Photo Credit - Jenny "Triker" Wells
Knaresborough sidecar racers John Chandler and Karl Schofield have enjoyed a successful year, having joined forces half way through the season aboard their Shelbourne Yamaha outfit. Taking a runners up placing in the Darley Moor Championship (despite missing half of the rounds), and having a trouble-free week at the Southern 100 races on the Isle of Man, they are looking to build on these results for 2016.
Running older "carbed" R6 motors, John and Karl impressed greatly at the Southern 100; qualifying seventh quickest on a grid which was dominated by World, British and TT Champions. Finishing in a very respectable ninth and twelfth positions in the two races, the pair were delighted to set their personal fastest ever laps around the 4.25 mile road circuit; and more so, return home with a 100% record of reliability. This was followed up with a fine sixth place finish at the Oliver's Mount "Cock O'The North Continental Road Races" the week after, in a meeting which was cut short due to deteriorating track conditions.
After initially using the two day meeting at Darley Moor in June as a test for the newly acquired outfit, John and Karl took home a brace each of wins and runners up placings, and in finding themselves elevated up the Championship table, they took part in a further two events at the Derbyshire circuit. A top six place at the "Stars Of Darley" event in October saw them finish an extremely respectable second in the championship to popular British Championship regulars Howard Baker / Mike Killingsworth.
Photo Credit - Tracey Jones
Aiming to finish the season on a high, John and Karl raced at the Auto 66 Club "Sidecar Bonanza" at Cadwell Park. Qualifying well inside the top fifteen in the "A-Final" for F2 machinery - an event which had attracted over forty machines in this class - they had some close on-circuit tussles with Richard Hackney / Andrew Mitchell; Al Hawkins / Lindsey Croft; Jim Noble / Shaun Chandler; and Rod Bellas / Glenn Dawson. With two eleventh placed finishes on Saturday, and fourteenth in the opener on Sunday, things were looking good for a top ten placing in the final race of the weekend, and indeed the season. Unfortunately, this was not to be: the outfit of Hackney / Mitchell spun at a rate of knots approaching Chris Curve, throwing Mitchell from the platform, John and Karl took evasive action, leaving the Hawkins / Croft combination nowhere to go whilst following at close-quarters. A coming together saw both passengers thrown off, quickly bringing out the red flags. Medics and marshals dealt quickly with the incident, Karl was uninjured in the skirmish, while John's foot took the brunt of the impact, which will need some treatment in the coming weeks, whilst the outfit emerged relatively unscathed! John and Karl send their best wishes to the other crews in their recoveries over the next few weeks.
Whilst John had not competed in the first half of the season, Karl once again had a successful T.T., pairing up with Debbie Barron, where they continued their impressive 100% reliability record, completing the races in 34th and 30th places respectively. Karl also raced at some B.M.C.R.C. events with David Hirst aboard his F1 machine, registering several podium places at Silverstone. Looking ahead to 2016, the pairing hope to continue their successes, with the meetings attended to be confirmed.
John and Karl wish to thank their wives: Helen and Suzanne; along with their families and friends for all the support they have received in 2015. Thanks also go to Beermonsters M.C.C.; Staiano Motorcycles; Anode Electronics; K.S. Joinery; 3D Motorcycle Training and Piranha Promotions for their assistance during the year; and additionally to Conrad Harrison, Tim Langham and Dave Tibbles for their valuable input.
Photo Credit - Jenny "Triker" Wells