FIM World Sidecar Championship.
The temperature was hot, 30 degrees! 18 laps, it was a hard race.
Coming here Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes had a healthy 51 point lead in the championship. But a DNF yesterday had the team working well into the early hours of the morning trying to get their “Adolf RS” Yamaha up and running for today’s race. They managed to get onto the grid with a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
As the lights went out it was Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes who got the hole shot into the first corner, Ben and Tom Birchall on their “LCR” Yamaha followed with Bennie Streuer and Kevin Rousseau on their “LCR” Kawasaki. A great start from Lukas Wyssen and Thomas Hofer on their “LCR” Yamaha, they were right on the tail of Streuer/Rousseau. Pekka Paivarinta and Jussi Veravainen on their “LCR” Honda had a bit of a rough ride into the first corner, there was contact between them and another team resulting with the sidecar wheel arch getting pushed in, the team continued but it would cause them problems later in the race. Next up was Lewis Blackstock and Patrick Rosney with their “LCR” Suzuki. Right on the tail of Blackstock and Rosney was Michael Grabmuller and Sebastien Lavorel with their “LCR” Yamaha; next up was Scott Lawrie and Michael Fairhurst with their “LCR” Yamaha.
For the next few laps the race was hot at the front, but there were hard battles throughout the field.
Starting the second lap the Birchall Brothers pulled alongside Reeves and Wilkes going into the first corner. Reeves and Wilkes ran wide to the outside of the track and onto the grass. This was to be the end of the race for Reeves and Wilkes, they managed to get going again, but sitting in sixth place they pulled off track two thirds of the way round the third lap. Their off track excursion had sucked something into their engine causing it to stop. That was it for them, a very costly DNF.
With the Birchall Brothers way out in front and nobody near them for any threat it was down to Streure/Rousseau, Wyssen/Hofer, and Paivarinta/Veravainen to battle it out for the final podium places.
Sam and Adam Christie with their “LCR” Yamaha had managed to get up with the group behind the leaders and started to battle hard with them.
Lap six saw Lawrie/Fairhurst side by side with Blackstock/Rosney on the fast run downhill to a tight right hand corner. Blackstock/Rosney were to spin on track letting Grabmuller/Lavorel and the Christie Brothers through. Blackstock/Rosney got going again but they were to pull in to pit lane with their machine not steering.
By this time in the race things were starting to settle down, with all teams holding their own for position. The Birchall Brothers were way out in front; Streuer and Rousseau were starting to make a good gap over Wyssen/Hofer, who was fast getting caught by Paivarinta and Veravainen. Wyssen/Hofer started to slow, this let Paivarinta/Veravainen through for the third place. Lawrie/Fairhurst were locked in battle with Grabmuller/Lavorel, this was letting the Christie Brothers catch fast too. Grabmuller/Lavorel managed to get past Lawrie/Fairhurst, when they passed, Lawrie/Fairhurst could not make the time back, and past came the Christie Brothers too. The Christie Brothers were on a charge now, they could see Grabmuller/Lavorel and it was not long till they caught and passed them too.
As the race came to an end the Birchall Brothers took the race win to the jubilation of the team hanging over the pit wall, this win brought them to only one point behind Reeves/Wilkes in the championship.
Streuer/Rousseau took second place, 28.928 down on the Birchall’s. But the team are so happy with how the race went, and the overall weekend in a whole.
Paivarinta/Veravainen took third, but they had to slow throughout the race, as the wheel arch that had been damaged earlier in the race caused their machine to overheat a lot during the race, driver Paivarita drove a very conservative race.
Another great result for the Christie Brothers, they fought hard and it paid off for them, a fourth place, and another great weekend for them.
A good fifth place for Grabmuller/Lavorel, they too worked hard throughout the weekend and were rewarded with their fifth place.
Sixth went to Lawrie/Fairhurst, it was a hard race for the team; once they were passed they just could not make up the time that they had lost.
Seventh place went to a slowing Wyssen/Hofer. They really enjoyed the first half of the race, but just could not stay with the teams in front.
Janez Remse and Manfred Wechselberger with their “Adolf RS” Yamaha took eighth place. They held their own against the ninth place team of Peter Kimeswenger and Jens Lehnertz on their “LCR” Kawasaki. They had a hard weekend having to change their engine, but are happy how it turned out.
Sprint Race Gallery
Jakob Rutz and Marcel Fries with their “LCR” Yamaha took tenth place but one lap down. They hope that they will have a better weekend at the last round in Germany.
The final round of the championship will be at the beginning of October, at Oschersleben, Germany. With only one point between the two leading teams, and only one race in Oschersleben, who knows what will happen!