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