British F2 Sidecar Championship: Roy Hanks and Dave Wells top points scorers at Snetterton

By John Newton -

 24 June 2008 13:00

After a weekend of contrasting weather and two very different races, Roy Hanks and Dave Wells emerged as the top points scorers having won Saturday's opening British F2 Sidecar race at Snetterton.

A rain-disrupted qualifying session saw Ian and Carl Bell (Ian Bell M/cs LCR Yamaha) take pole and alongside them were John Holden and Andy Winkle (D&A Walmsley LCR Suzuki) and Tony Elmer and Darren Marshall (AS Broadley Decorators Ireson Yamaha).

It was the Bells who led after the first lap from Steve Coombes and Gary Partridge (Dave Hudspeth Carpets, Ireson Honda) and Elmer.

Hanks and Wells (Dorwingear Ltd, Molyneux Suzuki) were up to fourth from 11th on the grid! One by one, they picked off the outfits in front, taking the lead mid-race.

Meanwhile, championship leader Holden had retired on the first lap with a broken chain, title-holders Simon Neary and Jamie Winn (Neary Racing Baker Suzuki) went out with fuel pressure problems while double TT winners Nick Crowe and Mark Cox (A&J Groundworks LCR Honda) along with Gary Horspole and Scott Parnell (Sleaford Plant Hire LCR Honda) joined them on the sidelines.

As Hanks stretched his lead, Bell came under increasing pressure from Dean Henry and Ian Smith (Magnam Racing Windle Suzuki), the young guns taking second spot two laps from the flag.

Bell kept third but Coombes retired on the last lap promoting Conrad Harrison and Lee Patterson (Printing Roller Services Shelbourne Honda) into fourth followed by Will Smith and Sean Starbuck (Shelbourne Honda), both these pairs achieving their best ever championship race position.

Tony Baker and Fiona Baker-Milligan (Baker Suzuki) led home Elmer, Dave Wallis and Phil Iremonger (Petpals LCR Honda), Geoff Hand and Darren Brown (Hands-On Racing Honda) with Roger Stockton and Pete Alton (Weston Motorcycles Baker Yamaha) completing the top ten.

Besides the points gained in the main championship, Henry, Smith and Hand were the first three in the concurrently-run F2 Cup competition. Hanks and Wells were delighted with their first championship race win for three years and their enjoyment of mastering the tricky conditions was there for all to see!

Sunday dawned bright but windy and also featured a clear-cut victory, championship leaders Holden and Winkle putting Saturday's disappointment behind them with a start to finish win by over 10 seconds.

Holden took an early lead from Elmer, Coombes and Horspole but Crowe was on a charge. He took second place on lap three only to lose his handlebar grip a lap later which dropped him to sixth behind Neary.

However an engine blow-up sealed a disappointing weekend for the reigning champion. As Holden cruised to victory, interest centred around whether Crowe could regain second spot.

With a succession of laps in the 1m 15's, just short of Holden's best, he finally managed it on the last lap, relegating Elmer to third, ahead of Coombes, Horspole and Bell.

Harrison and Henry were seventh and eighth, the latter recovering from a second lap spin which dropped him to 15th. Dougie Wright and Stu Bond (Eddy Wright M/cs Shelbourne Honda) were in ninth ahead of Tony Baker and first race winner Hanks, this time suffering from a lack of top end speed.

Still, Hanks and Wells' 30 points haul from the weekend elevated them to third place in the championship on 53 points, with Holden on 75 leading Elmer on 65.

In the F2 Cup competition, Dean Henry and Ian Smith lead on 90 points from Steve Coombes and Gary Partridge on 70 with David Lillee and Lee Watson sharing third place with Geoff Hand and Darren Brown on 48 points.

RESULTS
First Race (13 Laps, 25.376 miles)
1. Roy Hanks/Dave Wells (Suzuki) 19m 9.34s – 79.48mph.
2. Dean Henry/Ian Smith (Suzuki)
3. Ian Bell/Carl Bell (Yamaha)
4. Conrad Harrison/Lee Patterson (Honda)
5. Will Smith/Sean Starbuck (Honda)
6. Tony Baker/Fiona Baker-Milligan (Suzuki)
7. Tony Elmer/Darren Marshall (Yamaha)
8. Dave Wallis/Phil Iremonger (Honda)
9. Geoff Hand/Darren Brown (Honda)
10. Roger Stockton/Pete Alton ( Yamaha)
11. Dougie Wright/Stu Bond (Honda)
12. Steven Carey/Paul Lowther (Yamaha)
13. Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth (Honda)
14. Dean Banks/Nigel Brogan (Yamaha)
15. Matt Williams/Jo Williams (Suzuki)
FL: Hanks/Wells 1m 26.48s – 81.26mph.

Second Race (13 Laps, 25.376 miles)
1. John Holden/Andy Winkle (Suzuki) 16m 35.3s – 91.78mph.
2. Nick Crowe/Mark Cox (Honda)
3. Elmer/Marshall
4. Steve Coombes/Gary Partridge (Honda)
5. Gary Horspole/Scott Parnell (Honda)
6. Bell/Bell
7. Harrison/Patterson
8. Henry/Smith
9. Wright/Bond
10. Baker/Baker-Milligan
11. Hanks/Wells
12. Stockton/Alton
13. Baker/Killingsworth
14. Hand/Brown
15. David Lillee/Lee Watson (Yamaha)
FL: Holden/Winkle  1m 15.32s – 93.30mph.