Our intrepid sidecar fiend Ruby Pring was on hand at the weekend to share in the pain of the boys from Kershaw Racing who did not have the greatest of times at Caldwell Park in Round Three of the British Sidecars Championship.
Ruby told us: “Hasn’t been the best weekend for Kershaw racing at Cadwell Park. However this team showed their determination.
“In race 1 the team ended up off the track and hiding in the tyre wall. Both Steven and Stuart were not hurt however the fairing definitely needed seen by a doctor. As the team leaped over the mountain and flew for halls bends the crash occurred.
“For Race 2 they had to start from the tenth row, back of the grid, as they didn’t finish the first race. They were determined to get to the front and quick the only thing that stopped them was having no brakes ironically. An issue which had been from the crash.
“The pair were certain that they were getting one finish this weekend. Back of the grid again for a 14 lap race. Passing more and more each lap and closing gaps each time. Setting the quickest lap time of the race. Picking their way through the pack they came through with a great 4th place.
“Every racer has their bad weekend let’s hope that this is the last for team Kershaw. Four days to go and they will be competing at their home track showing everyone how it’s done. Well done and good luck for Knockhill! Proud to know and be a sponsor of this great team!”.
A full report of the racing is below:
Race One – Kershaw and Clark got a flier from the lights, and looked totally in control on lap one, with Ellis/Richardson firmly in tow.
Behind, Blackstock/Rosney and Holden/Cain were also locked in a family battle, with John Holden eventually getting the verdict.
The pace at the front was fierce, and Ellis moved past to lead the reigning champions, who tried lap after lap to find a way back past the young Cadwell specialist. As they approached tail-enders, Ellis made the move past, and Kershaw, keen to do the same, went off-line at Hall Bends, and piled into the air-fence.
They were not hurt, but the bike was bent, so they were out. This left the field clear for Ellis and Richardson to take an easy victory with the Santander Salt Honda.
Behind them, Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde and Chris Walker/Tom Christie were both making progress, with Ben Holland/Lee Watson and Andy Peach/Ken Edwards also in the hunt.
Sadly, Ben Holland's fairing came loose on the JG Speedfit/Quattro Plant Kawasaki, and dropped onto the wheel. They were therefore another crew out of the running.
John Holden and Lee Cain got the better of their team-mates, and raced to a brilliant podium spot. Walker and Christie were then sitting fourth, but in the closing laps dropped to sixth place and ten points.
Result – 1/ Ellis/Richardson (Santander Salt Honda, 2/ Holden/Cain (SBR Kawasaki),
3/ Blackstock/Rosney (SBR Yamaha), 4/ Bryan/Hyde (CVR/GBM Honda),
5/ Biggs/Schmitz (Taurus Tools Honda), 6/ Walker/Christie (Santander Salt/TAG Racing Yamaha) 7/ Peach/Edwards (Lifesafety Yamaha), 8/ Kirk/Smithies (MK Racing Yamaha).
Race Two – The grid was based on race one result, so Ellis/Richardson began where they left off and shot into a lead they were never to relinquish.
Behind them, the Barnes/Silicone crews of Blackstock/Rosney and Holden Cain were once more at each other. Just as before, the TT veteran Holden wound in his younger team-mate and surged past for another fine second place.
Meanwhile, Kershaw/Clark were fighting through from twentieth on the grid, before they retired with brake problems on lap six, when up to fifth place. This weekend was not going to plan for the champions.
Rob Biggs and Jerome Schmitz were having a really good ride on their Taurus Tools Honda, and followed Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde home for a fifth place which would move them third in the title standings, for now at least.
Sixth place came from a sterling performance by Martin Kirk and Shellie Smithies with their MK Racing Yamaha. This on a track where they crashed so heavily last year, with Shellie sustaining serious pelvic injuries.
Ben Holland and Lee Watson once again retired the JG Speedfit/Quattro Plant Kawasaki with coolant problems, and a repeat of the loose fairing.
Chris Walker sadly had ended his efforts for the day, so was looking forward to Knockhill and round four to improve his position.
Result – 1/ Ellis/Richardson, 2/ Holden/Cain, 3/ Blackstock/Rosney, 4/ Bryan/Hyde,
5/ Biggs/Schmitz, 6/ Kirk/Smithies, 7/ Founds/Lowther, 8/ Peach/Edwards
Race Three – Once more Kershaw and Clark were at the back of the grid, and once more Todd Ellis and Chaz Richardson shot into a lead which would prove insurmountable for anyone else to conquer.
Ben Holland and Lee Watson had similar challenges to Kershaw, and both crews set about hauling their way through the pack over the fourteen laps.
Holden/Cain and Blackstock/Rosney resumed their private battle, with John Holden once again triumphing for a hat-trick of second places. This would project him and Lee Cain into sixth place in the standings, whilst Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney were destined to leave Cadwell Park in third place, just one point ahead of Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde. The CVR/GBM Honda pairing were not far off the podium in every race.
Blackstock and Rosney have returned to the British Championship bringing all the experience from a year on the World Championship trail, and it showed. They surely must now stick with this success story here at home.
Meanwhile, the progress by Kershaw/Clark through the field was meteoric, and they set fastest lap in doing so.
The traffic was a real handicap in the early stages, and fourth place was as high as they could climb in fourteen laps before the flag came out. They were at least able to salvage some points from an otherwise disastrous weekend, leaving them fifty-one points adrift of their young team-mates going to Knockhill.
Holland and Watson made it through to eighth, so they were not empty-handed either heading for Scotland.
Rob Biggs and Jerome Schmitz had another solid ride, and whilst now fifth in the standings, are only two points off third place. Similarly, John Holden and Lee Cain are sniffing their leathers, just two points further back. This is all to play for, and we are only three rounds into the new season.
Worthy of mention is the gallant effort by Alan Founds and Jake Lowther, who took their short chassis Cloud Vapours Yamaha to three consistent scores, moving them twelfth in the table.
Result – 1/ Ellis/Richardson, 2/ Holden/Cain, 3/ Blackstock/Rosney, 4/ Kershaw/Clark,
5/ Bryan/Hyde, 6/ Biggs/Schmitz, 7/ Founds/Lowther, 8/ Holland/Watson.
Standings – Ellis/Richardson 129, Kershaw/Clark 78, Blackstock/Rosney 64,
Bryan/Hyde 63, Biggs/Schmitz 62, Holden/Cain 60, Peach/Edwards 47, Gray/Pitt 43,
Christie/Christie 42, Holland/Watson 37, Cable/Masters/Lawrence 33, Founds/Lowther 31,
Round Four with three races comes from Knockhill in Scotland next weekend.
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