Following a season and a half out of racing after a crash at Cadwell Park crash in which he broke his back, the fan's favourite British Superbike rider will once again campaign three wheels in 2019.
In an extension to the close relationship forged between himself and TAG Racing Yamaha during 2018 in which Chris became involved with technical advice, set-up and testing, he will race an R6 powered LCR Sidecar in Anvil Hire/TAG Racing colours.
His passenger for this exciting new venture will be Tom Christie, the youngest of three racing brothers from a Lincolnshire family steeped in sidecar racing.
The TAG Racing sidecar venture will complete the team line-up already announced, in which gritty Yorkshireman and BSB regular Dan Linfoot is paired up with the ever improving Shaun Winfield. Throughout 2018 “The Stalker” worked with Shaun on race and track-craft, resulting in his best season ever in terms of points gained, and progression into Q2 for the first time. This involvement will continue as part of Chris's commitment to the team, whilst at the same time launching a full-scale attack of the new format 600cc British Sidecar Championship.
Chris's return is the result of a concerted effort involving Roger Body of Santander Salt, Rob Winfield team principle of TAG Racing and BSB series Director Stuart Higgs.
Chris is under no illusion the challenge ahead is a tough one, and goes into the season with his eyes wide open.
“ I thoroughly enjoyed my debut year with a sidecar outfit and loved every minute of it. 2017 was less successful and ended up with me being injured half-way through the year. I am first and foremost a racer, and I do have unfinished business in this championship. There is no way I wanted to end my racing career off the back of an injury, and I was very grateful to Rob Winfield for giving me the chance to be in involved in their Superbike team last season, which also gave me the chance to ride again. Whilst not 100% fit, it allowed me to realise the passion and desire for racing was still there.
This new venture is another step in that relationship and gives me the opportunity to hopefully get myself back to racing competitively.
I know it will not be easy, but I have a great team behind me and an enthusiastic young passenger with a proven track record”.
At just twenty-one, Tom Christie already has five years experience, starting with his father and gaining British and World podiums last season.
“I am thrilled to be given this chance to team up with Chris, and I would like to thank TAG Racing for the opportunity. I can't wait to get started”
Chris and Tom go to the annual Val de Vienne test session in March, and that will be the first time Chris has sat in an outfit since his big Cadwell crash. He is very excited, but at the same time he knows the scale of the task ahead.
“I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike, and the French test will tell me everything I need to know about the new 600 and how I fare physically after the injuries I sustained last time out. We will start steadily, get to know each other and hopefully build on that”.