Author: Barry Nutley

RKB-FIM-Superside

Championship joy in Estoril for Ellis/Clement as Schlosser/Fries fight all the way

Huge thanks to Mark Walters for all images!

Left to Right, Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood (3rd in World Championship)
Todd and Emmanuelle (Winners of 2022 World AND British Championship)
Marcus Schlosser and Marcel Fries (2nd in World Championship, 2021 Champions)

The last weekend in October is often tricky for its weather in Portugal, and we were not disappointed. Track temperature on arrival hovered around twenty-two with an ambient of twenty. Humidity was also high with periodic rain forecast for the weekend. This cliff-hanger finale was poised to give victory to Santander Salt’s Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement with their fifty-one-point advantage. Their goal surely must have been to put the title out of reach of rivals and defending champions Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries in the opening race. Double points in both races however were a major consideration for both contenders. This factor could also radically change the complexion of the table further down the order.

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World Championship

Estoril hosts gripping title decider 28 October – 1 November



For the second year in a row, the final round of the 2022 FIM Sidecar World Championship travels to Estoril, Portugal for the closing two races of the season. The event also marks the swansong of Roger Body’s RKB-F1 organisation as promoter of the series. Roger is standing down after a lifetime involved in sidecar racing both as a competitor and as figurehead.
On behalf of the entire international sidecar racing community, we thank Roger for his efforts and commitment over many years, and more recently persevering through a difficult time as promoter of two championships.

Image by David Johnston (although the watermark makes that obvious)
Todd and the hiding Emmanuelle
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Molson British Sidecars

Ellis/Clement claim title for Santander Salt in epic Brands thriller

The final race weekend of the British Superbike calendar sported a full entry of over twenty sidecars to see the season out. Friday free practice took place in fine weather conditions, with qualifying later in the day. With double points on offer over the two races, there was still an opportunity for the title to go one of three ways. Clear favourites, nineteen points ahead were Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha). Ever hopeful in second place sat Sam and Tom Christie (CES Yamaha), with third placed Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyres Services Yamaha) a further sixty-one points back.

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Molson British Sidecars

Ellis/Clement poised to take title at Brands Hatch 14-16 October

Despite not able to add to their score at Donington Park, Santander Salt’s Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement head for the final round with a nineteen-point lead over nearest rivals Sam and Tom Christie. Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney are a further sixty-one points back but still with a mathematical chance of success. The two races at Brands both carry double points, with one hundred points available on the final weekend.

Ellis will be acutely aware of this, as indeed will be the Christie brothers. The boys from Beverley will be focussing on strong finishes in both races, maximising their opportunities and hoping for the best. They have significantly improved this season and have a race-winning pace.

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RKB-FIM-Superside

Sidecar Festival to provide classic backdrop for round seven

The Motorsport Arena of Oschersleben, mid-way between Hanover and Berlin is the scene of the penultimate round in the FIM Championship 2022.

The popular and demanding 2.3-mile-long circuit will welcome Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Santander Salt Yamaha) as series leaders on September 30-October 2 after a six week break in World Championship activities.

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Molson British Sidecars

One apiece for Birchalls and Ellis/Clement at sunny Snetterton

There was a sombre mood across the paddock early on Friday morning following the announcement of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the previous evening.

The MSVR organisers moved back the start time for Friday practice and scheduled an hour of “quiet period” at lunch time during which no engines would be run or track activity take place. Given the series’ title is “The British Superbike Championship” these measures were entirely appropriate.

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Molson British Sidecars

Ellis and Clement take unbeaten form to Snetterton 300  

Snetterton preview from Barry Nutley – 10/11 September

With a full house of eleven victories from as many starts, the Santander Salt pairing of Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement will arrive in Norfolk in record breaking form over the weekend of 10-11 September.

Two weeks ago, at Cadwell Park they demolished the lap record twice to confirm the fastest ever three wheeled lap time. It remains to be seen if they can manage the same at the very fast and technical Snetterton 300 track.

They now enjoy a commanding lead in the points table from Beverley based Sam and Tom Christie on the CES Yamaha. They in turn are well clear of a somewhat frustrated Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) who have suffered one DNF and a mysterious loss of speed since double victory at Knockhill propelled them to the head of the standings. They vowed to be at Snetterton with a fresh attitude and a quicker engine, so let us watch with interest how and if that pledge is fulfilled.

Closing rapidly in fourth with a string of podium finishes are George Holden and Oscar Lawrence on their Holden Racing Kawasaki. Their speed has steadily increased over the season, but they still must find the top podium step.

One year ago, Ben and Tom Birchall were double winners on this track on their way to the title, but they have yet to register an attendance or any points in the series this season. That should change, as they have signalled their intention to compete, along with fellow Birchall Racing teamsters Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe. The grid is much stronger than in previous weeks anyway with some new names joining the fray. Dean Nicholls and Belgian passenger Ruben Janssens are back to see the year out, and former car racer Luke Williams is down to join in the action. World runners Kevin Cable and Charlie Richardson (L&W Contractors Yamaha) are also on the list of returning crews. The Snetterton circuit is a favourite with teams and spectators alike and at this crucial stage in the championship is bound to deliver great racing action. 

Every round so far has been very close at the front, with great battles between the top four teams. Eurosport once again will cover both races either live TV or the Eurosport App.

Media  Matters – Barry Nutley               barry.nutley@btinternet.com

Fearsome Thruxton marks half-way stage in 2022 title chase

The Molson Group sidecars head for Hampshire over the weekend of August 12-14 at the mid-point of a topsy-turvy season. With some top crews absent in the early season rounds, Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) had built a decent advantage going on to round three at Brands Hatch. A retirement cost them dear, compounded by double victory for Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement on the Santander Salt Yamaha. Last weekend, three more races at Cadwell Park Revival put a different complexion on the standings, with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement emerging series leaders after ruling the roost with a devastating performance. They took three wins in Lincolnshire, smashing all known sidecar records along the way.

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Molson British Sidecars

Ellis/Clement masterclass at fantastic Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival

The weather was very kind, and the entry was superb across all classes for the fourth Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival. This Bemsee organised meeting is the only one outside of the British Superbike calendar and caters for all classes of sidecars ancient and modern.

Three races for the Molson Group F1 Championship with seventy-five points up for grabs were a meaningful target for all concerned, with Ben and Tom Birchall making their first appearance in the series this year.  Both they and Craig Currie/Justin Sharpe were out on their short chassis TT Honda engine projectiles. They would not be eligible to take points however, due to their technical specification, and chose to compete in the FSRA F2 category. Todd Ellis had a degree of experimentation with the new Ryde F1 chassis, putting it through its paces extensively in Friday testing with great success. This was home ground for Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement, and they would be going for it as usual. Trying to stop them would be the top two crews in the series, Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and Sam/Tom Christie.

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RKB-FIM-Superside

Ellis and Kershaw take one each in Donington showcase event

The huge crowd at the Donington Park World SBK round witnessed stunning action from the Superside teams on one of the hottest weekends of the year.

Twelve crews had firm entries for this crucial Donington event, but UK Border Control officials eliminated French father and son team Ted and Vincent Peugeot before they even left France. Young Ted was prohibited from travelling due to his passport not having enough “safety margin”, in that it expired a matter of weeks from his due travel date. Once again, post Brexit legislation dealt a blow to sport, and to a particularly talented but cash-strapped crew.

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Molson British Sidecars

Double top for Ellis/Clement but Christies extend lead as Blackstock and Rosney falter

Photos by Ian English

An eclectic mix of competitors made for a very interesting grid at Brands Hatch for the third round.

From World and British Championship regulars and series leaders for both series, to new names and wild cards testing the water for the first time, the weekend was always going to have an unknown flavour. Certain predictions were inevitable, but equally there were surprises along the way. For the first time ever, the Santander Salt team featured two lady passengers, as Sarah Stokoe joined Rob Biggs alongside Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. Sarah is well known in the sidecar world, partly as George Holden’s partner, but also for her exploits alongside multiple TT winner Rob Fisher in classic racing.

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RKB-FIM-Superside

Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement bring reduced lead to Donington Park 15-17 July

The Donington Park Round of World SBK will once again host the Superside family in the fifth round of what has been an outstanding Championship year.

Whilst grid numbers have not been high, we have witnessed fierce four and five-way battles at the front, and equally strong scraps all the way down. The half-hour highlights TV Show filmed at each round has extended the audience and attracted new viewers to the sport.

Marcus Schlosser/Marcel Fries (Gustoil Yamaha) have closed to within sixteen points of series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. At the previous round in Croatia, the Santander Salt Yamaha failed to finish the second race, giving added impetus and encouragement to the defending champions. Last year at Donington Park, Schlosser suffered the same fate, so he will be hoping history does not repeat.

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RKB-FIM-Superside

One each for Kershaw/Charlwood and Ellis/Clement in Croatia

(Sorry no photos on this one, my mistake, too slow downloading and the link expired)

This famous track in Rijeka Croatia was the perfect setting to begin the second half of what has been a stunning season of racing so far.

The twenty-three-point advantage held by Santander Salt’s Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement would need protecting, as main rivals Markus Schlosser/Marcel Fries knew full well that everything was still to play for at this stage of the year.

In scorchingly hot conditions, the teams prepared for a replay of the amazing racing from Hungary just a few days before. Free practice on the 2.6 miles circuit with its long straights, got underway prompt at 1pm on Friday. All teams spent the session in familiarisation and set-up, with no dramas or problems to report.

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Molson British Sidecars

Knockhill thrills as the title lead changes hands

From Barry Nutley

As the southern half of the UK basked in Mediterranean temperatures, Fife was a total contrast, with a very wet opening day on Friday.

A relatively small entry was amplified by a clash with the FIM World Championship in Hungary which kept the series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement away.

Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau also signalled a late change of plan and were not present, along with double TT winners Ben and Tom Birchall. This left the door well and truly open for others to capitalise.

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