Tuesday 25th July 2017
In the absence of 2016 Champions Mitch Godden and Paul Smith, who were racing abroad, it was former European Champions and 2017 series leaders Josh Goodwin and
Liam Brown who laid down an early marker, storming to victory in Heat 1 ahead of Barrie Bennett and Eifion Hughes.
Both crews would go on to enjoy memorable days with Bennett and Hughes racing as well as they have in a long time.
Series founder and inaugural winner Shaun Harvey and his passenger Danny Hogg were another crew hoping to move to the top of the standings and they, too, began well, winning ahead of Dan Berwick and Mark Hopkins in Heat 2.
Bennett/Hughes' first win came in Heat 3 when they prevailed in a three-way tussle with sons Shaun Hughes and Louis Bennett and the all-girl crew of Natasha Bartlett and Ciara Southgate.
The two leg one winners clashed in Heat 4 where Goodwin proved too quick for the chasing Harvey.
Two wins became three next time out for Goodwin, this time at the expense of Berwick, before a surprise awaited in Heat 6.
Stinus Lund got the drop on all his rivals from the start and rode one of the races of his life to stay ahead of Bennett and Harvey to claim victory.
Heat 7 was another thriller with Berwick, Bennett and Hughes racing three abreast for much of the race before Berwick claimed victory on the line.
Goodwin went into the final heat unbeaten, while Harvey had been forced to switch bikes and came out on James Hogg's machine. In the event, both would be upstaged by another magnificent ride from Lund who, after gating in front, could not be caught. Harvey eventually rode around Goodwin for second, all three crews moving automatically into the A final along with Bennett.
The other two spaces would be decided by a B final which saw Scott Dunn suffer a hair-raising crash. Up at the business end, it was a victory for Berwick with Aaron and Steven Vale taking the last spot on offer.
The final saw Goodwin back to winning ways, while Bennett rode a superb first corner to go from fifth to second, a position he held until the flag. Vale completed the podium after holding off the challenge of Harvey, but Berwick's day ended early because of machine trouble.
The result sees Goodwin/Brown as the new leaders of the Super Series ahead of round four in Cornwall in just over a week's time.
Tuesday 4th July 2017
Torrential rain and storms in France last week forced the organising club in Tayac to postpone the European Sidecar Final that was due to be held last Saturday. It was then up to FIME Europe to set a new date and it was decided the new date would be this coming Saturday, July 8th with a 20:30hrs (19.30hrs UK) start time.
With the second round of the Sidecar Super Series being held in Warwickshire at the Masters of Midshires meeting the following day, the teams were faced with a dilemma.
Four of the five teams racing in France on Saturday evening including series organiser Shaun Harvey are in the line-up for both events. But whilst everyone was awaiting cancellation of the super series round at Midshires, the phone lines were hot as the riders began searching for an answer, to be honest there was only one. When the Euro Final had ended pack up and drive the 724 miles overnight to the Midlands. Things are going to be tight but they are willing to give it a go, so the convoy will be heading to the UK at around about midnight hoping for no delays.
Harvey stated "When Tayac was cancelled last weekend we knew thay wanted to run it this weekend and the FIME simply confirmed the re-staging on Thursday. The Midshires club have put a lot of time and effort into this meeting and have put together a fantastic line-up in all classes. They have committed to holding a round of the Super Series and as riders we have to show commitment to both the series and the organising club. We would like to thank Clive Davis and all of the Midshires team for working with us. We will have members of the Super Series team at the track on Sunday who will be keeping track of the situation. The club have granted us a late practice should we arrive late and the club may have to shuffle heats around, but if all goes to plan we'll be there. We've all organised extra drivers so the riders can hopefully grab a little rest on the long 12 hour drive". SO GOOD LUCK IN TAYAC....GO TEAM GB....GO 500cc SUPER SERIES
Sunday 4th June 2017
KEVIN HUBSCH and Michael Burger were the somewhat surprise winners of the European Sidecar semi-final at Wimborne on Sunday.
The German crew showed little in the heats and only made the final via victory in the last chance B race, but went on to get the better of compatriots Marcus Brandhofer and Tim Scheunemann in a dramatic, twice-run final.
It was a mixed day for the Brits on home soil. Dave Carvill and former eight-time British Champion Shaun Harvey both made it through to July's final in Tayac by right, albeit the latter did it the hard way, while Barry Bennett rode at the top of his form to earn the right to be reserve in France.
However, there was ultimately disappointment for Natasha Bartlett and Ciara Southgate at the end of a topsy-turvy day for the all-girl crew, while late additions to the draw Aaron and Stephen Vale also came up a little short.
Proceedings in Dorset were delayed for a lengthy period by a crash in the support classes involving Georgie Wood but thanks to excellent work by the referee, in co-operation with the riders, this prestigious meeting was still concluded by 5.30 pm.
Carvill and passenger Cameron Godden got the semi-final off to the perfect start from a British perspective, pinging the gate in Heat 1 and increasing their lead lap on lap for an impressive win. Slow-starting Brandhofer served notice of his intent by coming from fifth to overtake both Bennett and Harvey to take second.
The two Britons staged a great duel for third and fourth, Harvey prevailing over his fellow stalwart.
Christophe Grenier was equally impressive in taking the other heat of leg one ahead of fellow Frenchman David Chaminade with Vale an excellent third.
Hubsch, plagued by set-up problems throughout the preliminaries, was only fifth, while Bartlett was left to rue completely missing the start as she trailed in last.
Smarting from drawing a blank, English grasstrack's leading lady gated brilliantly at the start of leg two and held on to win from the stylish Chaminade. Brandhofer, favouring the outside line, got past Harvey, who could therefore only finish fourth.
Grenier made it two wins from two in Heat 4 ahead of Hubsch, who got his best result of the heats in second, while Brits Bennett and Carvill served up a great scrap for third, the former just getting the nod.
Carvill was back to winning ways in Heat 5, beating Grenier, the only point dropped by the Frenchman in the heats. Brandhofer was third again with Hubsch only fourth and Chaminade out the back in what was the best race so far.
Race six brought the crowd to life once more as the British crews produced a one-two-three. Bartlett again gated brilliantly to win by a distance while Harvey finally asserted himself in a great battle with Bennett for second.
Grenier was back to winning ways at the start of leg four ahead of the hard-charging Carvill, both crews clinching spots in the A-final.
Hubsch, struggling once more, could only finish third ahead of Harvey with Bartlett unable to continue her earlier heroics back in fifth.
Brandhofer became the third rider to move to the A final with his first win of the day in the final heat where Chaminade's second place saw him squeeze past Harvey, Bartlett and Bennett to take the last spot in the finale and sentence the Brits to the nervy, last-chance Brace.
Vale made it four Brits in the B final where Hubsch produced his best race yet to win, Harvey collecting the crucial second spot despite the best efforts of the hard-chasing Bennett.
Estonian crew Joel Sudnikevits and Johan Paabstel capped a fine showing with fourth, while it was the end of the road for Bartlett and Vale.
The original running of the final proved a dramatic affair as, with five crews racing abreast into the turn, a pile-up ensued.
Shaun Harvey was the driver most affected by events for which leading point scorer Grenier paid the penalty as he was excluded as primary cause of the stoppage.
After a delay to allow for treatment of wounds and repairs to machinery, the five remaining crews came back to the line. Harvey, who had appeared below par most of the day, made the best of the start to roar off in front. Brandhofer, who surprisingly opted for the outside gate, and Hubsch set off in pursuit.
Carvill chose the wrong moment for a dreadful start, but fought his way up to fourth before Chaminade came to a stop.
Up ahead, Harvey looked set for a home win but on the fourth lap, the injuries suffered in the first running began to take their toll and he slowed slightly. Brandhofer attacked on the outside and Hubsch the inner and the Briton could find no response. Hubsch made the most of the inside track to hold off Brandhofer for the victory, Harvey keeping going to complete the podium.
Sunday 23rd April 2017
The Super Series teams headed to Kent for the first round of the 500cc Sidecar Super Series. And what a fantastic day's racing it turned out to be. Eight fantastic heats of racing, but dust was the real winner on the day as the meeting was brought to an abrupt halt before the finals.
First up on the 600 metre Swingfield circuit was the opening heat of the 2017 500cc Sidecar Super Series, and what a fantastic race it turned out to be. Simon Beard/Ant Goodwin making their first
appearance since their crash at the European solo Final last year absolutely flew from the start, followed by Mitch Godden/Paul Smith, Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown and Dave Carvill/Cameron Godden. Godden
hounding Beard on the first lap, closely followed by Team Goodwin and Team 55 (Carvill/Godden), but it was Carvill and Mitch’s son Cameron who went from 4th to 2nd by scything their way passed both
Goodwin and Godden senior going into the first turn on lap 2. Carvill then set off in pursuit of Beard, although it looked like Beard/Goodwin had enough of a lead to take the win on their return. Now
with almost clear track in front of them they quickly caught Simon Beard, and got up the inside of Beard going into the first turn on lap 3. Together they rounded the bend, Carvill just getting the
better of Beard exiting the turn. It was then Carvill/Godden started to pull clear, but the race was not over, with Josh Goodwin & Mitch Godden involved in a brilliant tussle with Beard for 2nd,
3rd, and 4th. Finally it was Goodwin who took 2nd, Godden 3rd, with Beard back in 4th. What a race to start the day.
Race 2 saw a tremendous battle between Shaun Harvey/Danny Hogg and another former solo rider now progressing well in this class Dan Berwick/Mark Hopkins. Harvey/Hogg eventually just keeping Berwick at Bay
One of the best races of the day was seen in race 10 in the Super Series, with Beard/Goodwin again making the start, and quickly hassled by Goodwin/Brown, having a great race on lap one, Goodwin then taking the lead, the race was then all about second place, with Harvey/Hogg all over Beard/Goodwin for the next 2 laps, eventually passing Beard on lap 3 with some gentle persuading exiting the turn. More great racing in the following heat even though Dan Berwick led from the start, it was Carvill/Godden that provided the large crowd with some fantastic entertainment by not making the start and were 5th going into turn one, but eventually getting up into 2nd with some stylish overtaking moves.
Beard/Goodwin took a really good win in race 18 after again making the start like in their previous 2 heats, and although chased all the way by Goodwin/Brown they just held on for the the win. Maybe feeling a little rusty and not as race fit as they would like.
Race 24 was without doubt the race of the day for the Super Series. Simon Beard again made a lighting start closely followed by Mitch Godden and Dan Berwick. Godden trying to go right round the outside on the first turn and down the finishing straight, but Beard was having none of it, and kept Godden wide for the whole lap, down the following straight, and Godden/Smith were still trying the outside line, round the next bend and Beard still kept Godden wide, this time just edging clear, but Godden again caught Beard, and exiting the final bend he again tried the wide line, but Beard had got wise to this move by now, and just managed to hang on to the line by about a wheel. Fantastic stuff.
After the points had been calculated in the pits the Super Series riders went to the pit boxes to commence battle in both the A and B finals. With the B-final about to go out the solo semi finals finished with riders questioning the safety of the track as the riders raced wheel-to-wheel in blinding dust. A riders meeting took place with the officials and the decision was to abandon the meeting in the interests of rider safety.
Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown were given the win as they were leading the points on 18 going into the finals. One point behind was Godden/Smith and Harvey Hogg who took the remaining podium places.