2018 has seen six weekends of top quality action from the F.S.R.A. / Lane Building Services Pre-Injection Sidecar Championship, and hopefully that precedent will continue at this weekend's concluding round, held at the annual "Sidecar Bash". With the title still to be decided, and a potential 125 points to be scored, it is mathematically possible for any one of eight teams to land the championship - although it will take a monumental effort for anyone to displace leaders John Shipley / Milo Ward, who take a fifty one point advantage to Cadwell Park.
With three races on the agenda for Saturday (the third being the trophy race), and two on Sunday, it is clear that consistency and reliability over the weekend will be as important as going for all out race wins. The larger capacity outfits of Shipley / Ward (1000 Ireson Yamaha) and Simon Horton / Adam Buxton (1100 Wintec Suzuki) have had an advantage at many of the open, fast circuits. East Fortune saw contrasting luck for these pairings - the former took all four victories (after some close encounters all weekend with Joe Heys / Gary Wheeler), while Horton (who had a stand-in passenger on board), had an excursion into the Scottish countryside in practice, cutting short his weekend. With all repairs made, they will be back on the grid this weekend, intent on avenging their misfortunes north of the border.
With the tight and twisty technical nature of Cadwell Park, the more nimble 600 machines are less likely to be at a disadvantage here. John and Doug Chandler (600 Ireson Yamaha) sit a mere ten points in arrears of Horton / Buxton. They too did not pick up points at East Fortune as John had family commitments (with Doug driving but obviously scoring points in his own right). With second and third places both failing to add to their tallies, Mark Burns / Steve Winfrow (900 Baker Honda); Hayley Capewell / Helen Deeley (600 Windle Thundercat) and Jody & Reece Sims (600 Derbyshire Yamaha) all scored well over the weekend, and there is most certainly going to be a dispute for the championship top six until the last race of the year! Rob Fisher / Rick Long (600 Baker Yamaha) are also making their first appearance of the year, and there is no doubt that they will be at the sharp end of the field.
Once again, there is an excellent depth of entry, and Auto 66 have granted that the class will have their own grid all weekend. With so many points available and so many teams in the mix an exciting weekend of sidecar racing lies ahead, along with classes for F1, F2, Classic, Vintage, Morgans and BEARS. Thanks as always go to Pagid brakes for providing the £50 cash donation to be raffled on the Sunday for all eligible championship teams, and of course to Lane Building Services for all their support throughout the season.