British F1 Sidecar Championship News

Round 7 - Reeves and Lovelock take race wins at Silverstone; Reeves retains title

Round seven of the British F1 Sidecar Championship took the crews to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit where they once again appeared on the schedule with the British Superbike Championship and two eventful races saw the race victories shared between Tim Reeves/Gregory Cluze and Roger Lovelock/Rick Lawrence. There was drama aplenty in the two 9-lap races and although Reeves and Cluze were forced to retire from the second race, they were still able to clinch this year's Championship and retain the title they won 12 months ago.

An eventful first 9-lap race, held on Saturday evening, saw no less than seven outfits fail to finish the lap and with Barry James/Jamie Winn crashing out, the safety car was immediately deployed. Andy Pach/Charlie Richardson were other front runners forced out, a problem with the undertray of the outfit causing them to retire but, after 2 laps, the safety car pulled in and racing resumed. It was Roger Lovelock and Rick Lawrence who led with Ben Holland/Lee Watson and John Clarke/Stuart Graham giving chase whilst Reeves was down in 5th just ahead of Scott Lawrie/James Neave.

By lap 4, Reeves was up to second and immediately set about closing the gap to Lovelock who had opened up a one second lead and was in a very determined mood. Two laps later, Lovelock still led by 0.7s but on lap 7 Reeves was finally able to make his move stick and he crossed the line 0.2s in the lead. Further back, Lawrie moved up to third with Holland and Ben Bygrave/Calum Lawson right on his tail and the latter was flying as he set the second fastest lap of the race.

At the front though, Reeves edged away slightly and swept home to take the win and the title, his eventual winning margin over Lovelock just 0.8s, the latter again having a great drive. The battle for third went down to the wire and there was heartbreak for Lawrie when he went out on the last lap and that allowed Holland to come through for his first podium of the year, albeit just half a second clear of Bygrave. Clarke, Stephen Kershaw, Phil Bell, Carl Parkinson, Ian Drowne and Ian Guy completed the top ten.

Race two on Sunday proved to be equally eventful. Again it was Lovelock who grabbed the holeshot and he led the field round at the end of the opening lap hotly pursued by Reeves, Bygrave, Holland, Clarke and Lawrie. A lap later, Reeves took over at the front to lead Lovelock by 0.2s with Bygrave still in third although Lawrie was on the move and, with the fastest lap of the race, he moved up to fourth. However, it was all to no avail as, a lap later, he stopped with a technical problem on the Hangar Straight and there was further drama when Reeves pulled in to the pits to retire at the end of the lap, his first DNF from the 17 races held thus far this season.

That meant that Lovelock was now back in the lead and with a four-second lead he was able to control proceedings and eventually took the win by over five seconds, his first victory of the season and one thoroughly deserved. The battle for second was in doubt throughout though as Holland, Clarke and Bygrave were never more than inches apart but it was Holland who came out on top for not only his second podium of the weekend but also his best result of the season. Clarke took his first podium of the year in third but there was heartbreak for Bygrave as he crashed out on the final lap. Peach was promoted up to fourth as he just held off Bell and Kershaw, Gary Smith, Craig Chaplow, Parkinson and Mark Edwards filled out the rest of the top ten positions.

The final round of the series takes place next weekend at Mondello Park, Southern Ireland.

Phil Wain: Freelance PR

Photos from Round 7 - Silverstone

Copyright: Photos: Glynne Lewis

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