Welcome the the season preview of the A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. Formula Two Sidecar Championship as it enters its thirty fourth season. Firstly I would like to thank our series sponsors for their continued support, namely the A.C.U., A.R.C. of Binchester, A.V. Craine and sons Isle of Man, Yorkshire Engine supplies, Whitby Cottages, Lockside Engineering and Breitenbach Pagid Racing. The season will be contested over eight weekends, starting at Croft on April 7th / 8th and continuing to the final round at Oulton Park on the 5th / 6th October. All of the meetings can be found on the F.S.R.A. website http://www.fsra.org.uk/
Please take a look around the website as our website manager Tim Langham has spent many hours adding rider profiles for each team.
The hosting clubs this season are North East Motorcycle racing club (N.E.M.C.R.C.), Wirral 100. North Gloucester Road Racing club (N.G. Road racing), Bemsee (B.M.C.R.C.) and East Midlands Racing Association (E.M.R.A.). With twenty six registered teams contesting eight championship rounds we are looking at a very competitive season ahead.
Starting as favourites after winning back to back British championships in 2016 and 2017 are Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley. Although they will have a new challenge this season as they swap from their L.C.R. chassis to a 2018 D.D.M. (Dave de Mott) chassis but still with Suzuki power. Peter currently lies sixth overall on the all time list of British Championship wins with twenty one and Jevan also lies in sixth position on the all time passenger list with nineteen.
Looking to go one place better in the championship are last season's runners up, the father and son pairing of Stephen and Matty Ramsden on their Honda powered L.C.R. With just one D.N.F. (in the final race of the final meeting last season), they achieved eight podiums - including a win at Anglesey.
In third place last season, were former T.T. winners Conrad Harrison and Andrew Winkle on their Honda powered Bellas. Conrad has been developing the Bellas chassis over the past couple of seasons and with a podium at last years T.T. things are starting to come together for this very likeable pairing. With eight podiums to their name last season, and also only one D.N.F., plus missing an entire round they will be looking to press on in 2018, both at short circuits and on the roads.
Finishing fourth overall with six podiums, including two wins were Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie on their Suzuki powered L.C.R. The pair will be looking for more reliability in 2018. Whilst the team gave a strong showing on the races they completed, they only finished half of the races they contested.
Another team that's on the rise and getting to grips with their Honda powered Baker F2 chassis after moving from the 1000cc F1 class are Sean Hegarty and James Neave. The team will be looking to push on in 2018 after missing the first couple of rounds last season due to an injury to James as he exited stage left at the test day at Oulton Park! The team achieved three podiums in 2017, with no non finishes against them, the reliability is certainly there, and to add they achieved their fastest lap times either on the penultimate or final lap of the race in both encounters at Cadwell Park after eighteen gruelling laps - that is no mean feat.
After winning the British F2 Cup last season which is the championship for the less experienced competitors, Mike Jackson who was ably accompanied by Callum Crowe will have a change of chassis and also passenger for 2018. This season sees Mike moving to the D.M.R. chassis and Harrison Payne as his co-pilot. Mike and Harry will be contesting the Super F2 championship this year (as former F2 Cup winners are only eligible for the Super section).
In the F2 Cup - which was a fantastic series last season – things bode well with another six newcomer teams adding to those who entered for the first time last season. Of the twenty six registered teams there will be eighteen competing for the F2 cup and I for one wouldnt like to pick a winner!
The new entrants this season are as follows:
Daryl Gibson / Ashley Moore
Peter Millington / T.B.A.
Chris Schofield / Derek Taylor
Richard Hackney / Jayne Morris
David Schofield / Jason Waters
Michael Russell / Shaun Parker
To add we will have brotherly rivals on circuit with the Schofields and also a Manx Grand Prix solo winner in Michael Russell who will be racing under the “True Heroes Racing” banner with the ambition to be the first competitor to race in every class at the Isle of Man T.T.
More information can be found under rider profiles on the website http://www.fsra.org.uk/
On behalf of the F.S.R.A. I would like to welcome all the new teams that have registered for the season ahead and good luck to all teams that are supporting the A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship this coming season.