F.S.R.A. F350/Post Classic/Pre-Injection Sidecar Championship
Round Five - East Fortune 20th & 21st August
Words - Dave Tibbles
What a great meeting - not a negative comment from anyone even after teams travelled long distances and Saturday racing being dominated by rain. The Melville Motor Club provide the friendliest atmosphere in a well organised paddock with free electric for all. Thanks to our new championship sponsor "Lane Building Services", which allowed the Melville Club to reduce our entry fees by twenty five pounds in providing our own trophies which benefited all our championship teams financially.
Sidecar racing not being as well supported as in past years at East Fortune has seen some recent sidecar races being cancelled. Last year before the Preinjection class was introduced in our FSRA championship only two teams entered this round. But this year ten club entries and seven in our championship produced seventeen on the grid - their best showing of sidecars for some time.
Saturday Race 1
Changeable weather made tyre choice a lottery - the correct option was definitely wets, but I risked slicks. Because, for the first time ever, I bought a new set of Avon wet tyres and due to the cost I did not want to wreck them in a semi wet race, but as I learnt the hard way on the warm up lap East Fortune race surface does not let the water drain away easily. We managed to wobble around the first two corners then opened the throttle which produced a couple of 360 degree turns which provided enough inertia to catapult Mark Edwards my passenger into the field. Well that was our race one over; it was so slippery that there were only three finishers in our class. Rob Fisher / Rick Long increased their championship lead with a win. Second were Bruce / Ashley Moore. Marianne Walford / Kerry Hughes third - they may had been two laps down but finish and on slicks on their 600 Thundercat - well done.
Saturday Race 2
I learnt my lesson and following abuse from Mark (!) wet tyres were immediately fitted, for years I have scrounged or bought second hand tyres even last year I had some old slicks hand cut - they were all rubbish compared to the real thing. It's getting towards the blunt end of the year, ask Santa for a set off wet tyres they are phenomenal! Rob and Bruce were first and second once again, but we took third. All teams finished with Tony / Neil Wheatley (Ireson TZ750 Yamaha) fourth, fifth Mark Burns / Steven Winford (Baker 1200) The Ladies sixth and after a couple of visits to the local countryside during the race, Gerald / Daniel Hodgson (Honda 600) were Seventh.
Sunday Race 1
It’s sunny - no rain life’s back to normal - dry and sunny! All teams restarted eventually after a red flag incident on the second lap of the initial start. Rob / Rick were away with the Moore family chasing as per usual until Bruce’s engine cried "enough" and was forced to retire. However, the Wheatleys TZ was going the best it has for some time and after a couple of laps of swopping places with him, his TZ motor came out the corners quicker than my FJ. Fourth were Mark / Steve, with the Hodgson family next but sadly the ladies were relegated to spectators after an electrical problem.
Sunday Race 2
There was insufficient time for the Moore team to change engines - they missed the final race. The first three machines were all Yamaha’s Rob / Rick 600 Yamaha Thundercat; Wheatley’s two stroke TZ750 second; Mark and I third on the air-cooled FJ1200. The Ladies fixed their electrical problem to grab fifth position between fourth placed Mark Burns long wheel base Baker 1100 Suzuki and the Hodgson’s 600 Honda sixth.
Thank you to the Melville Motor Clubs officials and marshals for a great weekend and a thank you to Adrian Lane of Lane Building services for his support of our championship.