Sleaford F1 sidecar driver Gary Horspole with passenger Jimmy Connell recorded a brace of point scoring results in round seven of the British F1 Sidecar championship at Thruxton on Sunday although it could have been three results if the third race had not been abandoned.
Free practice went well for the pair in the dry and they recorded a sixth place but it was a different story in qualifying later in the day as it had been raining and the track was wet. Gary has never been comfortable racing in the wet and today was no different. He ran wide at Village and clipped the wet grass which flipped the outfit onto its roof and caused a red flag which ended the session. Luckily Gary and Jimmy escaped unhurt and the outfit just had minor damage and a lot of wet grass to be removed before the first race on Saturday.
Starting the first of three eight lap races from a ninth row grid position Gary and Jimmy got a good start and moved up into 15th place on the first lap. They gradually reeled in Robinson/Smithies and passed them on lap four to move into 14th but they were too far away from the next outfit so had to be content to cross the finish line in 14th position. Because two riders ahead were in the F2 class Horspole and Connell were awarded 12th place in their class and the four championship points that go with it.
Horspole and Connell set off at the start of the second race from the seventh row and got a fantastic start up to 10th place on the first lap. On lap two they passed MacLaurin/Hope and Archer/Thomas but Archer got back ahead again on lap three leaving Horspole and Connell in eighth position. As the race wore on they edged nearer and nearer to Ellis/Richardson and finally overhauled them on the final lap to cross the finish line in a strong seventh place to pick up nine more championship points.
Horspole and Connell were to start the third race from the second row and got away well to lead the riders around the first corner but there was a multiple bike crash which brought out the red flag on the first lap. The riders once again lined up for a quick restart but on the warm up lap yet another outfit crashed and this time the race was abandoned because of lack of time.
Gary said: “I was really disappointed the race was abandoned as we were going well and I was looking at a top result. But these things happen in racing and luckily apart from a few broken bones for the riders involved and some severe damage to their outfits no one was seriously hurt which is the main thing.”
These two results place Gary and Jimmy in seventh place in the rider standings on 93 points with the next round at Gary’s local track of Cadwell Park next weekend, August 20th when he and Jimmy will be seeking another two good, points finishes to maintain their position in the British championship.