Monsoon conditions fail to halt Tim Reeves monopoly at Snetterton
16 April 2008 17:41
Rounds three and four of the Castrol Oils Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship took place at Snetterton Park featuring alongside the BMCRC-MRO 2008 Championships.
Sunshine for the first qualifying session saw a scorching lap from Tim Reeves and Pat Farrance (Eastern Airways LCR Suzuki), measured as quicker than his sidecar lap record from last year round the Norfolk track.
A new lap record seemed possible in racing conditions.
The timed second qualifying session was postponed due to very heavy rain on Saturday afternoon but the rescheduled to Sunday morning, saw more than half of teams bettering their Saturday times.
The first race saw Reeves quickly away from the start followed closely by Richard Gatt and Tristan Reeves on the (PRB tools LCR Suzuki) and Brian Pedder and Rod Steadman the (G&SJ Johnson LCR Suzuki).
Pedder and Gatt exchanged places in the early laps until on lap five Gatt made the pass stick.
Lap 10 saw the race red flagged after a machine had mechanic problems at the Russell Bend.
This allowed treatment to both passengers after an incident between Gordon Shand /Tony Belsey (Team Shand Racing LCR Suzuki) and Gordon and Darryl Pottinger (Windle Yamaha) saw Pottinger being thrown out of the chair after a coming together at the Esses.
Simon Gilbert and Rick Long were the first home in F1 Cup ahead of Scott Lawrie and James Connell MV Commercial LCR Suzuki and Craig Chaplow and Daniel Evanson (Redline Superbikes Ltd LCR Suzuki).
This F1 Cup for National Licence holders, running within the British Championship race is proving very competitive with close racing amongst the runners.
Race two took place in the most appalling conditions with monsoon rain making visibility so poor, one rider was not sure if he had actually seen two salmon and a trout at the Bomb Hole.
The field was once again led away by Reeves followed by Roger Lovelock and Rick Lawrence (LCR Suzuki), Gatt/Reeves and Stuart Muldoon and Lee Barrett (SMR LCR Suzuki).
As conditions worsened, the field splashed round an increasingly aquatic track. Lap five saw Muldoon overtaking Gatt showing that his years of racing in Scotland had been a valuable training ground for the wet conditions.
Watched by an enthusiastic and increasing soggy crowd, Reeves showed why he was World champion when he was able to lap over half the field to come home in first position ahead of a delighted second place finisher Lovelock whose passenger Lawrence celebrated with his trademark headstand; performed on the platform, whilst the bike continued to splash through the puddles.
In the F1 Cup Gilbert / Long secured a second win ahead of Knapton/Miller and Lawrie / Connell taking maximum points for the meeting and looking to lead the field into the next round.
The next round of the Championship at Brands Hatch on the May 10-11 has been cancelled, the FSRA are looking into a suitable alternative, which is hoping to be announced soon.
The next meeting will be at Cadwell Park in June.
All in the paddock hope that after two rounds of wintry weather, equipment and teams will have dried out to enjoy summer conditions and the continuation of what is shaping up to be a cracking sidecar championship.
Race one results:
Race two results: