Two strong points finishes maintain Gary Horspole and Jimmy Connell's seventh place in the overall standings at the season finale which took place at Brands Hatch on Saturday. The Sleaford F1 sidecar driver and his Scottish passenger were competing in the final two races of the British F1 Sidecar championship at the Kent circuit over the weekend and rode well in the differing weather conditions.
Free practice was run in the wet on Friday but by the time the sidecars went out for qualifying the rain had stopped. However the track was still damp and slippery making progress very difficult. Gary and Jimmy completed the session in 20th place to begin their first race from the 10th row of a large grid full of riders, but the race was delayed and eventually reduced from 10 to just six laps.
As they finally got away Horspole and Connell found themselves down in 22nd place on the first lap. Again the track was damp and slippery but although the pace was slower than usual Horspole soon began to make progress and when the pair crossed the finish line at the end of the six laps they were holding 13th place and picked up a further three championship points.
Starting the second race from the seventh row Horspole and Connell got away to a better start and were determined to take advantage of the double points on offer in the final race of the 2015 season. They completed the first lap in 11th place before making their move forward to cross the finish line at the end of the 10 lap affair in a fine eighth position.
Horspole said: "We have had a good season this year and substantially improved our position in the rider standings. I have to thank Jimmy for his support throughout the season; he has proved to be a very competitive passenger whose dedication has enabled us to secure some good results especially as we crashed during qualifying for the first round at Donington resulting in Jimmy damaging his shoulder. Despite the injury he was soon back in action and bravely returned to the championship although still in considerable pain.
"Thanks also go to all our sponsors and supporters, Sleaford Quality Foods and Baker Plant Hire plus Oxford Products for the supply of our HJC helmets that have protected us throughout the season."
This strong set of results consolidate Horspole and Connell's seventh place in the rider standings with a total of 147 points which is a vast improvement on this time last year when they were 11th.
pic credit Dave Yeomans