RKB-F1 Sidecar initiatives to end after 2022 season
After twelve years of organisation of the British F1 Sidecar Championship (ten of those alongside the prestigious British Superbike series) and more recently, a five-year deal to organise and promote the FIM Sidecar World Championship, the RKB-F1 organisation is calling it a day.
From a sport languishing in the doldrums ten years ago, with a poor image, low grid attendances, shabby paddocks and no recognition or commercial value, under Roger Body’s stewardship and significant investment, sidecar racing has achieved unprecedented exposure and profile.
The vision was always to raise the sport back to a level which justified placing it on big stages and re-establishing it as an attractive product for sponsors and organisers alike.
From little more than a club sport, it became a major part of a Superbike race weekend, with live television, extensive web and media coverage and a vibrant and stylish paddock scene. The time and investment over the period to get the sport to that level cannot be underestimated.
Sadly, the perfect storm of Brexit, the global pandemic, and more recently the Ukraine war have all contributed to a downturn in entries for both series, and rising costs at just about every turn. The result of these and other factors is that once again grids are dwindling, and good teams who should be racing in one or both championships, are not able to. For a minority and niche sport (for that is what sidecar racing is) to succeed and grow, everyone needs to buy into the dream and support any programme designed to deliver the ideal.
The bottom line is, that however tough the decision, for the reasons listed above and more, enough is enough and at the end of 2022, Roger Body will cease his activities under the RKB-F1 banner and close the shop. The implications of that decision will become apparent if, and when, a new season gets underway. Meanwhile, there is the remainder of the 2022 season to deliver, and as a man of his word and more, Roger and his team will deliver it.
RKB-F1 would like to thank all the fans, the teams, the sponsors, and organisations who have shared his vision and supported the initiative over the years. We would also like to extend sincere thanks to Stuart Higgs and his MSVR organisation for having faith in what we were intent on achieving and providing us with the platform to realise the ambition.
Photo credits: Jenny “Triker” Wells