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