British F1 Sidecar Championship News

Round 5 -Reeves rules the roost at Cadwell

Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze dominated proceedings at Cadwell Park over the weekend, winning all three races of round 5 of the British F1 Sidecar Championship. The duo fought off the strong challenge of Ben and Tom Birchall in each race around the 2.18-mile circuit to extend their title lead to a whopping 120 points.

After claiming pole position by just 0.151s, Reeves and Cluze had to give best to the Birchalls in the early stages of Saturday’s 10-lap race, but there was little to choose between the pair as they circulated in close formation around the undulating Lincolnshire circuit. Scott Lawrie/James Neave weren’t too far adrift in third and it was they who set the fastest lap of the race, 1m32.582s, as they tried to stay in touch.

However, on lap six, Reeves hit the front and was able to edge away from Birchall all the way to the flag eventually taking the win by 0.848s, the gap being reduced significantly on the final lap when Reeves ran into a backmarker. Lawrie remained in third throughout for one of his best drives of the season whilst further back, Andy Peach/Charlie Richardson took fourth, their task made easier when Barry James/Jamie Winn dropped out on the fifth lap. That allowed Ben Bygrave/Calum Lawson to take fifth although they had to fight all the way to the end, finally getting the verdict over Roger Lovelock/Rick Lawrence by just 0.451s. Craig Chaplow/Patrick Farrance had their best result of the season in seventh.

Onto Sunday’s racing, and the first 12-lap affair was initially stopped due to an incident involving Ian Drowne/Ryan Anderson but on the re-start, it was Lawrie who led the pack through the first turns. However, Reeves and French passenger Cluze grabbed the lead from Lawrie further round the opening lap and they were never headed again, utilising the clear road in front of them to press home their advantage. With the fastest lap of the race and a new lap record, 1m31.995s, on lap 3, they were able to forge clear and continually lapping faster than their rivals, they took their second win of the weekend by a commanding 7.14s

Further back, Lawrie and Bygrave had lonely rides into third and fourth respectively but the battle for fifth was anything but lonely with Lovelock/Lawrence, James/Winn and Phil Bell/Tony Belsey having a ferocious battle. With two laps to go, Bell took over in fifth and they were able to fight off the challenge of Lovelock on the final lap, crossing the line just over half a second clear. James had to settle for seventh with John Clarke/Stuart Graham in 8th and Peach in 9th, the Cliffe Woods driver dropping back from a first lap third.

The final race of the weekend was Birchall’s last chance of glory and although it was a lot closer this time around, Reeves was able to be in the lead each time they crossed the line. His eventual winning margin was 0.451s although Birchall only narrowly missed out on taking the lead on the final lap after a brave overtaking attempt at the bottom of the Mountain. Lawrie/Neave were again the best of the rest in third whilst Clarke prevailed over Peach for fourth, the duo never more than inches apart, although Bygrave looked like he had this position sewn up until he went out on the ninth lap. Bell, Chaplow, Lovelock, Ben Holland/Lee Watson and Steve Kershaw/Robin Wilson rounded out the top ten.

The results mean that Reeves now has 305 points followed by Lawrie (185), Birchall (150), Lovelock (147), Peach (135) and Bell (134).

The next round sees the F1 Sidecars return to the British Superbike Championship schedule at Donington Park with the meeting taking place from September 9-11.

Phil Wain: Freelance PR

Photos from Round 5 - Cadwell Park

Copyright: Photos: Mark "Wally" Walters

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