Ellis/Clement in sparkling form taking all three at Donington Park

Ellis/Clement in sparkling form taking all three at Donington Park

Ellis/Clement in sparkling form taking all three at Donington Park

Rowe Motor Oil

With twenty-five points on the board and fresh from World Championship duties, early series leaders Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement were in determined mood on the newly re-surfaced Donington Park. Twenty-two teams were entered for round two with German lubricant giants Rowe Motor Oils as sidecar event sponsor, but Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters were excused at the last minute due to Kirk’s mother suddenly being taken ill. Greg Lambert was already Isle of Man bound, so was another absentee.

New names however, included Craig Currie/Justin Sharp and Gordon Pottinger/David Dobbs. It was good to see Currie back and riding the Robinsons of Bawtry Honda LCR. As it transpired, he had a good weekend.

Currie / Sharp

Thanks to the flexibility of the MSV organisational team, the cancelled race from Oulton Park was built into the programme late on Friday afternoon, so this was a very busy three-race weekend for the teams with seventy-five points up for grabs.

Free practice saw Ellis/Clement resume control as fastest on track with a good showing by the Christie brothers Sam and Tom. George Holden/Oscar Lawrence, and Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney also got quickly in the groove.


Track conditions were perfect with a slight breeze for the one session. With three races on the programme, this was a truly meaningful weekend, so qualifying needed to be right!

Ellis/Clement (LCR Brookland Yamaha) were right on lap record pace from lap two, setting a storming 1.36.455, chased by the Christie brothers. On lap four, the boys from Beverley had their Yamaha under the record and claim provisional pole. Both these top crews had clashed last weekend in Germany, so it was a case of “déjà vu” for them. Next lap and Ellis had once again broken new ground into the one-thirty-fives, underlining his determination. The Avon tyre rule for this season allows a maximum of four new tyres over the weekend, so care needed to be taken.

Blackstock/Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) were getting to grips with the new bike, ahead of Holden/Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki) trying desperately to close the gap. It was no real surprise that Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther (Team ARC/Marin Motorsport Yamaha) were fastest of the Cup runners, with no F2 outfits present.

Holden / Lawrence

Craig Currie/Justin Sharp followed Crawford home, so those were the top three rows taken care of ahead of race one.

Race One

The lights went out and the charge to Redgate was on. Initially Blackstock/Rosney and Sam/Tom Christie were vying for the lead having got the jump on the pole sitters, but that was short-lived as Ellis/Clement swept in front round Redgate. Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther were in this leading bunch too, and stayed with them all race long.

The Christie brothers showed the speed they enjoyed all last season and into this year, fighting with Ellis/Clement. Blackstock and Crawford made it a close affair up front, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence holding fifth just a few seconds back. As the race unfolded, the two teams at the front both went under the Birchall brother’s lap record, with Ellis breaking new ground on lap seven with a 1.35.050. Andy Peach/Ken Edwards did not start due to a blown engine earlier in the day, and Rupert Archer/Adam Christie made only two laps before they too were side- lined with front end damage. The other non-finishers were Craig Clarke/Peter Ensor after a spirited nine laps.

Top Cup performance saw a great effort by Crawford/Lowther, making the podium in third place.

Crawford / Lowther

1/ Ellis/Clement (LCR Brookland Yamaha)
2/ Christie/Christie (Hannafin Contractors Yamaha)
3/ Crawford/Lowther (Team ARC/Marin Motorsport Kawasaki)
4/ Blackstock/Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
5/ Holden/Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
6/ Currie/Sharp (Robinsons of Bawtry Honda)
7/ Biggs/Segers (Express Tyres Services/Santander Salt Yamaha)
8/ Gray/Conil (Brian Gray Powerbiking Yamaha)
9/ Bell/Bell (Bell Racing Marin Motorsport Yamaha)
10/ Robinson/Fairhurst (Alan Blaylock Haulage Yamaha).

Race Two

Saturday dawned beautifully sunny with those conditions prevailing all day. There was a strong breeze, but the impact on sidecars is far less than their solo counterparts. Ten laps lay ahead of the twenty-strong grid as the lights went out.

Once again it looked as if Ellis/Clement would lose their pole position advantage, but just as before they swept round Redgate as if they were on rails into the lead. Corner speed is a huge strength and that is just one area where they are very strong.

The Christie brothers and Blackstock/Rosney gave chase. With Crawford/Lowther once again at the sharp end. Crawford was to set a personal best and the third fastest lap time on lap three as he mixed it at the front.


Biggs/Segers and Currie/Sharp were making good progress ahead of a fantastic five way battle involving Gray/Conil, Archer/Christie, Simon Robinson and Mick Fairhurst, Phil/Carl Bell and Clarke/Ensor. This raged for lap after lap and was thoroughly good entertainment, with Archer getting the verdict to go sixth in the closing stages.


Phil and Carl Bell had the grandstand seats behind this lot and were poised to take advantage of any slips. One more lap and they would have nailed a slowing Brian Gray.

Rob Biggs finally seems to have conquered the gremlins which plagued his start to the season. It was good to see the number five outfit lapping consistently at almost identical lap times to Currie/Sharp. The latter crew moved into a very good fourth place when Crawford, having fought at the front all race, went out on the final lap with a front wheel issue. This must have caused real heartache after such a strong performance.

Craig Currie and Justin Sharp are a valuable addition to the series and more that capable of getting the Honda on the podium. We look forward to continued improvement from this colourful pair.


Andy Peach and Ken Edwards started at the back of the grid and fought through to a very creditable eleventh place ahead of Paul/Tom Kirby. Meanwhile, Ellis/Clement had opened a four second lead over the Christie boy, with an improving Blackstock/Rosney a further eight seconds back on a bike with which they are still finding their feet.

Race 2 Cup podium

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Christie/Christie
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Currie/Sharp
5/ Biggs/Segers
6/ Archer/Christie
7/ Robinson/Fairhurst
8/ Clarke/Ensor
9/ Gray/Conil
10/ Bell/Bell.

Race Three

More glorious sunshine greeted the paddock for the final day of this BSB weekend. Ellis/Clement were poised to continue their unbroken run of success, and who would bet against them. Again, the Christie brothers made the best start, leading the entire first lap, with Ellis/Clement in keen pursuit.

Blackstock once again was hassled by Crawford, who was clearly enjoying things on track. Biggs and Segers were settling in as the passenger adjusted to the new track, and they dropped into fifth place. The bike was now running well, and they could concentrate on riding to what turned out to be a fine fourth place.

Holden/Lawrence made good progress from the back of the grid and were in tenth when on lap four. Then they were out once again with a problem. Another crew in trouble was Blackstock/Rosney, pulling into pit-lane and losing one lap. They were to glean a couple of points finishing in fourteenth.

Further down, Cup leaders Robinson/Fairhurst were involved in a battle with Currie/Sharp and Archer/Christie, narrowly missing out on fifth place to Currie when Blackstock pulled in. Currie rounded out a good weekend moving to fourth in the GP class standings after just three races.

As for Ellis/Clement, there was no mistaking the superb quality of the defending champions, with a flawless display and maximum points carrying forward to Snetterton.

Crawford/Lowther’s efforts finally paid off with a much-deserved podium.

Race 3 Cup Podium

1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Christie/Christie
3/ Crawford/Lowther
4/ Biggs/Segers
5/ Currie/Sharp
6/ Robinson/Fairhurst
7/ Archer/Christie
8/ Bell/Bell
9/ Gray/Conil
10/ Kirby/Kirby.


GP Class
Ellis/Clement 100
Christie/Christie 86
Blackstock/Rosney 70
Currie/Sharp 52
Biggs/Segers 50
Holden/Lawrence 36
Archer/Christie 30
Kershaw/Charlwood 22
Kirk/Masters 14
Cable/Richardson 12.

Cup Class
Robinson/Fairhurst 90
Gray/Conil 78
Bell/Bell 78
Kirby/Kirby 68
Crawford/Lowther 50
Hauxwell/Taylor 50
Bell/Colbrook 50
Clarke/Ensor 38
Moss/Geddes 24
Pottinger/Dodds 20
Peach/Edwards 16.

Highlights of the races will be on our Youtube Channel shortly.

The third round comes from the Snetterton Circuit 7-9th July.

Photo credits: Snap-it Photography
Images available on request from Facebook/Instagram

Ellis/Clement lead into round two at Donington Park 19-21 May

Ellis/Clement lead into round two at Donington Park 19-21 May

Ellis/Clement lead into round two at Donington Park 19-21 May

Rowe Motor Oil

Just three weeks after winning the single opening race at Oulton Park, Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (LCR Brookland Yamaha) will arrive at the famous Donington Park circuit for what they hope will be more of the same in their defence of the title on 19-21 May. With just five points splitting the top three crews, there is every expectation this will be a cracking weekend.

Sponsor for the Donington Park round is Rowe Motor Oil, a German-based company with a strong tradition in Motorsport.

Donington is a favourite with the sidecars and has borne witness to many brilliant races over decades both at Grand Prix and British Championship level. Despite its flowing nature, the circuit also suits determined F2 drivers on their short chassis machines. “New for 2023 rules” allow three types of machines to compete in the same race with a separate points structure for their respective class. This also helps those teams campaigning the lower spec. long outfits as well as the FSRA spec. short bikes.

Due to the proximity of the up-coming Isle of Man TT, F2 entries are less than before, but there is still a strong support for the Donington round.

In the premier class, the battle is close with Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Group Yamaha) having given Ellis a run for his money in Cheshire, as indeed did the brothers Christie, Sam and Tom, now resplendent in Hannafin Contractors livery.

These three crews sit at the top the standings, with George Holden/Oscar Lawrence the best of the rest in fourth place. Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) are bedding in a brand-new bike, but need to be on the pace at Donington if they are to stay in touch in the early stages.

Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes left Oulton empty-handed after an on-going oiling problem ruled them out of the race. They are entered for the Donington Park round, and it is to be hoped they can compete on level terms.

The season on the whole, will be a close-fought affair, as both Ellis and Kershaw have the odd world round clash, allowing Christie and Blackstock among others to gain points in their absence.

In the F2 class, Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley were dominant at Oulton Park with Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst heading the F1 Cup class. Like Tim Reeves however, the TT looms and that is likely to affect the F2 teams’ decision to ride.

Having said that, another strong field has entered for round two, with the promise of a colourful and entertaining spectacle on a world-class circuit.

Photo credits: Snap-it Photography
Images available on request from Facebook/Instagram

Ellis/Clement take race two in style

Ellis/Clement take race two in style

Ellis/Clement take race two in style

Round 1 podium

The “new look British Sidecar Championship” arrived in Cheshire with a full grid and a galaxy of stars lining up to kick-start the new season.

Three classes within each race were always going to stir the pot and that proved to be a popular and interesting development. The weather was initially kind for both free practice and qualifying, but that was not to last.

The opening track action saw Sam and Tom Christie (Hannafin Yamaha) resume the strong form they enjoyed towards the end of last season, topping free practice by over half a second from Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood Quattro Group Yamaha), with reigning Champions Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (LCR Brookland Yamaha) a similar distance back in third.


This feat was repeated in actual qualifying with the Christie brothers leaving it until the final flying lap to once again head the pack and claim pole position. Ellis bettered  Kershaw this time, recording second fastest with George Holden and Oscar Lawrence grabbing fourth from Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes struggling with lubrication issues. They would be hoping to cure these gremlins before the race itself.

Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney completed a top six for a GP class qualifying rout with Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley seventh and quickest of the F2’s.

Cup honours for the long bikes went to Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther who complete row four alongside Founds/Walmsley.

Race One

Sunday turned out to be a fiasco for the entire sidecar paddock in addition to those who were already in trouble mechanically. It began damp, with rain having fallen overnight. The rain continued into the afternoon, with the track never really drying out.

Tim Reeves had been working tirelessly to overcome his oiling system problems, so he was hoping for a good race.


Rob Biggs was another rider plagued with mechanical woes and he too was still busy fettling his Express Tyres Services Yamaha all day Sunday.

Then one hour before the off, the heavens opened again, delaying the start of the Supersport race ahead of the sidecars. A thirty-minute delay pushed the sidecar start into the church curfew time and out of business. There was no Sunday race, but one of extended length late on Monday afternoon.

Race Two

Morning warm-up was again damp, but Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes set a good fastest time, recording five laps with no apparent trouble. Sadly, for Rob Biggs, the Express Tyre Services Yamaha dropped a valve, so his weekend was done. A full grid took advantage of the session, keen to get on track having twiddled their thumbs for the entire day before.

By the time the race came to the line, the bad weather had all but blown through, with late afternoon sunshine evident. Track conditions were perfect, so a good race was finally guaranteed.

From the lights, pole sitters the Christie brothers (Hannafin Yamaha) grabbed the lead into turn one with Ellis/Clement (LCR Brookland Yamaha) hot on their heels and Kershaw/Charlwood (Quattro Yamaha) third. Sadly, for Tim Reeves, a potential four-way scrap was ruined when his hand went in the air on lap one. The oil problem was not fixed, and the Bonovo Action/Rich Energy Yamaha’s day was over.

Ryan Charlwood

Meanwhile, the three at the front were at it hammer and tongs, with Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement diving under the Christies at Hislops. Getting past, into the lead and away was a matter of urgency, but the Beverley brothers were not giving up without a fight. All three outfits were in the 1.43’s for much of the race, as Ellis moved to within a fraction of his own lap record.

Kershaw and Christie had a race-long fight resulting in Kershaw muscling past on the run down from Hill Top to grab second spot. It was too late to catch Ellis however, but runner-up spot was a satisfying result. Sam and Adam Christie, in their new Hannafin livery, proved yet again their worth and consistent race performance.

Behind them, a frantic scrap was headed by a flying F2 outfit in the hands of Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley. This stellar performance by Founds was at the head of a four-way scrap involving George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki), Lee Crawford/Jake Lowther (ARC Marin Motorsport Kawasaki) and Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha).


Crawford exited proceedings on lap five, with Holden/Lawrence nailing fourth after eventually passing a brilliant F2 class winner Pete Founds to register a lonely fourth place. Second in that class and twelfth overall were impressive youngsters Daryl Gibson/Rhys Gibbons shaking down their brand-new CES chassis ahead of the TT. They were chased home by Manxmen Ryan and Callum Crowe also refining their Haven Homes Honda LCR for the new season.

Ellis held his lead, albeit shortened to five seconds, but such was the dominance of the World Championship runners at the front, they finished twenty seconds clear of Holden/Lawrence, with Founds and Blackstock a further ten seconds back.

A returning Martin Kirk with Kyle Masters on board registered a good seventh ahead of the F1 Cup battle between Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst on the Alan Blaylock Haulage Yamaha and Paul/Tom Kirby with the first of the Adolf RS chassis’ home.


Seventeen outfits finished a good twelve-lap race, well and truly shaking out the cobwebs and giving many plenty of food for thought before Donington Park. Whilst not featuring in the result, Andy Peach can feel justly satisfied with his job at the helm of his first British Championship meeting.


1/ Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement (LCR Brookland Yamaha)
2/ Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Group Yamaha)
3/ Sam/Tom Christie (Hannafin Contractors Yamaha)
4/ George Holden/Oscar Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
5/ Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley (Team Founds Racing 72 Honda)
6/ Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha)
7/ Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters (MK Racing Yamaha).

Class results

1/ Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst (Alan Blaylock Haulage Yamaha)
2/ Paul Kirby/Tom Kirby (KRT Racing Adolf RS Yamaha)
3/ Phil Bell/Carl Bell (Marin Motorsports Yamaha)

1/ Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley (Team Founds Racing LCF Honda)
2/ Daryl Gibson/Rhys Gibbons (CES Yamaha)
3/ Ryan/Callum Crowe (Haven Homes LCR Honda)

Round Two comes from Donington Park 9-21 May.

Photo credits: Charlotte Hewett

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