Anglesey Circuit is the host for the fourth round of the 2019 A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th August. This event marks the half way point in the series, and already champions of the last three years – Peter Founds / Jevan Walmsley (LCR Suzuki) have a commanding 65 point lead in the standings, having won six out of the seven races this year. They dropped points only in race one at Donington Park, finishing as runners up to Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie (LCR Suzuki), who occupy second place in the Super F2 title at the present time. However, the Team A.R.C. Pairing will be arriving in North Wales full of confidence having taken a dominant brace of wins at Oliver's Mount last weekend, with the popular North Yorkshire road racing circuit finally resurrected following months of uncertainty.
Both of the aforementioned teams had a successful visit to the Isle of Man last month for the Southern 100 Road Races. Founds / Walmsley won the “Sidecar Championship” race, with Crawford / Hardie taking third place in the same event. Unfortunately, it was not such a fruitful visit for Steve and Matty Ramsden, who were involved in an incident in the opening sidecar race. They will be particularly disappointed to be missing Anglesey, having taken a win and a second place in last year's event at a circuit where they always perform well. Both Steve and Matty are making good recoveries, and will no doubt be back competing as soon as possible – all at the F.S.R.A. wish them well and look forward to seeing them back in the paddock soon.
Consistent finishing in the top six has seen John Lowther / Sarah Stokoe (LCR Honda) establish themselves in a solid third place in the points tables. At the previous round – Cadwell Park, six weeks ago, Ben Binns deputised for Sarah; and he and John took a brace of podium finishes. This weekend, Tom Christie will be in the chair alongside John. Sarah had been suffering from a hand injury as a result of an incident at the Isle of Man T.T. Races alongside Mike Jackson. (Mike being another front-running driver who will be missing once again this weekend, but is making encouraging progress, and will be back racing as soon as fitness allows).
Sean Hegarty / James Neave (Baker Honda) have claimed four third places in their last five British Championship starts, and they will be aiming to build on this form and make some in-roads into the pace-setters. The 2018 F2 Cup winners, Daryl Gibson / Ashley Moore (Shelbourne Suzuki) will be hoping to score highly this weekend. Following a slightly disappointing opening two rounds, they had a busy weekend at Cadwell Park, which saw them improve in every session, placing fourth in the final race of the weekend to end on their best result of the year to date.
The F2 Cup is becoming a fascinating competition, with several teams vying for supremacy. Simon Robinson, assisted by Kez Hughes and Mick Fairhurst (LCR Suzuki) tops this category – while he has taken a single win, scoring highly in all outings so far has proved key to the team's success, and they hold a twenty nine point advantage over Rob Atkinson / Glenn Dawson (Bellas Suzuki). Due to work commitments, Atkinson missed the opening round at Snetterton, but has taken double wins at both Donington Park and Cadwell Park and will be amongst the favourites once again this weekend.
2018 F.S.R.A. Pre-Injection champions, John Shipley jnr / Milo Ward (LCR Suzuki) have made the transition to British F2 Sidecars admirably, and are currently third in the F2 Cup standings; although Shipley is franticallyseeking a passenger to assist this weekend, with Ward on B.S.B. Superstock solo duties at Thruxton. Other contenders to look out for in this sub-class include Michael Kirkup / Arlo Brown (LCR Suzuki); Brian Ilaria / Olly Lace (DDM Suzuki) and Giles and Jen Stainton (LCR Suzuki).
Last year, the weather was not as kind as it could have been at Anglesey, with strong winds being a particular problem – Wirral 100 did a sterling job getting the entire sidecar programme run after losing most of Saturday with conditions unsuitable for racing. While the action on circuit was close and entertaining, the track did not lend itself to lap record pace – although this time around all eyes will be on whether the current benchmark (which has stood for nine years) will fall. No less than five F2 lap records have already been significantly improved this year so far, and there is nothing to suggest that the trend will be bucked this weekend. Two sixteen lap races will be held over the weekend on the 1.55 mile “Coastal” circuit.
The current lap records stand as follows:
Super F2 – Simon Neary / Dipash Chauhan – 1:12.668 – 25/07/10
F2 Cup – Dave Atkinson / Phil Knapton – 1:14.091 – 08/05/11
On behalf of the F.S.R.A., I would like to express our thanks to the Wirral 100 Club, to the A.C.U. and all the series sponsors: A.R.C. Binchester; A.V. Craine & Son; Hegarty Plant; Lockside Engineering; Pagid Racing; Rowtec Ltd; Whitby Cottages and Yorkshire Engine Supplies. May I wish all competitors, their teams, officials and the viewing public a very enjoyable weekend. The next round of the series will be at Croft Circuit (North Yorkshire), at the popular “Battle Of Britain” event, featuring racing for two, three and four wheeled racing machines, over the weekend of the 17th and 18th August.