F1 Sidecar championship: Tim Reeves collects maximum points at Donington Park
26 March 2008 13:50
Current world and British F1 Sidecar champions Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance began the defence of their British championship in style by taking the double win to secure a maximum 50 points and add the lap record to their CV at Donington Park on Sunday.
The weather did its best to disrupt the weekend but qualifying was relatively unhindered as Reeves and Farrance powered the Eastern Airways LCR Suzuki to pole position with a 1.6 second advantage over nearest rivals Muldoon and Barrett.
The fast pace was set in the first session when Tim Reeves shaved an unofficial 3.5 seconds from the existing lap record but he was unable to match that in final qualifying because of worsening weather conditions.
A heavy fall of snow overnight threatened the race programme but a huge sigh of relief went around the paddock when the lying snow quickly melted leaving the track damp but in good condition, which allowed a full programme of racing to go ahead.
As race one got underway Tim Reeves failed to capitalise on his pole position and dropped back to fourth as they rounded Redgate for the first time.
But he soon made up the ground and by the time the outfits came back into view to start lap two the champion was in control ahead of Stuart Muldoon with Richard Gatt and Paul Randall in third place.
As the race unfolded Reeves steadily increased his lead posting his fastest lap of 1minute 14.182 seconds on the final lap to take the win with a full 12 second advantage over Muldoon.
The snow threatened to curtail the second race when a flurry hit the circuit as the motorcycles were called to the collecting area. But by the time they formed the grid the snow had stopped and the race got underway with no delay.
Again Stuart Muldoon got the hole shot into Redgate but Tim Reeves soon made it through to establish an unbeatable lead as they began lap two.
On lap two Reeves broke the lap record posting a time of 1minute 13.278 seconds going on to smash that by a further second on the following lap to set a new British F1 record for the short circuit of 1min 12.384 secs at 97.346 mph.
But although Reeves extended his lead, the pace slowed with each passing lap as the snow returned and with just one lap remaining the red flag brought the race to an untimely end as a fellow competitor crashed at Craner Curves.
A result was declared at nine laps distance with Tim Reeves again taking the win, this time with a 13 second advantage over Muldoon.
“This is a perfect start to the season for us,” said Reeves.
“Two wins and the lap record in the first round of the new series is great. The new bike goes like a rocket, I have lost a bit of weight and feel really fit, and Patrick is on mint form, so let’s go racing.
“The track was a bit slippery, especially at Craner and I couldn’t turn into the corners, every time we tried to turn left the front just washed out.
“But we got maximum points so can’t get better than that, especially with the weather against us.”
Patrick Farrance added: “I thought I might be a bit rusty first time out but it turned out ok actually. I quite enjoyed it out there and am now looking forward to the next round and hopefully some warmer weather conditions.”
Round two of the British championship is at Snetterton on April 13 when Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance will be looking for more success to further stretch their lead at the top of the standings.
The duo will be back at Donington Park on May 26 where they will begin the defence of their world title in the opening round of the FIM Superside World Championship, this time on the full international circuit at the Leicestershire venue.
F1 Championship standings after Donington Park:
Tim Reeves /Patrick Farrance 50
Stuart Muldoon / Lee Barrett 40
Richard Gatt / Paul Randall 32
Roger Lovelock / Rick Lawrence 24
Bryan Pedder / Rod Steadman 21
Gary Knight / Dan Knight 18
Ken Knapton / Jason Miller 16
Dan Morrisey / Robert Biggs 16
Simon Gilbert / Rick Long 11
Andy Peach / Charlie Richardson 10
Gordon Shand / Tony Belsey 10
Scott Lawrie / James Connell 8
Steve Williamson / Ivan Murray 6
Craig Chaplow / Dan Evanson 6
Roger Body / Wayne Stevens 5
Tony Green / Colin Two 4
Steve Norbury / Paul Knapton 0