with Assen and one or two Covid related absentees, did nothing to detract from the quality of racing at Brands Hatch. The recent heatwave had abated slightly, but free practice was dry and warm, with the Birchall Brothers picking up where they left off at Oulton Park. They were over a second faster at the head, with Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant and the Christie Brothers close together and chasing. John Holden’s machine caught fire, damaging his feet in the process, but the BSB Marshalls did a great job extinguishing the worst of the flames.

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Assen World SBK treated to top-class sidecar action as Schlosser extends lead

Photos from Mark “Big Wally” Walters

Following the great show provided in Donington Park, the FIM Sidecar World Championship crews were determined to repeat that display at Assen.

With only two points splitting the top two teams, it was all to play for as the season hit the half-way stage.

Hot but cloudy conditions greeted the free practice session for the fourteen crews making the trip. There might easily be no stopping Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Racing LCR) and they played their hands early coming out on top with a 1.43.552.

Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha), inspired by victory in Donington were second quickest from defending Champion Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Bonovo Action Adolf RS Yamaha), ahead of Santander Salt’s Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement.

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Molson British Sidecars

Birchalls hold the ace cards heading for Brands Hatch.


Round Two 23-25th July

The 2021 sidecar season is well and truly alive after a stunning opening round at Oulton Park in which Ben and Tom Birchall claimed maximum points on their new Haith/Birchall Racing Honda. Since then, they enjoyed a weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed taking the new bike up the famous hill.

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Assen World Superbike embraces round four 23-25th July.

For the second time in a matter of weeks, The FIM Sidecar World Championship runs alongside the World SBK series.

The venue this time being the famous “Cathedral of Speed” Assen circuit in Holland where there is an almost fanatical support for the “Zijspan” class. The tradition of sidecar racing in The Netherlands goes back long way with Egbert Streuer and Bernard Schnieders winning three consecutive titles in the eighties.

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Ellis/Clement and Kershaw/Charlwood on top of the podium

FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Three
Donington Park 2-4 July

ALL PHOTOS BY MARK WALTERS, OF COURSE!

For the first time in years, the sidecars shared the stage with World Superbikes, and although Covid protocols made integration across the paddock difficult, the sense of occasion was palpable. The Donington Park track was in fine fettle, and weather perfect for free practice. The top crews in the title chase were all in action, with a good contingent of British regulars giving them food for thought.
Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau were philosophical about the Hungary disqualification, and determined to put it behind them with a strong performance here on home-ground.

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Molson British Sidecars

Birchalls lead the way in Cheshire thriller with double top

For the first time in the modern era, the sidecars were treated to two races in the Oulton Park opener. After such a long lay-off, everyone was itching to get going, and the size of the entry reflected that enthusiasm.

A clash with the FIM World Championship in Hungary took three or four top crews out of the equation, but that did nothing to detract from the quality of the on-track action.

Qualifying – Early Friday morning and the sidecars were on track at eight-thirty. Initial times had the Christie brothers looking strong ahead of Ben and Tom Birchall, with Blackstock/Rosney and Holden/Pitt very much in the hunt.

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FIM Sidecar World Championship Round Two

Close racing and late drama at Pannoniaring Hungary

Hot, dry conditions would guarantee a great weekend on a newly resurfaced track. Free practice was a close affair, with the top four crews studying each other and the general situation. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau set the standard from Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries and veteran Pekka Paivarinta/Ilse de Haas. Kees Endeveld capsized his outfit without injury to either occupant.

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