It is with regret that the ACU are suspending all competition and social activity until 30th April 2020, but this will be constantly reviewed. This is in response to the emerging guidance issued by HM UK Government in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
All permits for events during this time will be cancelled and reimbursed in full to the organising club/ promoter. As the National Governing Body would ask all ACU Members to act responsibly and follow the Government’s guidance during this difficult time. We have a responsibility and duty of care to our staff who will be working from home, so please be patient with any queries you may have.
As of writing (17th March 2020) HM Government have advised:
– Persons to work from home where possible
– People over the age of 70 to minimise social contact
– Emergency services will not support mass gatherings
– Stop non-essential travel
– Avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants and cinemas
This statement is supported in its entirety by AMCA
It has been a long, wet winter, but the wait is almost over.
Before the teams assemble at the Oulton Park Circuit in Cheshire for the opening round, most of them will have spent an exhausting off-season building new machinery, and many will also have taken the annual pilgrimage to Val de Vienne for pre-season testing.
The registered number of teams for the series at the time of going to press, sits at twenty-five, with virtually all of those indicating a full season.
Add to those numbers any late entries, and the inevitable wild-cards from overseas, and it is a very promising line-up for British Championship honours.
Whilst reigning World Champions Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes once again are placing sole focus on the FIM World Championship, now also promoted by RKB-F1, the former World Champions and multiple TT winners Ben and Tom Birchall have announced their intention to stay here in the UK to concentrate on their LCR chassis business, the Isle of Man TT, and the Molson Group series.
This is good news for British fans, and will give the Mansfield based brothers a real chance to lift the title with consistent UK appearances. Apart from 600cc Cup success in 2016, the British premier sidecar championship has hitherto not been high on their list or priorities.
The increased profile of sidecar racing in the UK, and the wide exposure given by the live Eurosport TV coverage, has resulted in a far greater sense of achievement and reward for those crews who aspire to be champions.
There is however, an ever-increasing number of crews lining up to claim the prize.
Among them, the Santander Salt sponsored outfits of reigning champions Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, and 2018 champion Steve Kershaw, who is breaking in a new passenger in the shape of the very enthusiastic and capable Jason Pitt.
Both these teams will be combining the domestic challenge with a full onslaught for FIM World honours.
The same is true of the Silicone Barnes Racing outfits of John Holden/Jake Lowther and Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney. The distinctive blue and white livery of these crews was omni-present at the sharp end of the British Championship last season, so expect nothing less in 2020.
A second consecutive season following a year out with injury is very much on the cards for Chris Walker and Ashley Hawes. The TAG Racing Yamaha duo were really in the groove at the end of last year, and Chris is hungry for victory. The former Superbike and solo star has yet to climb to the top step of the podium, but the signs are all there that 2020 could be the year that happens. Walker and Hawes will also be targeting selected World rounds, so the British presence on the FIM stage will be a strong one.
Former double champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood have ended any speculation about their future together, by once again lining up in Kawasaki colours as part of the Massingberd Mundy official Green Team. They are keen to reclaim the titles they won on the 1000cc bike, being strong advocates of the successful move to 600cc power. Expect also to see them doubling up with World Championship rides where they see fit. Team-mate is once again Ben Holland, who this year is joined by Jed Pilmoor-Brady. A former regular at the front, Ben has lost none of his speed, and shows a real passion to get back in the winning groove.
Young talent comes in the form of Tommy Philp, now partnered with Tom Bryant. Sponsored by Roberts Construction and Tops Autos, the Yamaha pair showed their worth as newcomers towards the end of last season, and will almost definitely be among the front runners from the word go this year.
Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz are another young pairing with huge potential, and are now well accustomed to each other and the Taurus Tools outfit, although they are now favouring Yamaha power over the tried and trusted Honda CBR 600.
There is now strength in depth all down the field with a strong blend of experience and youthful talent. Thirty crews on most grids will indeed be a spectacle, and as the final plans are put in place for the new season, it is truly a mouth-watering prospect lying ahead of us.
We will be previewing the opening round at Oulton Park shortly, and updating you with any last-minute changes and rider additions.
Meanwhile, work goes on behind the scenes to fine-tune and tweak what will undeniably be a stellar year for sidecar racing both here and on the world stage.
The season opener at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit has traditionally offered just one race for the sidecar fraternity, mainly due to the constrained time allowed on track.
Church regulations dictate reduced noise on Sunday, so it has always been hard to fit two sidecar races into the busy schedule.
However, the sidecars continue to build their reputation with the BSB organisers and we have been able to negotiate two races, thereby giving the many track-side sidecar enthusiasts two bites of the cherry.
The two races will take place on Saturday however, with practice and qualifying on Friday.
Given that Eurosport TV now give full attention to the entire weekend, it is therefore highly likely that both races will attract TV coverage.
This is a new departure, great news for the teams and the Championship, and is one more example of the close relationship between MSV and RKB-F1 Motorsport.
All teams are reminded that registration needs to be by the end of February, and there are still many crews yet to sign up for 2020.
They will need to contact Mike Dommett firstname.lastname@example.org as a matter of urgency if they wish to be on the grid at Oulton Park.
The 2020 season sees the departure of Ryan Charlwood as passenger from the Massingberd Mundy Savage Spanner Kawasaki team, and the arrival of Jonny Allum in the chair to form the “Team Ricky and Jonny” partnership.
Due to other commitments, Ryan has taken the decision to stand down from the Team. We wish Ryan the very best of luck in his future endeavours.
Jonny steps into the team as an experienced passenger and reigning #bemsee F1 Sidecar Champion, after a fantastic 2019 season alongside the talented Tommy Philp.
Catching up with Ricky, who is now raring to go for the 2020 season, he has said, “It was a real shame to lose Ryan, we have been through so many great times together, including winning the 2015 and 2016 British Championships, which I could never have done on my own. “I’m really excited to have Jonny onboard, we train together, work together and get on like a house on fire. Sometimes such a big change can reignite that fire inside, and already, that hunger and determination is greater than ever to get out there and reclaim that British Title”.
An excited Jonny said, “It’s an honour to be joining the Massingberd Mundy Kawasaki team, even more so, to be going racing with my best mate…Me and Rick have grown up dreaming of racing together, being it 2 wheels or 3.But unfortunately, we just went down separate paths and Ricky ended up with Ryan as a full time passenger… Nevertheless, here we are. “It’s a great opportunity for us both, and believe me, we are both training hard and are more commited than ever to make a success of this”.
The newly formed duo are looking to kick off with a week of pre season testing in the south of France (Val de Vienne) in March
Simon Gilbert is trying to get a list together of sidecar teams who would take part in a 2 day test at Blyton Park (near Gainsborough) end of February/early March.
Simon would have to hire the circuit and get everyone to share the cost – so is looking for at least 10 teams for both days to get the cost down to 300 for the weekend, the more people go the cheaper it will get. This is comparable to a club meeting entry price but of course a load more track time, basically open circuit.
The date is not set yet, this is to gauge interest so speak to Si and when he has a few people interested he will work everything out. You can find more details of Blyton Park on their website, click the logo below.
For Simon’s contact details please click read more!
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.