Rain dampens duo's charge at Thruxton
DOUBLE British F1 Sidecar champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood secured another podium finish but it was tough conditions for round seven of the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship.
Sidecar driver Stevens, from Portsmouth, and his passenger Charlwood, from Dover, had hoped to repeat last year’s double win on their home Thruxton circuit.
But the weather and time constraints meant it wasn’t to be.
A heavy shower soaked the track just before the qualifying session on Friday afternoon.
The team had taken a gamble on tyres which didn’t pay off, so they returned to the pit lane to change them.
Just as the pair headed back out on to the track to improve their time, the session was red flagged and they had to make do with a disappointing P15.
They did manage to race well in the tough conditions, though.
Charlwood said: ‘Qualifying was a bit of a disaster because of our choice of tyres, but race one on the Saturday was actually quite good for us in terms of confidence building.
‘We started in P15 and ended up in sixth place in the wet, which isn’t our strong suit, so we were both quite pleased with that. If we’d started from a better position, we would have been able to get away and get a podium win.’
Thankfully, race two was a dry one.
Reverse grid rules meant Stevens and Charlwood started from fifth on the grid.
They took third position early in the race, then managed to get up another position to finish second and ensure it wasn’t going to be a complete disappointment.
The third race of the weekend was due to take place on Sunday afternoon, however – owing to schedule constraints and incidents on track – the race was eventually abandoned.
Stevens said: ‘We were pumped for race three on Sunday and were aiming for a win but, sadly, time was against us. After a couple of crashes at the start, it was abandoned so we didn’t get to accomplish what we had set out to do.
‘We now have to focus on the next round. We’ll be hoping to redeem ourselves there and grab that elusive win.’
The next round of the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship will take place at Cadwell Park from August 18 to 20.