The annual BSB and British Sidecar pilgrimage to the famed Cathedral of Speed was greeted by the usual large and enthusiastic crowd, many of whom had trekked over from the UK to enjoy Dutch hospitality.
Qualifying took place over two sessions on Friday with Tim Reeves/Greg Cluze (Team E-Aide Motorsport Yamaha) getting the verdict with a time set in session one. They were unable to improve due to a blown engine, but had done enough. The failure prevented any involvement in the second outing.
Outgoing World Champions Benny Streuer/Geert Koerts shared the front row half a second behind, and current lap record holders Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) were comfortably in third on the grid alongside Chris Walker/Ashley Hawes (Santander Salt Kawasaki).
Race One – The weather in Holland was its usually unpredictable self with tyre choice once again a huge decision. An earlier heavy shower had left large damp patches around the circuit and that would play into the hands of the vastly experienced Reeves. From the start, he and Greg Cluze hit the front and stayed there. Trailing them into turn one, a scrap between John Holden/Stuart Ramsey, the series leaders Stevens and Charlwood and the Walker/Hawes outfit was maintained pretty much race long. Holden eventually succumbed to Walker with a near spin.
Meanwhile, Reeves had stretched his lead to a five or six second advantage and eased off towards the flag. His result moved him to second in the title chase and gave him every incentive for the double ahead of the final round at Brands Hatch with double points. John Holden and Stuart Ramsey recovered from their off-track excursion to bring it home in fifth ahead of Ben Holland/Lee Watson (Hannafin Kawasaki) who slipped to third in the chase.
Alan Founds and Tom Christie. In the absence of the Birchall Brothers, headed home a brilliant scrap for the 600 Cup taking eleventh place overall.
Result – 1/Reeves/Cluze, 2/Stevens/Charlwood, 3/Walker/Hawes, 4/Streuer/Koerts, 5/Holden/Ramsey, 6/Holland/Watson, 7/Horspole/Connell, 8/Gray/Christie, 9/Biggs/Ransley, 10/Bryan/Hughes, 11/Founds/Christie (600 Cup Winners).
Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney, fast as always
Dean Nicholls and Samantha Tilley looking good...
Race Two – Much colder conditions prevailed late on Sunday as the lights went out. Again Tim Reeves led the charge into turn one with Chris Walker momentarily grabbing second ahead of Stevens/Charlwood. This unsettled the Quattro Plant, duo and they became embroiled in a scrap which allowed Reeves to get away. .
The battle for third raged between Walker/Hawes, Holden/Ramsey and Benny Streuer, with Ben Holland/Lee Watson staying in touch. This fight lasted to the flag, with Holland getting the better of Walker to claim third and the final British podium place.
With Brands Hatch looming and the finale, Reeves/Cluze trail by a reduced margin of forty-seven points with Holland consolidating his third place ahead of Walker who still holds that unbroken points scoring record. 600 honours this time round went to Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney after a brilliant overall showing in very fast company.
Result – 1/ Reeves/Cluze, 2/Stevens/Charlwood, 3/Streuer/Koerts, 4/Holland/Watson, 5/Walker/Hawes, 6/Holden/Ramsey, 7/ Horspole/Connell, 8/Biggs/Ransley, 9/Kentrop/De Haas, 10/Endeveld/Remme
Championship Standings –
Motors TV will screen the Assen action on thursday 13th October at 9.25pm (Check the Motors TV schedule) on www.motorstv.com .
The final round is from Brands Hatch in two weeks (15/16 October) and carries double points.
Alan Founds and Tom Christie