Back-to-back titles running away from Stevens

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood. Picture: John Mushet/ JCM Motorsports Photography
Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood. Picture: John Mushet/ JCM Motorsports Photography
Ben Wilson
Picture: Ian Groves

Wightlink battle to clinch valiant win

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Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood slid further behind leaders Tim and Tris Reeves in pursuit of retaining their British Sidecars Championship title.

After a seven-week break, racing returned at Knockhill in Fife, Scotland, last weekend for round three.

Driver Stevens, from Portsmouth, and his Dover-based passenger Charlwood were bidding to get their title challenge back on track and were in second place heading north of the border.

But a four-vehicle collision in race one forced the duo to retire and they were leapfrogged by Stephen Kershaw and Stuart Clark.

Stevens admitted he and Charlwood did not perform up to scratch in Scotland but is confident they can bounce back.

He said: ‘It was a tough weekend. We are trying to get the settings of our car right.

‘We are now third in the championship. With three rounds coming up one week after another, we need to get our challenge back on track.’

After a slow start to their title defence, the duo were pleased with the changes they made in their last race at Oulton Park in May.

Friday’s qualifying enabled Stevens and Charlwood to find the right settings at the technical Knockhill circuit.

On a greasy track, they ensured a fifth-place start on the grid for race one on Saturday.

However, Stevens and Charlwood began in the worst manner possible.

The duo spun off the track in the early stages and were forced to rejoin the pack at the rear.

The race was stopped on lap five due to oil on the track.

After the restart, the contest was reduced to 10 laps.

Stevens and Charlwood immediately made rapid headway through the field.

However, disaster struck again when they had a coming together with three other vehicles.

It caused damage to their 1000cc Kawasaki-powered motor and the duo were forced to retire.

To rub salt into the wound, the Reeves duo sealed victory and extended their lead at the top.

With a reverse grid for race two, Stevens and Charlwood had to start 21st on Sunday.

The contest was reduced to 10 laps, which meant it was an even stiffer challenge.

A great start saw the duo move through the field and they finished sixth. The Reeves duo were impeccable again to seal another win.

– JOHN MUSHET