Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th May 2016
Words & Images - John Mushet
The second round of the ACU/FSRA British F2 Sidecar Championship took place over the weekend of the 7th and 8th May 2016 on the 1.9 mile National circuit at Donington Park in Leicestershire, with two more races in the twelve race Championship. Hosted by the North Gloucester Road Racing Club, bright hot weather greeted the teams in what promised to be two days of exciting action from this very competitive Championship. After two very impressive wins at Oulton Park, the question was who was going to stop Pete Founds and passenger Jevan Walmsley. A morning practice saw all the FSRA competitors on the track along side the NG club sidecars. An early casualty was Dean Nicholls and passenger Ben Avison when their new engine blew in the session. This was followed by Gordon Shand and passenger Phil Hyde having technical faults, so both teams had plenty of work to do before getting back on the track. Dwight Beare and passenger Ben Binns were also having to work on their machine and missed the race. Another ten minutes or so would have seen them taking to the start line.
The afternoon race over ten laps was started in perfect conditions with Sean Reeves and passenger Dean Kilkenny taking the lead. They were soon overhauled by Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley and then Lee Crawford and passenger Patrick Farrance. Founds increased his lead heading down into Craner curve persued by Crawford and then Ian and Carl Bell, who was having plenty of attention from Steve and Matty Ramsden. As the race developed no-one had any answer to Founds and Walmsley who looked in complete control despite being chased down by Crawford and Farrance. The two father and son teams of the Bells and Ramsdens were enjoying a great tussle for third place, whilst Reeves and Kilkenny were leading Harrison and Patterson. A good battle was developing midfield between Morphet and Halliburton, Christie and Christie and Hanks and Perry.
Increasing their lead, Founds and Walmsley sat a new lap record of 1.14.79 and crossed the finish line 5.14 seconds ahead of Crawford and Farrance followed a further six seconds behind by the Bells.
In the cup competition an eighth place gave Blackstock and Rosney the win with the Gibsons in ninth spot putting them in second; and a tenth place for Dukes and Moralee saw them take the third place in the cup competition.
Knowing that he had another race on Sunday, Sean Reeves showed some true sportsmanship when he loaned his outfit to Gordon Shand and Phil Hyde for the NG club race so they could obtain another signature for their Isle of Man race licence. Well done Sean.
The Sunday weather was glorious. Morning warm up saw Nicholls and Avison, Beare and Binns and Shand and Hyde taking to the track.
So, ten laps in 25 degrees greeted the teams for the afternoon race. On the warm up lap Dukes and Moralee pulled in and retired from proceedings. From the start the imperious Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley took the lead hotly pursued by Crawford and Farrance and the Ramsden’s followed by the Bell’s, Harrison and Patterson, Reeves and Kilkenny.
Founds took total control after only a couple of laps. It was behind them that the drama started to unfold. The race became something of a war of attrition with sidecar after sidecar retiring either through mechanical problems or leaving the track. The first big name to go was Harrison and Patterson, then in no particular order Blackstock and Rosney, Beare and Binns, Lille and Chandler, Hanks and Perry, Shand and Hyde, Baker and Killingsworth.
Back to the race, and back markers were now coming into play which seemed to hold up Crawford and Farrance whilst Founds and Walmsley increased their lead. Then on the last lap Crawford and Farrance retired with a mechanical problem. Founds and Walmsley crossed the finish line 16 seconds ahead of the Ramsdens followed by the Bells in third.
Finishing in sixth gave the Gibsons the cup win, with the Christies in second with a seventh place finish followed by Morphet and Halliburton in eighth place given them third in the cup.
Judging by the results it was a good weekend to be in a father and son team!
Thank you to Jennie Simmonds ( granddaughter of Bill Boddice) for presenting the Bill Boddice Trophy to race winners Peter founds/ Jevan Walmsley.
Many thanks to all the NG staff in supporting the FSRA at their meeting. The series now moves to Anglesey in June after the TT. As I posed the question at the beginning, “Who is going to stop Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley?”
Good luck to all the teams competing in the Isle of Man.