British F1: Snetterton practice 10-11th April kick-starts 2021 season

British F1: Snetterton practice 10-11th April kick-starts 2021 season

British F1: Snetterton practice 10-11th April kick-starts 2021 season

Snetterton Round 6 2019

Once again Roger Body and RKB-F1 Motorsport, ahead of the new season have delivered on a promise made to provide two days of pre-season testing and practice. This will take place at the centrally placed Snetterton 300 circuit. This opportunity is the result of huge effort by Roger with great cooperation on the part of MSV against a difficult backdrop of a COVID affected 2021 schedule.

The weekend of 10-11th April is earmarked for the track-time, with Saturday 10th as an exclusive sidecar booking. Three twenty-minute sessions each hour will cater for F1 national licence holders and F2 national licence holders with the third session for club, classic and others. This will be a full day of sidecar action at an entry cost of £220.00 per team.

Sunday 11th is slightly more restricted in that we will be sharing the track-time with “No Limits Trackdays” who have generously allowed us to participate in their programme. As a result, we are obliged to restrict Sunday participation
to F1 and F2 National licence holders ONLY. The cost for the Sunday is £180.00. Garage rental is available on a “first come/first served” basis with two outfits permitted in each garage at a cost of £70.00 per garage (£35.00 per team). There is exclusive sidecar availability on Saturday, although Sunday will be limited to eight garages.

Because the two days are effectively leased by two separate entities, and there are strict COVID conditions in place, Saturday sidecars will not be allowed to remain in the paddock OR anywhere else overnight. You MUST leave the circuit, and re-join Sunday morning.

Whilst this might seem to be an inconvenience, we have no alternative other than to obey the conditions laid down by the Government guidelines and circuit owners.

As stated, this opportunity has taken no small degree of energy and effort to bring about, so we are asking as many sidecar teams as possible to support the initiative and participate.

Bookings for BOTH DAYS will be online via from Wednesday 24th March CLICK ON RACE ENTRIES at

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

British F1: Oulton Park opener moved back to late June

Brands Hatch 2019

The Bennetts British Superbike Championship celebrates its 25th anniversary season against a challenging backdrop of COVID-19 restrictions and a ban on spectators during 2020.

The current regulations on crowd attendances at non-seated venues are set to be lifted on June 20th, so MSVR has taken the bold decision to postpone the start of the new season until the legions of loyal fans can return in force to support and celebrate a quarter of a century of the series.

Intrinsically linked with this decision, the British Sidecar Championship will also benefit from the returning hordes of spectators.

The traditional Oulton Park season opening race will now move to the first available restriction-free weekend, that being 25-27 June.

The two other rounds scheduled prior to 21 June (Thruxton and Snetterton) have also found new homes later in the season. Round two now finds itself at Knockhill 9-11 July.

All rounds except for the Oulton debut event will each feature two races with the new schedule making for an action-packed if somewhat tight season. First and foremost, the prospect of having spectators returning trackside is the all-important factor and one which will be of huge benefit to the teams.

The revised dates are as follows –

25 – 27 June Oulton Park 1 race
9 – 11 July Knockhill 2 x races
23 – 25 July Brands Hatch GP 2 x races
30 July – 1 August Thruxton 2 x races
6 – 8 August Cadwell Park (ISR) 2 x races
20 – 22 August Cadwell Park 2 x races
3 – 5 September Snetterton 300 2 x races
1 – 3 October Donington Park GP 2 x races
15 -17 October Brands Hatch GP 2 x races
British F1: New talent going for 2021 glory in “Generation Game”

British F1: New talent going for 2021 glory in “Generation Game”

British F1: New talent going for 2021 glory in “Generation Game”

Philp / Bryant

Fresh ground was broken at the end of the 2019 season when a youngster, almost a rookie in fact, beat all the established stars to the British Championship title. Todd Ellis, partnered by the experienced Chaz Richardson set the paddock alight, and made everyone sit up and notice.

It’s a known fact sidecar crews can continue racing at a high level far longer than their solo counterparts, and that has led to the age profile in the paddock tending to be higher. The number of youngsters coming into the sport is small, so when we do get real talent at an early age it is something to be celebrated and promoted. In most cases, the younger element is attracted by family involvement with the youngsters growing up alongside three wheels rather than two.

For 2021, three such riders will be hell-bent on making their reputations and following in the footsteps of Todd Ellis.

Tommy Philp made his full debut last year having dominated the Bemsee Club Championship in 2019 with Jonny Allum as passenger.

Now aged 25, Tommy began at the age of 11 on an Aprilia and quickly got to grips with club racing. 2010 saw him lift the BMCRC MRO Superteen Championship before crossing to the BSB paddock on Motostar and 600cc Superstock machinery. 2014 came, and he took overall victory in the MRO 600 Supersport series on Yamaha, with the Champion of Brands and Snetterton titles going his way the same year.

Three more seasons in the British Supersport paddock at BSB and it was time to move to three wheels. His father Bill was an extremely successful sidecar racer at National and World level and is more involved in Tommy’s sidecar career today than he has ever been.

With Tom Bryant now in the chair, Tommy had a couple of British Championship rides to see out 2019, and the pair then had a promising but interesting 2020. Seventh place at the end of the year with mechanical woes did not reflect their capability, so for 2021, we can expect big things from Tommy Philp and Tom Bryant.

Another youngster stepping up, with less actual track time behind him, but an absolute wealth of sidecar knowledge and experience in his head, is George Holden son of TT winner John Holden. Sidecar racing is in the DNA of the Holden family, and John is a regular front runner not just in the Isle of Man, but at British Championship and Grands Prix events. The experience and advice he will be able to pass to George is immense and will seriously shorten the youngster’s learning curve.

George and Oscar Lawrence

George is 27 years old and only began racing in 2019 on an F2 Windle at Darley Moor, teaming up with nineteen-year-old passenger Oscar Lawrence along the way. They moved to Bemsee events in 2020 on an F1 becoming Champions despite the COVID crisis. A promising toe in the water at the Brands finale rounded out the year, and all eyes then turned to 2021. Passenger Oscar too has strong pedigree, as his father Rick partnered Roger Lovelock to British Championship glory. John Cable and Ian Barnes are the main sponsors of this exciting new pairing who will campaign a Suzuki LCR. This young duo will still be learning the game, but certainly have all the theory and support they need to get quickly on the pace.

No so young, but still only 30 years of age and already well established, is Lee Crawford from Bishop Auckland. He and Scott Hardie made a few cameo appearances last year on their TT spec Suzuki powered F2 outfit and really put the “cat among the pigeons” with victory at Donington Park. The highlight of their season however was a clean sweep at Oliver’s Mount. For 2021 they are committed to the British Championship. They have now invested in an ex-John Holden Kawasaki LCR long chassis so will be on level terms.

Crawford / Hardie

A lifetime of racing karts at the top level gave Lee all the track-craft he needed before following in his father Mike’s footsteps with sidecar outfits. To say that Mike has been influential in Lee’s career would be understating a well-known fact. Lee was there in the race paddock from the age of 8 years and became steeped in the sport. Mike has travelled every step of the way supporting Lee, and in doing so has earning himself a reputation as a passionate and lively member of the paddock.

This is another example of sidecar DNA filtering into the next generation, and Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie will be ones to watch once they master the long bike.

So, the series is in good hands for the future, but how easily will the old guard step aside? Not for a minute methinks, but what a prospect we have before us.

British F1: Three makes of F1 Chassis on the grid in 2021

British F1: Three makes of F1 Chassis on the grid in 2021

British F1: Three makes of F1 Chassis on the grid in 2021

Ryde F1 chassis

Four decades of top-level F1 sidecar racing around the globe have seen one chassis manufacturer dominate.

Such is the level of his engineering prowess and innovation that Louis Christen’s monocoque LCR design stood head and shoulders above anything else available at the time, setting a standard which could only be emulated. In its illustrious history, LCR has won no fewer than thirty-six FIM World Championships. That statistic alone speaks volumes.

There have been other manufacturers present, and indeed the late Terry Windle produced a chassis which claimed five world titles in the hands of George O’Dell, Jock Taylor, Darren Dixon and Steve Abbott. Colin Nicholson’s RCN design also met with approval and was used by several continental teams with varying degrees of success.

A relative newcomer to the scene, the Bavarian Adolf RS1 chassis made an immediate impact in the hands of Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes taking them to the 2019 FIM world championship title. As a result, the Adolf RS design has become accepted as a suitable alternative to LCR with John Holden, Simon Gilbert and Rupert Archer also favouring the marque.

It is fair to say that the LCR design is fundamentally correct and hard to improve on. Therefore, to embark on a totally different concept would serve no purpose other than for the sake of being different. To that end, it is a question of making small but important changes and evolutionary development such as LCR themselves are doing courtesy of Ben and Tom Birchall who handle manufacture and distribution of the brand under the title of LCR-UK.

They are also revolutionising the LCR F2 version using their own vast Isle of Man TT experience in that direction. Now there is another new name to conjure with. Dean Ryde, owner of Billet World and a precision engineer in his own right, has been involved in sidecar racing and chassis and parts manufacture for several years. He has embarked on an ambitious project which sees him tooling up at considerable expense to produce a rival to LCR and Adolf RS. The style is unmistakeably LCR inspired, but he has built in his own tweaks and modifications which will differentiate his design from the other two, and hopefully give a competitive edge.

Dean’s goal is to have his chassis running in the British Championship in the hands of a good team by the end of the season. The first chassis has been commissioned and built for Scottish sidecar enthusiast Boris Stroud who will lend it to Phil Bell for evaluation and testing early in the season with a view to racing it at BSB at some stage.

Nineties racer Chris Wright has also ordered a chassis for himself but is also keen on allowing a top British runner to stretch its legs. Another chassis is being prepared for Dean’s own use and as a test bed for potential customers to try. Several top names have already expressed interest, so it looks like the Ryde F1 has arrived. This is borne out by the first order for Australia, confirming global recognition for the new chassis.

The world of F1 sidecar chassis manufacture has never been livelier and with three brands lining up, interest will certainly be high when the new season gets underway.


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