The “new look British Sidecar Championship” arrived in Cheshire with a full grid and a galaxy of stars lining up to kick-start the new season.
Three classes within each race were always going to stir the pot and that proved to be a popular and interesting development. The weather was initially kind for both free practice and qualifying, but that was not to last.
The 2022 British Sidecar Championship roars into action with two races at Oulton Park in the traditional opener over the weekend of April 30-May 2nd. This will set the scene for an eight-round series, with the now firmly established Cadwell Park Revival meeting the only exception outside of the Bennetts British Superbike calendar.
Roger Body and his RKB-F1 team have been frantically busy since close of play at Brands Hatch juggling dates for both the British and FIM World Championships, with the sole objective of running meaningful, high-profile rounds and the minimum of clashes. A top priority has been to offer all teams the opportunity to compete in both championships with a real chance of succeeding in both.
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.
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.
When crews arrive at Cadwell Park for the opening round of the 2020 season, there will be a new face responsible for all Sidecar Paddock disciplines and behaviour.
The vastly experienced Gary Bryan has enjoyed a long sidecar association, with Isle of Man TT success to his name, as well as F1 and F2 Championship honours.
Stepping back from active short-circuit competition to care-take and manage his stepson Todd Ellis, Gary has accepted the role of Paddock Manager for Roger Body’s RKB-F1 organisation. This wealth of experience, combined with Gary’s “no-nonsense” manner, will be ideally suited to the many challenges facing him on every race weekend
The role has been officially recognised by MSVR with whom he will be working closely on BSB weekends, ensuring the Sidecar fraternity maintains its high standards.
All crews are therefore reminded that Gary is working on behalf of them and the sidecar family in general to maximise and maintain the good reputation we have earned over many seasons.
We all wish Gary all the best in this new venture and give him our total support.
We are delighted to have the ongoing support of Avon Tyres our approved tyre supplier for the revised 2020 season. The relationship with Avon is well established, and they are a vital component in sidecar racing worldwide.
The opening round at Cadwell Park is the first time we will see our friendly Avon colleagues and at every round thereafter.
We are, however, anxious to make all teams aware that for the Knockhill date (September 19/20) the large Avon truck will not be heading North. They will service our needs from a smaller vehicle carrying a representative supply but will not have unlimited stock on board.
Teams are therefore advised to consider their potential needs and maybe make use of the large Avon stock at the preceding round at Snetterton BSB.
Not long to wait now boys and girls, Cadwell Park approaches.
The annual awards presentation dinner and dance takes place on Saturday 25th January at the Best Western Bentley Hotel, South Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 9NH.
Tickets are selling fast, but a number of high profile teams still have to submit their table requirements. This is by way of a gentle reminder to make sure you are there on what will be a great evening, to see our successful crews presented with their trophies.
Even before the 2019 awards have been distributed, the calendar for the brand-new season has been finalised. Run on exactly the same lines as previous years, in a prime position in the British Superbike paddock, the series takes on an even bigger significance next year.