Ellis/Clement back at Knockhill to challenge Blackstock and Rosney

Ellis/Clement back at Knockhill to challenge Blackstock and Rosney

Ellis/Clement back at Knockhill to challenge Blackstock and Rosney

Blackstock & Rosney, Express Tyre Services
Rowe Motor Oil

The Jock Taylor Memorial meeting over the weekend of 2/3 September is a well-supported stand-alone event which will see the “Best of British” go head-to-head for points in the penultimate round of the British Sidecar Championship. It is a true festival of sidecars spanning all classes and ages, including a guest appearance by Steve Webster MBE on his World Championship winning two-stroke outfit. This meeting is supported by the well-known and respected Express Tyre Services organisation, who have a long-standing sidecar racing tradition, and already actively support several of the teams competing at Knockhill.

Since double victory at Thruxton which took them to within fourteen points of series leaders Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, the Ellis/Clement dynamic duo has been in action in Assen, scoring another double win to go top of the world table in defence of their title.

Blackstock and Rosney (DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha) won both races at Knockhill last year in the BSB round, so clearly are at home on the tight track. Given they know Ellis is homing in on them, they will be pulling out all the stops to repeat that performance.

George Holden and Oscar Lawrence have hit a new level and now sit third in the title chase after two strong runner-up spots performances at Thruxton. This must go down as their best result yet on the BSB stage and they now trail Ellis by just twenty-six points.

By virtue of a non-attendance at the previous round, the Beverley based Christie brothers are now cast adrift in fourth with serious work to do if they are to make amends.

Local hero Steve Kershaw with Ryan Charlwood alongside will also be a thorn in the side of Ellis/Clement, having given them a run for their money at every clash home and abroad so far this season.

Phil Bell has a commanding lead in the Cup battle, twenty-seven points clear of Paul/Tom Kirby, and a further nine points advantage over third-placed Brian Gray/Clement Conil.

In the F2’s, Knockhill should attract a decent number of teams eager to challenge joint leaders Founds/Walmsley and Atkinson/Middleton. The showing of short outfits in this series has been disappointing, but with the added kudos of the Jock Taylor title, plus the nature of the Knockhill circuit, we  would hope to see more turn out for this round.

A full programme of over sixty sidecar outfits heralds the largest three-wheeled turnout in Scottish history, so it is a “must see event” for all sidecar fans.

Express Tyre Service logo

We will issue a full report from the event, so stay abreast of the action here on  www.britishsidecarchampionship.co.uk.


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Images available on request from Facebook/Instagram

Blackstock/Rosney hold lead as Ellis/Clement do Thruxton double

Blackstock/Rosney hold lead as Ellis/Clement do Thruxton double

Blackstock/Rosney hold lead as Ellis/Clement do Thruxton double

GP class podium race 2
Rowe Motor Oil

Fresh from a race victory in the World Championship round at the Red Bull Ring Austria, Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement had a rude awakening in Hampshire when their engine failed early in free practice. They spent the afternoon installing a replacement before the all-important single qualifying session. They clearly intended to support the championship and stake a claim to retain their title, unlike several other teams who gave Thruxton a miss for a variety of reasons best known to themselves. Injuries from the previous weekend were one factor, with the hard nature and fearsome record of the track on passengers certainly another cause.

Having said that, non-attendance does absolutely nothing for the profile and reputation of the championship, when all efforts are being made to preserve and maintain this unique branch of motorsport. The teams are allowed to drop their worst two race scores, so that might well have been a calculated gamble. By the same token, the Brands Finale will carry the customary double points, so literally, anything could happen.

Fifteen loyal teams were eager to compete at Thruxton however, so there was still plenty to fight for on track, with fine weather prevailing for the sole qualifying session.


Late in the day with track temperature good, we could expect good times. The lap record of 1.19.126 held by Ben and Tom Birchall would be a good indicator as to how far things had moved on, if at all. The best free practice time was two seconds shy of this figure, so they would need to find some more.

Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney were immediately looking fast with Rob Biggs/Ferry Segers making a good start too. Series leaders Ellis/Clement had a couple of steady laps, and then went top with a 1.21.377. George Holden and Oscar Lawrence improved after lanyard issues in free practice, to go third on lap seven. Then, with a very last throw of the dice, Blackstock/Rosney eclipsed Ellis/Clement by thirteen thousandths of one second to claim pole position, with a 1.21.364. Paul and Tom Kirby put their Adolf RS on row three as fastest Cup qualifiers.

Blackstock & Rosney

Blackstock & Rosney


Row 1/ Blackstock – Ellis, – Row 2/ Holden – Biggs, – Row 3/ Kirk – Kirby,
Row 4/ P. Bell – Currie, Row 5/ Robinson – Gray, – Row 6/ Atkinson – M. Bell,
Row 7/ Clarke – Pottinger, Row 8/ Moss.

Race One

Early rain and ongoing intermittent showers had made for an interesting track situation going into the race. The grippy tarmac was now dry, but more rain threatened as the lights went out.

Blackstock/Rosney made their trademark lightning start, heading Ellis and Clement into the complex with Holden/Lawrence close in tow. Rob Biggs and Ferry Segers also had a flyer, sitting in a strong fourth place which they were to maintain all race long.

Biggs and Segers

Biggs & Segers

Sadly, we were to lose two outfits from the fray when Craig Currie/Justin Sharp locked up and slid round going into the complex. They were then collected by Michael Bell and Shane Colbrook, extensively damaging both machines. The F2 RAF Honda of Atkinson/Middleton managed to dodge the debris but were thereafter playing catch-up. That was it for the two long bikes, with their weekend over and major repairs essential for Knockhill.

Atkinson and Middleton

Atkinson and Middleton

Meanwhile, at the front, a fantastic scrap was unfolding, with Ellis/Clement going ahead on lap three. Blackstock/Rosney were matching the lap-times and doing a great job, with the three leading outfits covered by a couple of seconds. Then it began to rain at the back of the circuit, spurring George Holden to find his fastest lap on the penultimate tour, carrying him past Blackstock at the Club Chicane into second place. This move unsettled the #95 outfit, and they dropped a few more seconds on the final lap.

G Holden and Lawrence

G Holden and Lawrence

Holden/Lawrence matched the race leaders, closing to within three-tenths of the Brookland LCR of Ellis/Clement at the flag.

Kirk and Masters were the final GP class bike in fifth, well clear of a great scrap for Cup honours, with class leaders Phil Bell/Mark Gash narrowly beating Paul/Tom Kirby in a thrilling five-way fight also involving Robinson/Fairhurst, Gray/Conil and Clarke/Ensor.

Cup Class Podium Race 1

Cup class podium race 1 – 1st P Bell & Gash, 2nd Kirby & Kirby, 3rd Robinson & Fairhurst



Race Two

The track was in perfect shape for this one, with pole position sitters Ellis/Clement in place by virtue of their fastest race one lap.

From the lights, Ellis made no mistake, although challenged hard from the outset, he made the race lead their own, never looking back until the chequered flag. It was a world-class performance in which they came close to the lap record late in the race.

Blackstock/Rosney pulled off a cracking start from row two, shooting between the front row pair, to lead Holden/Lawrence into turn one and the complex. They set after Ellis, staying close for the first couple of laps, but then the elastic stretched, and Ellis was clear away.

George Holden and Oscar Lawrence had found their feet in race one, and fancied more of the same, growing in confidence lap after lap.

P Bell and Gash

Phil Bell and Mark Gash

Meanwhile, the Cup battle was the most entertaining action, as Phil Bell/Mark Gash swapped paintwork with Paul and Tom Kirby for top honours. Craig Clarke/Pete Ensor were also involved in the early stages but were dropped away as the two Cup rivals slugged it out. Kirby was sideways on more than one occasion but held his nerve to bring it home ahead of the Cup class leaders.

Pottinger/Dodds were forced to retire at half distance, and there were three non-starters due to the Saturday crashes. Sole F2 exponents Rob Atkinson and Mark Middleton drew level with Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley at the top of their respective table.

Cup class podium race 2

Cup class podium race 2, 1st Kirby & Kirby, 2nd P Bell & Gash, 3rd Clarke & Ensor

Cup battle apart, this race lacked the close action throughout witnessed in the opener, but a good Thruxton crowd stayed to watch and appreciate.

World action beckons the top teams next weekend in Assen, with the Jock Taylor at Knockhill next up for the British regulars in early September.


1/ Ellis/Clement
2/ Holden/Lawrence
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Biggs/Segers
5/ Kirk/Masters
6/ Kirby/Kirby
7/ Bell/Gash
8/ Clarke/Ensor
9/ Gray/Conil
10/ Robinson/Fairhurst
11/ Atkinson/Middleton


GP Class
Blackstock 201.5
Ellis 187.5
Holden 161
Christie 112
Kirk 106,
Biggs 101
Currie 80
Kershaw 55
Archer 48
Cable 27

Cup Class
P. Bell 214.5
Kirby 187
Gray 178
Robinson 162
Clarke 129
Williams 87.5
Pottinger 76
M.Bell 75
Laidlow 70
Crawford 50
Hauxwell 50
Peach 43
Moss 30
Stevens 6

F2 Class
Founds 50
Atkinson 50
Gibson 22
Crowe 20

With two more rounds, five races and double points at Brands Hatch, this championship is very much alive with everything still to play for. We will bring you full preview and reports of those two events as they happen.

Stay across all the news as it unfolds on www.britishsidecarchampionship.co.uk.


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

Blackstock and Rosney lead the charge to Thruxton 11-13 August

Blackstock and Rosney lead the charge to Thruxton 11-13 August

Blackstock and Rosney lead the charge to Thruxton 11-13 August

Blackstock & Rosney with Robinson behind
Rowe Motor Oil

The fifth round of the British Sidecar Championship heads to the rapid Thruxton circuit, off the back of three races last weekend at Cadwell Park.

Well known as a daunting prospect for many passengers, this airfield track combines high speed with enormous cornering forces threatening to throw the passenger off the outfit at any moment.

Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement (Brookland Yamaha LCR) took double victories here last year and on paper are very much the team to beat. They are combining their British Championship season with the FIM World Championship, being reigning champions in both. As a result, they missed out on three races last weekend at Cadwell Park, opting to defend their world title at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. In doing so, they sacrificed the lead in the British Championship. The DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha of Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney profited hugely as a result, and now come to Hampshire with a twenty-four-point lead in the Championship.

Last year at Thruxton also saw double podium spots for George Holden and Oscar Lawrence with their Kawasaki, and they too have jumped ahead of Christie brothers Sam and Tom, who also headed for Austria last weekend. Craig Currie/Justin Sharp now sit fifth with their Honda ahead of Martin Kirk/Kyle Masters.

The Cup class is much more finely balanced behind leaders Phil/Carl Bell. With Phil Hyde on board last weekend, the Marin Motorsport Yamaha of Bell eked out a twenty-six-point lead from Brian Gray/Clement Conil, who in turn are just two points clear of Paul and Tom Kirby. Cadwell hat trick exponents Luke Williams and Jason Pitt are hell-bent on further gains, so their progress from sixth place in the standings should be fun to watch.

All-dominant Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley have the F2 lead, with little or no opposition to date.

Three rounds and six races remain, with no further FIM world clashes and Ellis/Clement in determined mood. The permutations are endless, but Blackstock/Rosney know what they must do, and the season is now set up for a grandstand finish.

Eurosport TV are covering both races, with highlights to follow on our Youtube channel. Make sure you miss none of the action by staying across all the news as it unfolds on www.britishsidecarchampionship.co.uk.


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Images available on request from Facebook/Instagram

Blackstock and Rosney head the table with hat-trick at Cadwell

Blackstock and Rosney head the table with hat-trick at Cadwell

Blackstock and Rosney head the table with hat-trick at Cadwell

Black / Rosney

The weather turned nasty as we drove into the paddock on Friday for the fifth running of the Cadwell Park Sidecar Revival with more torrential rain forecast for Saturday. That did not detract from the strong entry, despite other events taking place the same weekend.

The good news for the GP class entrants was that series leaders Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement were in Austria fighting for World honours, as were second in the title chase Sam and Tom Christie. Hannafin teammates Rupert Archer/Adam Christie along with L&W Contractor’s Kevin Cable/Chaz Richardson were also chasing the same dream.

Former champions Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood were the final high-profile defectors, but they had not entirely committed to the British series anyway. That left the door wide open for Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney DHR/Express Tyre Services Yamaha to gain big points, thus elevating them from third place in the standings. That they did with aplomb. Opportunity also beckoned for George Holden/Oscar Lawrence, and Craig Currie/Justin Sharp who arrived at Cadwell in fourth and fifth places.


The F1 Cup class was going to be very tight, with the top three split but just four points, with leaders Simon Robinson/Mick Fairhurst looking over their shoulders. Sole F2 exponents Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley were bound to stamp their mark on that class.


With Blackstock, Williams, Holden and Crawford having put their marks on the early free practice session, it remained to be seen if they could replicate that feat in qualifying. Mercifully the rain had abated somewhat ahead of the twenty-minute session, but wet tyres were still the order of the day.

It was clear from the word go that Blackstock would have a fight on his hands, with the opening challenge coming from cup runners Luke Williams and Jason Pitt. The GP Yamaha of Blackstock/Rosney made amends one lap later, going provisional pole on a slightly drier track.

Half-way through, Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley had the F2 bike fourth fastest behind Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie and ahead of Paul and Tom Kirby.


With five minutes left, Lee Crawford jumped to second, using his spare engine after blowing one earlier, forcing Blackstock to improve. He did not this time out, but still held pole, just as George Holden/Oscar Lawrence went third with one final lap left.

Row one would be Blackstock/Rosney and Crawford/Hardie, ahead of Holden/Lawrence and Williams/Pitt on row two, and Currie/Sharp sharing row three with Founds/Walmsley.

Race One

From pole position, Blackstock/Rosney shot away, opening an immediate lead into Coppice which they were to build upon as the race unfolded. Behind them a spirited charge by Crawford/Hardie got them firmly in second place, with Luke Williams/Jason Pitt fighting with F2 stars Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley.

The Honda of Founds was every bit as fast as the long bikes, but he lost ground as he made a mistake exiting Barn Corner, allowing Williams to edge by. Crawford went out on lap five with what looked like gearbox problems, so Williams then had a clear run.


In a good fourth place, George Holden/Oscar Lawrence were the best of the rest, opening a gap to ride a solitary race to the flag. Eighteen points were a good haul, but they need to find more to get with the top three in the standings. Further back, Phil Bell/Phil Hyde were having very strong ride in adverse conditions, eventually making fifth place their own, followed by Paul and Tom Kirby in an excellent sixth. Clarke and Ensor had their Honda on song, running well in the leading bunch, then lost around twenty seconds on lap six, to finish eighth ahead of the Laidlow brothers.

After a mid-pack battle around seventh or eighth place, Craig Currie jettisoned his passenger Justin Sharp on the exit from the chicane on lap eleven of twelve, this ending a good potential score. He admitted to having to fight the machine all race- long.

Eleventh in the race, but third best GP class team, got Martin Kirk and Kyle Masters onto the podium and further up the standings. This gave them a good basis for what was to be an even better result later in the day. It was a good weekend for them.


Blackstock’s score moved him ahead of the absent Christie brothers in the standings, with two races more to come.


1/ Blackstock/Rosney
2/ Williams/Pitt
3/ Founds/Walmsley,
4/ Holden/Lawrence
5/ Bell/Hyde
6/ Kirby/Kirby
7/ Robinson/Fairhurst
8/ Clark/Ensor
9/ Laidlow/Laidlow
10/ Gray/Conil
11/ Kirk/Masters

Race Two

The sun was out for this one, but as it turned out, not forever! Blackstock/Rosney once again hit the front, looking a class act throughout, to take lights to flag victory. That was an impressive feat, but lots of attention focussed on the scrap for third place as Holden/Lawrence closed on fast-starting Williams/Pitt, moving ahead on lap four into second place. Behind them, a strong battle was emerging with Bell/Hyde, Currie/Sharp, Kirby/Kirby as the GP class Honda of Currie fought its way into third place in the main class, behind Holden/Lawrence. The Kawasaki pair had their season-best result to date with runner-up spot.


Just as the race was settling into an interesting stage, with Holden intent on catching Blackstock, down came the rain and a resulting red flag after six laps completed. Not, however, before Charlie Moss had lost Adam Geddes from the sidecar when he got it sideways.

A result was declared, and half points awarded, with Blackstock/Rosney coming tantalisingly close to the head of the standings, and Phil Bell extending his Cup lead.


1/ Blackstock/Rosney
2/ Holden/Lawrence
3/ Williams/Pitt
4/ Bell/Hyde,
5/ Currie/Sharp
6/ Kirk/Masters
7/ Kirby/Kirby
8/ Biggs/Segers
9/ Clarke/Ensor,
10/ Laidlow/Laidlow

Race Three

Again, the weather was kind as Blackstock/Rosney shot from the line, opening a gap before Coppice. Such was their electrifying start, that officials deemed it a jump start, penalising the #95 bike ten seconds, dropping them to sixth place after lap one on the timing screens, whilst leading on the road.

This added huge drama as the race unfolded as George Holden/Oscar Lawrence bettered Luke Williams/Jason Pitt to lead the race mathematically.


They were to maintain this great pace following Blackstock home and enhancing their title chase into third ahead of the absent Christie brothers.

Founds/Walmsley had joined the race from the back of the grid and were making great strides through the field until they expired on lap nine, keeping their score for the weekend to a minimum.

Mid-pack the scraps were going on, with Bell/Hyde again showing a strong performance behind the leading trio of Blackstock, Holden and Williams.

The triple Cup winners Williams/Pitt jumped to sixth in the standings with their great showing.

As Biggs/Segers retired, along with Currie/Sharp and Robinson Fairhurst, the tables took on a different complexion with the Kirby/Kirby pairing moving to within two points of Brian Gray/Clement Conil in the Cup, and Appleby brothers Sam/Jack Laidlow making third place in the same class. This took them to eighth in the standings, ahead of many more accomplished names.


For newcomers cutting their teeth, this was a very encouraging and satisfying result. They were grinning from ear to ear on the podium.

Kirk/Masters completed a great day with a fine fifth place ahead of the Laidlow boys, and certainty of yet another podium. Sixth pace in the table heading into Thruxton was an excellent result.


Blackstock/Rosney protested the time penalty, and the podium was delayed until close of play, when a jury meeting and subsequent review decided there was no supporting evidence. Their win was re-instated, making it three out of three for the new championship leaders. But for half-points in race two, their margin would have been much greater.

Holden/Lawrence were therefore denied their first win, but more than justified their weekend making great inroads.


1/ Blackstock/Rosney
2/ Holden/Lawrence
3/ Williams/Pitt
4/ Bell/Hyde
5/ Kirk/Masters
6/ Laidlow/Laidlow
7/ Kirby/Kirby
8/ Clarke/Ensor
9/ Gray/Conil
10/ Pottinger/Dodd.


GP Class – Blackstock 161.5, Ellis 137.5, Holden 117, Christie 112, Currie 80,
Kirk 74, Biggs 65, Kershaw 55, Archer 48, Cable 27.

Cup Class – P. Bell 167.5, Gray 142, Kirby 140, Robinson 126, Clarke 93,
Williams 87.5, M. Bell 75, Laidlow 70, Pottinger 62, Crawford 50, Hauxwell 50,
Peach 43, Moss 30, Stevens 6.

F2 Class – Founds 50, Gibson 22, Crowe 20

Stay across all the news as it unfolds on www.britishsidecarchampionship.co.uk

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