Defending champions target success at Thruxton

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood in action. Picture: Tim Keeton/Impact Images

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood in action. Picture: Tim Keeton/Impact Images

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood. Picture: John Mushet/ JCM Motorsports Photography

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REIGNING British Formula One Sidecars champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood are targeting a first race win of 2016 at Thruxton this weekend.

The duo are just three points ahead of the chasers as they gear up for a fight to cling on to their lead.

Sidecar driver Stevens, from Portsmouth, and his passenger Charlwood, from Dover, will be heading to the familiar grounds of Thruxton for the fifth round of the championship.

They have been plagued by bad luck over the last two rounds of the championship, with Charlwood injuring his shoulder during practice at Knockhill, in Scotland.

This has meant their hopes of a comfortable lead in the rankings have been dashed.

And now they now face a difficult showdown with rival team Tim Reeves and Greg Cluze.

Charlwood said: ‘We had such an amazing championship last year.

‘But this year has definitely been a whole lot more challenging, not helped by my shoulder injury.

‘We started the season with some good points and we’ve managed to get six podium finishes so far.

‘But we are yet to win a race. We really want a top spot now.

‘Tim and Greg have been very strong opponents this year and with just three points between us, we’ll have to fight hard to extend our lead or we risk losing our championship title.’

There are three sidecar races this weekend at Thruxton.

Two take place on the Saturday and one is on the Sunday.

That means there are up to 75 points up for grabs if Stevens and Charlwood manage to get ahead of the pack in all three races.

Stevens is looking forward to racing at Thruxton again.

The duo were in excellent form their last year and will be hoping for a repeat this time around.

They will want to get ahead of their rivals and earn that elusive first race success of this series so far.

Stevens said: ‘We like Thruxton, it’s my nearest circuit and one where we broke the lap record last year.

‘It’s a long track with fewer bends to manoeuvre so it’s all about the speed.

‘We’re looking at ways to improve the speed of the outfit but at the end of the day, it will be down to me to rev that engine up and push us to the front of the line.

‘I’ve got my fingers crossed for a good weekend, we could really use a win now.’

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