Christies, Kershaw and Blackstock slug it out at Donington Park

Christies, Kershaw and Blackstock slug it out at Donington Park

Christies, Kershaw and Blackstock slug it out at Donington Park

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One month since the opener, you could be forgiven for thinking the teams had forgotten how to race. Nothing could be further from the truth as action got underway at the brilliant Donington Park circuit over the weekend.

A great turnout and a complete array of talent made for yet another fascinating and entertaining mix to entertain the hordes of spectators descending on Leicestershire.

Just two vital races at Donington Park in this six-round series would mean every place and every point would count, and those teams who had missed round one, had to really maximise their chances.

We were treated to world-class performances from the leading trio of outfits, plus spirited and attacking rides from the entire field.

Friday arrival was under a grey, damp sky, heavy rain having fallen overnight. The forecast for an improvement was good, so a decent set of conditions for racing was expected. Free practice got things underway with Sam and Tom Christie setting the standard on the Hannafin Yamaha just ahead of Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney (DHR Yamaha), with Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood next up on their Kershaw Racing Yamaha.

Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes were out on their TT LCR short bike, bedding in a few things before departing for the Isle of Man.


The sun was out with a vengeance, and track conditions perfect for the one and only twenty-five-minute session.

It was a strong line-up comprised almost entirely of long GP and Cup class bikes with a couple of exceptions, one being the Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes TT model, and the other the Suzuki LCR of Billy Pearson/Jon Restall.

Charlie Moss on the Lifesafety Yamaha had as passenger the seventeen-year-old, six-feet four-inch Josh Hope, having his third-only race. This pair is one of the youngest teams in terms of combined ages.

Charlie Moss

The opening flying lap put Sam and Tom Christie at the head of the pack with a 1.38.307.

The top teams were rapidly into the quicker times with Kershaw/Charlwood registering 1.35.794 after five laps, from the Christies followed by the ever- consistent Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney. Cup leaders, another young crew Sam/Jack Laidlow were fifth fastest at half-distance, ahead of Rob Biggs/Ferry Segers. The performance by the Laidlow siblings this season is nothing short of astonishing.

As the clock ticked down, pole position was going the way of Kershaw/Charlwood, with the Christies needing to find half a second to close the gap.

Blackstock/Rosney were a further two-tenths back, with the Holden/Lawrence Kawasaki fourth, but two seconds adrift.


Luke Williams/Jason Pitt sat ahead of the Laidlow brothers, as Paul/Tom Kirby pushed Rob Biggs back one more place with five minutes left on the clock.

Kershaw, still fastest, was around six-tenths shy of the lap record pace, held by Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement, absent from the event due to the up-coming Isle of Man TT. Then with two minutes remaining, the Christie brothers nailed it, going under Kershaw’s time with a 1.35.692.


1/ Christie/Christie (Pole Position)
2/ Kershaw/Charlwood
3/ Blackstock/Rosney
4/ Holden/Lawrence
5/ Williams/Pitt
6/ Laidlow/Laidlow
7/ Biggs/Segers
8/ Kirby/Kirby
9/ P. Bell/Hyde,
10/ Reeves/Wilkes

Race One

It was late in the afternoon when the lights went out on the first race. Ten laps and twenty-five miles lay ahead of the field as they streamed into Redgate for the first time.

From pole position, Sam and Tom Christie (Hannafin Yamaha) just managed to hold the advantage from Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood, with Blackstock/Rosney eyeing up the gap through the middle.

George Holden/Oscar Lawrence were slow to get going, as Luke Williams and Jason Pitt, slotted fourth, and despite putting in lap times around the 1.37’s, were obliged to call it a day after eight laps with electrical problems.

Holden gradually pulled through, fighting with Sam/Jack Laidlow all the way and following their every move. This took the rookies to fourth at the flag, with Holden/Lawrence close behind in fifth. The Kawasaki had lost its edge, and they were down on power as a result.

The Laidlow brothers, based on overall race results, now lead the complete field by nine points, from Blackstock/Rosney after this opening race. For a pair of newcomers, this is an astonishing feat.


Meanwhile, words can hardly describe the fierce action from the leading two outfits as lap after lap Kershaw/Charlwood tried every move in the book to muscle past the Christies. This was a terrific race at the front, with Kershaw setting the fastest lap of the race, and thus claiming pole position for race two.

There were good battles right down the field, with Rob Biggs/Ferry Segers giving a good showing until they hit trouble and dropped down to ninth place.

Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes ran top ten early stages, but they too retired with continued mechanical issues. Another high-profile casualty was Kevin Cable, who spun the outfit on the last lap, taking him out of eighth place.


1/ Christie/Christie (Hannafin Yamaha)
2/ Kershaw/Charlwood (Kershaw Racing Yamaha)
3/ Blackstock/Rosney (DHR Yamaha)
4/ Laidlow/Laidlow (Express Tyres/Pendragon Services Yamaha)
5/ Holden/Lawrence (Holden Racing Kawasaki)
6/ P.Bell/Hyde (Marin Motorsport Yamaha)
7/ Kirby/Kirby (KRT Adolf Yamaha)
8/ Clarke/Ensor (Centurion Packaging Honda)
9/ Biggs/Segers (Express Tyres/Santander Salt Yamaha),
10/ Atkinson/Smith (Adolf RS Mercia/RAFMSA Honda)

Race one podium

Race two

At the end of a gloriously sunny day, the sidecars brought proceedings to a close in fine style. A packed crowd had been treated to a stunning display by the Superbike stars and they were not keen to leave before all the action was over. It was vital therefore, that the sidecars put on a show, and that they certainly did. What unfolded was a breathtaking display of rivalry, track- craft and downright determination.

Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood from pole position had a plan, and that meant making the most of the start and trying to gap the chasers. This they did, with Blackstock/Rosney slotting into second, with the Christie brothers third. Next up, with a flying start, came the precocious Laidlow brothers, ahead of Biggs/Segers, the Paul Kirby ARS and Holden/Lawrence.


Having been given a fresh engine overnight, the Kawasaki of Holden seemed to have more grunt, and they used every inch of it. Once past Kirby, the challenge to get by Biggs was a different proposition.

Sadly, for Tim Reeves, his gremlins were still at work, and he did not make the opening lap, just as Luke Williams was unable make it to the line with fuel problems.

For lap after lap the three rivals at the front were covered by a fraction of a second, with Blackstock and the Christies ducking right and left to gain a clear shot at race leaders Kershaw/Charlwood.

This was an enthralling race-long battle, with Holden making his way onto the back of the Laidlows at half distance to have a serious lunge at the Esses. An excursion across the gravel and a bit of contact was the result, but the Marin Motorsport boys held firm and that was how it stayed.

This was as good a race as we have seen in many seasons at the front with it all coming down to the last lap at the Melbourne Hairpin.

Under huge pressure, Kershaw went in just too hot, the front appeared to lock up at the apex and he ran wide. A delighted Lewis Blackstock was not going to pass that up, and followed by the Christies, shot through the gap.

Kershaw recovered to claim the final podium step from an impressive Laidlow pairing and an equally upbeat George Holden. Blackstock had certainly found something, as in his post-race interview, he stated they had taken nine seconds off their total race time. That is almost one second for
each lap.

British sidecar racing is alive and well, and this one was a fine example.


1/ Blackstock/Rosney
2/ Christie/Christie
3/ Kershaw/Charlwood
4/ Laidlow/Laidlow
5/ Holden/Lawrence
6/ Biggs/Segers
7/ Bell/Hyde
8/ Kirby/Kirby
9/ Cable/Richardson
10/ Clarke/Ensor.


Are available on the British Sidecar Championship website and There is now an additional table for the overall position as well as the individual class results.

Both Donington races will be aired on our Youtube Channel, and round three comes from the Knockhill Circuit in Fife, so be sure to catch that and all other reports and news as it unfolds here on

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

Back on the big stage for round two at Donington Park

Back on the big stage for round two at Donington Park

Back on the big stage for round two at Donington Park

Holden and Lawrence
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After a full month reflecting on the opening round in Wales, the teams are now ready for the next stage in the six-round championship. This takes place alongside the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on one of the most sidecar-friendly and iconic circuits in the country. Round Two takes place at Donington Park on the Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of 17-19 May.

The standings are close all down the field in both the premier “long-bike GP class” and the Cup series, with good support from established names and new blood alike.

Sidecar racing, by definition, is different, yet incredibly exciting to watch, and Donington offers a viewing experience second to none.

George Holden and Oscar Lawrence will be hell-bent on protecting their fragile series lead in the face of tough competition from pre-season favourites Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney. Rob Biggs/Ferry Segers and Luke Williams/Jason Pitt are also right up the front, with veteran John Holden/Matt Gordon in fourth. John is enjoying seeing his son mature and deliver good results. Blackstock gave away twenty-five points in the previous round and can ill-afford to do that now that Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood have pledged support for the remainder of the season. On paper you must assume Kershaw will bring his world-class speed to Donington as he plays catch-up. It might not be that straightforward though, as also returning for this round are Sam and Tom Christie (Hannafin Contractors Yamaha) and Kevin Cable/Charlie Williams (L&W Contractors Yamaha). They, along with Kershaw, have been plying their trade at world level with many successes along the way. Eight-times World Champion Tim Reeves with Mark Wikes alongside, has also signalled his intention to do battle at Donington.

The Cup class will be no less thrilling as new names do battle, and we have Sam and Jack Laidlow, sons of TT star and Grand Prix sidecar driver Andy sitting atop the standings with a maximum ahead of round two.

Paul and Tom Kirby are next up just two ahead of former champion Ricky Stevens. The Crowe brothers head the F2 class, and it is hoped their preparation for the up-coming Isle of Man TT will not impede their participation.

A full grid across the three classes and two races over the weekend, along with Eurosport live TV or coverage on the Eurosport App, will guarantee another great sidecar racing weekend.

Live timing is on and a full report of the event will follow here on

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

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