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 picturesque parkland venue of Oulton Park is the scene for the opening round of the 2023 British Sidecar Championship with two races on the schedule alongside the Bennetts British Superbikes.
A change of the rules allowing short and long outfits to compete on level terms has resulted in a strong field, thereby addressing the problem of last season which saw a recurrence of dwindling grids.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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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.Continue reading
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.
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Back at the Lincolnshire circuit where they dominated just four weeks ago, series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement were back for more over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A crunch meeting for the British Superbike Championship ensured a massive trackside crowd in party mood. The action was also scheduled to be screened live on Eurosport and Quest.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
The Isle of Man TT has come and gone, the FIM World Championship has seen three rounds of great action involving last year’s top four teams, and now it is time to resume the domestic series at the popular Fife circuit of Knockhill.
The aim of second-placed Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney must surely be to amass as many points as possible in the absence of series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement. The Santander Salt duo will be defending their fourteen-point lead in the FIM World Championship in Hungary, leaving the door open for others to capitalise.
The Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom were early entries in Scotland, with their focus being to retain their British title. For 2022 they also plan to contest selected World rounds, but having missed just the Oulton Park opener, the appeal to stay at home is obvious. That opinion is shared by Birchall Racing team-mates Craig Currie and Justin Sharpe, although a good appearance at the Estoril World finale last season whetted their appetites for more international action.Continue reading
The way time is running, we will be into full swing with racing action before we know it.
Our season kicks off at Oulton Park, with Knockhill and Brands Hatch the next up.
It is then off to Cadwell Park for the excitement and spectacle of the Sidecar Revival Festival. The early August date is guaranteed to appeal to all sidecar fans, who have demonstrated in previous years how much they welcome the variety of outfits and personalities on show.Continue reading