British F1: Double top for Team Santander Salt whilst 2021 beckons and Kershaw moves

British F1: Double top for Team Santander Salt whilst 2021 beckons and Kershaw moves

British F1: Double top for Team Santander Salt whilst 2021 beckons and Kershaw moves

The Santander Salt team

In what was without doubt one of the strangest and shortest seasons in recent years, the Santander Salt Team awning had much to celebrate at close of play at Brands Hatch.

Roger Body’s involvement in the team evolved from his already massive role in the promotion and organisation of the British Sidecar Championship series and proved to be a phenomenally successful venture. A long-held desire to run his own team in Santander Salt colours resulted in the formation of the team three seasons ago with Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark, and then newcomer and novice, Todd Ellis/Charlie Richardson. Both crews opted for LCR machinery. A solo element was added with young Jack Nixon in the KTM Cup and Motostar series, and that structure continues until the present day.

The sidecar teams more than delivered their respective promises with Kershaw/Clarke winning the title in 2018, and Ellis/Richardson becoming champions in 2019. The 2020 season could not have ended on a higher note, with Kershaw once again lifting the British Championship, this time with Ryan Charlwood alongside, and Ellis/Richardson taking top honours in the “new for 2020” two-round, four-race International Sidecar Superprix. The winning margin could not have been closer, with Ellis stealing the prize by one slender point from multiple World Champion Tim Reeves (Adolf RS1 Yamaha).

Jack Nixon has progressed and matured, demonstrating winning form in both championships, whilst carrying that experience forward very successfully into the Pirelli National Superstock 600 championship on a Kawasaki, finishing a very creditable sixth overall in his debut season.

For 2021 however, there will be change in the line-up with Kershaw and Charlwood embarking on a new venture running their own team with sights on World Championship honours. The departure of the pair, now with five British titles between them, has the blessing of Roger Body, and is a natural progression now the second title is wrapped up.

Steve said “I have always wanted to run my own team. We are a very close-knit family, and Ryan has slotted into that scene perfectly. Without Roger Body and his support over the past three seasons, none of this would have been possible, and we are eternally grateful to him for all he has done”.

Roger Body for his part, was equally complimentary. “Steve has been a real asset to our colours, and a true professional throughout our relationship. We could not have chosen a better ambassador for Santander Salt, and I wish him all good luck and fortune in the future”.

Both Ellis and Kershaw have eyes on World honours and will now be rivals on both the World and the British stages. Hopefully, the COVID crisis will be behind us and calendars for both series will minimise date clashes. This will enable the cream of Britain to attack all the major meetings. As promoter of both Championships, Roger Body and his RKB-F1 organisation have work to do to ensure that happens.

Brands Finale sees Kershaw/Charlwood crowned Champions, as Ellis/Richardson lift International Superprix victory

Brands Finale sees Kershaw/Charlwood crowned Champions, as Ellis/Richardson lift International Superprix victory

Brands Finale sees Kershaw/Charlwood crowned Champions, as Ellis/Richardson lift International Superprix victory

Kershaw / Charlwood

I was reminded why we do not race beyond October as the weekend dawned on Friday. Cold, damp conditions prevailed, but the mood in the paddock was upbeat and buzzing.

A record entry, including the top three International crews, all former World Champions, were set to do battle for points and big money prizes in the Superprix category.

Meanwhile, the Molson Group regulars were intent on maximising the points opportunity with Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood (Santander Salt Quattro Group Yamaha) within touching distance of the title.

Qualifying – Ambient temperature had plummeted by late afternoon, and with it, any heat the track might have had was vanishing fast. It was important therefore, for early times to count. Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson set a good time early on, and then sat back with only six laps completed. Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau bided their time and circulated steadily before attacking the pole position. Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood went second fastest, with Ellis/Richardson the only team in the 1m.32 sec. bracket.

That is how it stayed for most of the session, with Reeves edging ever closer grabbing second with two minutes left on the clock. Blackstock/Rosney and Streuer/de Haas duked it out for rows two and three, ahead of Pekka Paivarinta/Emmanuelle Clement. Into the final lap with the dying seconds ticking away, Kershaw who had kept his powder dry, played his hand, stealing pole position from his Santander Salt team-mate.

Just one and a half seconds split the top ten on the grid.

Grid – 1/ Kershaw/Charlwood, 2/ Ellis/Richardson, 3/ Reeves/Rousseau, 4/ Blackstock/Rosney, 5/ Streuer/de Haas, 6/ Paivarinta/Clement, 7/ Holden/Lowther, 8/ Philp/Bryant, 9/ Christie/Christie, 10/ Stevens/Allum

Race One – From the lights the championship leaders made the most of their start and led the pack into Paddock Hill Bend from Ellis/Richardson and Reeves Rousseau.

Very quickly, Ellis showed his intent and shot past Kershaw just as Reeves made a similar move. The main threat to Kershaw in this position were the Christie Brothers, but they were in eighth place on the opening lap.

Benny Streuer and Ilse de Haas came next and moved past the series leaders. Kershaw did not panic; he knew that in this position he would do enough, even with double points available in race two.

Tommy Philp and John Holden had a coming together on lap one, as Philp took the outside line at Paddock Hill Bend getting his nose ahead before he turned in. John Holden and Jake Lowther kept the power on hoping to beat Philp into the turn, but it was not to be.

The resultant contact put them both in the gravel trap, with the SBR outfit of Holden/Lowther suffering a severely dented nose. Both were firmly stranded, and it was an early bath for both crews.

Ricky Stevens and Jonny Allum WPS Racing Kawasaki) had a good ride after a race-long scrap with the Christies and a hard charging Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney.

Also in the top ten were a rejuvenated Ben Holland/Tom Christie and the short Suzuki of Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie. On a dry track, against the long bikes, the Barnard Castle pair showed once again they have what it takes to run well at the front. Meanwhile, as Streuer went wide, Kershaw regained third with a watching brief.

Reeves and Ellis were fighting for victory, unaware that a savage blow about to befall the title hopefuls. With one lap remaining, Ryan Charlwood’s hand was in the air signalling a mechanical problem. It appeared to be a cooling issue caused by a faulty battery terminal interrupting water pump flow. Taking nothing for granted, they changed the entire system ahead of race two. It was nothing short of a personal disaster for the Santander Salt/Quattro Yamaha duo, leaving them to do it all over again with a reduced series lead and the prospect of fighting through from the back of the grid.

Race Result – 1/ Reeves/Rousseau (Bonovo Action Yamaha), 2/ Ellis/Richardson (Santander Salt Honda), 3/ Streuer de Haas (Bonovo Action Yamaha), 4/ Blackstock/Rosney (Silicone/Barnes Yamaha), 5/ Stevens/Allum (WPS Racing Kawasaki), 6/ Christie/Christie (CES Yamaha), 7/ Holland/Christie (WPS Racing Kawasaki), 8/ Crawford/Hardie (Team ARC Suzuki), 9/ Peach/Edwards (Lifesafety Motorsport Yamaha), 10/ Bell/Connell (Marin Motorsport Yamaha).

Race Two – With a reverse grid for the top ten, and Kershaw/Charlwood even further down the order, this was going to be a humdinger of a finale.

Add to this the fact that Reeves, Ellis and Streuer were chasing big money for the International Superprix aggregate result, and the air was thick with anticipation.

The drama which unfolded made for a hugely entertaining race. Once more the traditional reverse grid gave Phil Bell and Jimmy Connell the tools for a good job. They flew from the lights chased by Lee Crawford (Team ARC Suzuki) who shot through the middle gap from row two. They almost unbelievably had Todd Ellis and Chaz Richardson for company at the end of the opening lap. Ellis’s Gary Bryan prepared CBR600 Honda was running beautifully, and Ellis was not going to miss a chance like this.

He had gained a huge margin over Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau who simply did not get through the traffic as smoothly as Ellis. Phil Bell proved a hard nut to crack and fought tooth and nail in the top six for the opening laps. Eight times World Champion Reeves was to spend the early part of the race battling through, only to encounter Ricky Stevens and Jonny Allum on lap four. They were flying, but sadly capsized in a big way with six laps completed. It was good to see the green WPS Racing Kawasaki pairings of Stevens/Allum and Holland/Christie so much more in the mix. Both crews are clearly enjoying their racing again.

Tim then met up with former World Champion Benny Streuer and took a lap getting by his team-mate in the Bonovo Action camp. Despite Reeves now being in second position, Ellis was a long way down the road, and that would prove a step too far for the maestro.

Meanwhile, there was a championship to be won for Kershaw/Charlwood, and they were very aware that a safe finish would secure it. By half distance they had done enough, but not content they pushed on, making it to a safe fifth by lap twelve, and an eventual fourth when a red flag signalled the end of proceedings.

Simon Gilbert/Paul Thomas had gone out on lap two, Paivarinta/Clement on lap five, Stevens/Allum crashed on lap seven, George Holden and Oscar Lawrence had a big moment on lap twelve, and Ken Edwards was thrown heavily from Andy Peach’s outfit one lap later. The red flag was to safeguard Edwards who was concussed in the incident and was still on the track. Kershaw/Charlwood were crowned champions, Ellis and Richardson runners-up and Superprix victors, with Sam and Adam Christie rounding out a great season with third overall.

Race Two Result – 1/ Ellis/Richardson, 2/ Reeves/Rousseau, 3/ Streuer/de Haas, 4/ Kershaw/Charlwood (Champions), 5/ Blackstock/Rosney, 6/ Bell Connell,7/ Biggs/Schmitz, 8/ Holland/Christie, 9/ Philp/Bryant, 10/ Crawford/Hardie.

Molson Group Final Standings – Kershaw/Charlwood 193, Ellis/Richardson 170, Christie/Christie 130, Reeves/Rousseau 115, Bell/Sharpe/Connell 103, Blackstock/Rosney 101, Philp/Bryant 92, Stevens/Allum 83, Biggs/Schmitz 78, Holland/Pilmoor-Brady/Christie 60, Holden/Lowther 58, Kirk/Smithies 54.

Final 2020 Molson Group championship standings >>

Santander Salt International Superprix Overall result – Ellis/Richardson 99, Reeves/Rousseau 98, Streuer/de Haas 84, Schlosser/Fries 50, Cable/Masters 50, Archer/Chandler 45, Holden/Lowther 37, Nicholls/Mahl 30, Paivarinta/Clement 21.

Final 2020 International Sidecar Superprix standings >>

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

International Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt

Week ending the 17th and 18th of October we will see the second of two “Sidecar Superprix” challenge weekends. The first one in Oschersleben, Germany was the “Sidecar Superprix by Bonovo Action”. This one will be the “Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt”.

This will be at the 2.433 GP circuit of Brands Hatch. These two weekends of sidecar racing have been all down to the hard work and effort by promoters Jurgen Roeder and Roger Body.

In Oschersleben the weekend belonged to the Swiss pairing of Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries, the pair had a faultless two races and went home with a maximum 50 points. Unfortunately, Schlosser and Fries will not be at Brands Hatch. Driver Schlosser has torn ligaments in his knee and has to have this operated on. The team is disappointed not to attend this event.

Also, it has been a very hard year for all types of sport, due to the situation with the COVID pandemic. Because of this a lot of the international teams who would have been coming to Brands Hatch will not be present. This is down to travel restrictions and quarantine rules set out by their countries governments.

With Schlosser and Fries not going to be at Brands the battle will be hot for top honors. The second place team with 36 points is Bennie Streuer and his partner Ilse De Haas, the Dutch pairing will be hoping for a good weekend at Brands Hatch, Streuer a former World Champion has stood on the top spot of the podium at Brands in the past. The team was very fast and smooth in Oschersleben, they will hope for the same this weekend coming.

However, Streuer and De Haas will have to fend off the local, eight times world champion Tim Reeves and his French passenger Kevin Rousseau. Reeves and Rousseau have 33 points, third place in the challenge. Reeves knows this track like the back of his hand, he comes from Tenterden, Kent, just down the road. Rousseau from Le-Mans France, they will be hoping for a trouble free weekend.

Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, current British sidecar Champions had a great weekend in Germany, even with a, in sidecar terms “a roofing” are coming to Brands Hatch in fourth place with 29 points. Ellis and Richardson will certainly be going for glory; they took third place in the second race at Oschersleben.

Fifth place in the challenge coming to Brands Hatch is the Finish driver Pekka Paivarinta with his French passenger Emmanuelle Clement they have 21 points. Paivarinta himself a five times world champion has had mixed results here at Brands in the past. Again though, the team will certainly be going all out for glory.

Sixth place in the challenge goes to John Holden and Jake Lowther, they have 19 points. Holden and Lowther had a good solid weekend’s racing in Germany, although driver Holden was a little despondent with the results, I think this could have been down to the fact that the team had lonely races, out on their own, but none the less a good
solid weekend for the team.

The next two teams will not be at Brands, Ted and Vincent Peugeot, seventh with 17 points and Josef Sattler and Luca Schmidt, eighth 14 points.

Next up is Kevin Cable and Kyle Masters, they have 13 points in ninth place. Cable and Masters came to Oschersleben with no previous visits to the track. The team worked hard all weekend and their lap times dropped considerably throughout the weekend. They will be hoping that their local knowledge of Brands Hatch will bring them up the point’s board.

The only team left in the “Superprix” challenge that will be present at Brands will be Rupert Archer and Ben Chandler. They had a nightmare weekend, first they had an oil pipe split in qualifying leaving the team to work hard changing an engine, this was only a precautionary decision just in case there was going to be any damage to their engine due to the oil pipe leak. Then disaster in the second “Superprix” race, the team had problems with the safety lanyard causing their machine to cut out bringing them into pit lane for a DNF.

All the other teams contesting the “Sidecar Superprix” challenge with points are international teams and will not be present at Brands Hatch due to the travel constrictions mentioned earlier.

The “Sidecar Superprix by Santander Salt” will be running in conjunction with the “Molson Group British Sidecar Championship” There will be two races a 12 lap race on Saturday and a 14 lap race on Sunday. All the teams will be hoping for fair weather and a good weekends racing.

Copyright text and images Mark ‘Wally’ Walters.

International Sidecar Superprix by Bonovo Action

International Sidecar Superprix by Bonovo Action

International Sidecar Superprix by Bonovo Action

Schlosser / Fries

Schlosser/Fries supreme in part one of the International Sidecar Superprix – Oschersleben Germany.

In good sunny weather and ideal track conditions, the opening salvos were fired in the German leg of the International Sidecar Superprix at the weekend, with a dominant performance by the Swiss pairing of Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries on their LCR.

Now firmly accustomed to 600cc power, the duo showed an incredible turn of speed, particularly towards the later stages of both races. It is they who carry the main advantage forward into the second leg at Brands Hatch in two weeks.

Race One – Leaders from the lights were Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau on their Adolf RS Yamaha chased by similarly mounted Benny Streuer and Ilse de Haas. Streuer is in a rich vein of form again, and he took the fight to Reeves and Rousseau. These two teams set a blistering pace and looked uncatchable early on.

In a strong third were Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson (Santander Salt Honda LCR) having their first taste together of International competition. Behind them came Josef Sattler and Luca Schmidt on another Adolf RS Yamaha with a
determined Schlosser/Fries keeping them company. John Holden/Jake Lowther came next on the Silicone Barnes Racing Adolf RS with Ted and Vincent Peugeot charging hard behind. Pekka Paivarinta/Emmanuelle Clement were making up ground after a torrid start, but the Finn had his work cut out to get with the leaders.

At the front, Streuer was staying in the wheel-tracks of Tim Reeves who by half-distance was already in trouble with his front tyre. He was as determined as ever though, and simply threw everything at staying ahead of the Dutchman. Schlosser capitalised on this scrap, and once by Ellis/Richardson, set after the leading pair. Such was his pace, it was simply a question of when, and as Streuer and Reeves fought their long-standing battle, the Swiss seized the opportunity and shot past the pair of them to grab the lead.

Todd Ellis had become immersed in a huge scrap for fourth with Sattler/Schmidt, only for their rivals to lose a sidecar wheel-arch causing them to pit four laps from the end. This took the pressure off the British pair, who had done well in their debut world-class event. Paivarinta claimed fifth with a happy John Holden not far behind.

Race One Result

1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Reeves/Rousseau
3/ Streuer/de Haas,
4/ Ellis/Richardson
5/ Paivarinta/Clement
6/ Holden/Lowther
7/ Peugeot/Peugeot,
8/ Kimeswenger/Kolsch
9/ Archer/Chandler
10/ Cable/Masters.

Race Two – One day later, the weather was still fine, but noticeably cooler as the lights went out ahead of sixteen laps. This time around, Schlosser/Fries, inspired by race one victory took the early lead. Hot on their heels came Ellis/Richardson, with Sattler/Schmidt for company.

The Yamaha LCR of Paivarinta/Clement had a better start this race and sat fourth just ahead of Holden/Lowther and Streuer/de Haas. Next came Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau who did not have a good start. They would have to work hard to catch the leading bunch, all of whom were flying. This had all the makings of a great race and did not disappoint. Streuer and Reeves are both masters of making up for lost time through a busy field, and they set about that challenge with typical enthusiasm.

Once past John Holden, Reeves had his eyes on the five teams ahead, and that was his singular focus. Kevin Cable and Kyle Masters were having an exceptionally busy time with Remse/Weschelberger and Kimeswenger/Kolsch until both the latter crews retired with mechanical issues.

This left Cable/Masters in a safe position, and they were to bring it home ninth in their debut overseas foray. Up the sharp end, Schlosser/Fries were away and gone, with Ellis still second, but under real pressure from Benny Streuer who had overhauled Sattler/Schmidt and Pekka Paivarinta/Clement.

Similarly, Reeves/Rousseau were now with these crews and were all over the back of the Finnish multiple World Champion. The persistence of Tim Reeves prevailed, and he was to make his way to fourth, but was unable to go one place better and get the better of Todd Ellis. This was a great race, but a real display by runaway winners Schlosser Fries.

Race Result
1/ Schlosser/Fries
2/ Streuer/de Haas
3/ Ellis/Richardson
4/ Reeves/Rousseau
5/ Sattler/Schmidt
6/ Paivarinta/Clement
7/ Holden/Lowther
8/ Peugeot/Peugeot
9/ Cable/Masters
10/ Schwegler/Kopechy

Aggregate scores are carried forward to the second two-race leg at Brands Hatch with Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries leading the way with maximum points.

Credit and thanks to Mark (Wally) Walters for copy information and images.

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