The action resumes in the A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship at Cadwell Park over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd June, following a six week break in order to accommodate a weather - disrupted Isle of Man T.T. Races, where a number of the series regulars were competing. This weekend will see teams compete to win the “Steve Norbury Trophy”, which last year was won by Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie at Oulton Park.
In something of a break from tradition, there will be three points-scoring races at this round, opposed to the usual two. This looks set to be a highlight of the year for all followers of sidecar racing, with rounds of the Molson Group British Sidecars; Camathias Cup European Classic Sidecars, B.M.C.R.C. club sidecars and G.P. Legends Parades, featuring some of the most significant riders and machines in sidecar racing history.
Last year at Cadwell Park, Team A.R.C.'s Crawford / Hardie claimed pole position and took victory in the first race, and were in control at the front in race two, until a rare mistake saw Hardie part company with their L.C.R. Suzuki at Hall Bends, handing the victory to Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley. Sean Hegarty / James Neave took a brace of podium places, with Conrad Harrison / Andy Winkle grabbing third in race two. The F2 Cup races were won by Brian Ilaria / Olly Lace, and the 2018 F2 Cup champions Daryl Gibson / Ashley Moore.
Founds / Walmsley are chasing an unprecedented four back-to-back British F2 titles, and with three wins and a runners-up position so far this year they are certainly asserting their authority at this early stage. They enjoyed a superb T.T., placing fourth in race one, and took the final podium spot in race two, setting their personal best lap times to date around the 37.73 mile circuit. Crawford / Hardie are next up, with a win and two second places to their name, along with an unfortunate d.n.f. at Snetterton. At the previous round, Donington Park, honours were even, with a win and a further podium finish a-piece. “Wild Card” competitors Alan Founds / Jake Lowther took a second and third place, but were not eligible to score championship points, which instead went the way of Sean Hegarty / James Neave, who were fourth across the line in both encounters.
Heading the challenge to the aforementioned crews are the likes of John Lowther / Ben Binns; Harrison / Winkle; Gibson / Moore and the Ramsdens – Steve and Matty – to name just a few who are capable of getting on the podium.
Unfortunately Mike Jackson will not be in action this weekend, as he recovers from the hand injuries he sustained at Tower Bends – all at the F.S.R.A. wish him the very best in his recovery and look forward to seeing him back soon. His T.T. passenger Sarah Stokoe sustained a broken finger, so also misses out at Cadwell, with Ben Binns deputising for her alongside John Lowther. Lowther, along with Scott Hardie, had his best T.T. to date, with thirteenth and ninth places, setting a lap-time just short of 109mph, and landed the “Cyril Smith Trophy” - awarded for the most significant improvement in time over the two legs.
The F2 Cup has seen double victories for Michael Kirkup / Arlo Brown at the opening round back in April at Snetterton, and Rob Atkinson / Glenn Dawson at Donington Park. Consistent podium finishing has propelled Simon Robinson / Kez Hughes and Mick Fairhurst (Simon utilising the skills of two passengers in as many meetings!) to the top of the points standings, and at least a dozen other teams are more than capable of finding themselves at the sharp end in the Cup.
The F.S.R.A. Pre-Injection Championship leaders Rob Fisher / Rick Long, whom are unbeaten so far in 2019 will join the A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 regulars as “wild cards” at Cadwell. It would be no surprise to see them well inside the top ten, despite running an older machine running on carburettors.
The F2 Sidecar lap records for Cadwell Park are:
Super F2 – Simon Neary / Paul Knapton – 1:37.320 – 03/05/10
F2 Cup – Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley – 1:38.189 – 06/09/15
A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecars will take to the track three times each day. Saturday will feature a practice session, a fifteen minute qualifying session and a twelve lap race. Sunday will see a warm up and two twelve lap races. There is also an optional test day on Friday 21st June, so teams can be assured of plenty of track-time over the weekend.
On behalf of the F.S.R.A., may I wish all competitors, teams and spectators a safe and enjoyable weekend. Thanks go to the organising club - B.M.C.R.C. - Roger Body (RKB-F1) and the A.C.U., plus all the F.S.R.A. series sponsors for their continued invaluable assistance, those being:A.R.C. Binchester; A.V. Craine & Son; Hegarty Plant; Lockside Engineering; Pagid Racing; Rowtec Ltd; Whitby Cottages and Yorkshire Engine Supplies.