Husband and wife Sidecar racing team Giles and Jen Stainton from Upton made a late decision to travel north to East Fortune for a change of venue and opponents at the weekend resulting in three top 10 finishes to their races.
Jen said: “We made a quite late decision to travel to East Fortune last weekend and the long journey along with a week of engine swapping meant that we were pretty tired when we got there!"
“We had been experiencing what we thought was an engine problem but in actual fact it was a broken wire in the harness which was reasonably easily resolved.
We were both fairly nervous of being at a new track but that was the whole reason we elected to do East Fortune rather than Darley - to feel pushed out of our comfort zone! Giles had previously passengered here before but it was completely new to me and Giles had never driven here before.”
The first practice session was conducted in torrential rain so Giles and Jen were cautious and just took their time to learn the track layout. They completed the session in 10th place overall in a mixed grid of F1 and F2 outfits
In drying conditions they were able to push a bit more in qualifying but were a little over ambitious which resulted in a small pirouette at the final chicane. But they recovered well to complete their qualifying in 11th place with a lap time of 1m 21s.
The first race took place on a dry track and the pair were excited to be racing within a grid full of riders they hadn’t raced with before. They were involved in some race long battles and managed to pick off a few resulting in a ninth place finish and reducing their personal best time to 1m 11s.
In race two the following day the pair had an enjoyable race improving their approach to some sectors resulting in an eighth place finish and yet another improvement to their lap times with a 1m 09s.
The third race was a non event as another outfit shunted them from behind on the warm up lap causing damage to the outfit, forcing a withdrawal and hurried repairs in time for the last race.
Knowing the final race was their last opportunity to work on some improvements to their approach to some of the corners Giles and Jen eagerly took their positions on the starting grid. They had a fantastic race long battle with Pring/Bonsall and at the same time defend their line against Minns/Henderson and crossed the finish line in a fine sixth place, their best result of the weekend.
Jen said: “We went into the weekend after quite a fraught week of preparations but it was worth every bit of effort. We were absolutely blown away by the Melville Club and the brilliant organisation of the event. The welcome that we got from all of the other sidecar teams was so lovely and we would like to thank everyone for being so kind to us on our first trip; we will definitely return. Thanks to Stuart, Lee, Sandy and Scott for your advice. Steve and Nicola for your company, cakes and help! Not forgetting our supporters and sponsors.”