Allum and Philp extend lead with impressive racing during Oulton Park weekend
A successful weekend saw Portsmouth’s Jonny Allum and Windsor’s Tommy Philp extend their lead in the Bemsee F1 Sidecar Championship at Oulton Park.
Qualifying went well but for a few issues with handling as Philp, 23, and his passenger Allum, 32, tried to get the Brian Gray Powerbiking Racing Team LCR Yamaha sidecar set up, writes Barry Clay. By the end of the session they had qualified in seventh place for a fourth row start with a lap of 1.54.477 but were more than six seconds down on the pole men. Saturday morning’s warm up put them fifth fastest but they still needed to find a bit more pace. As the lights went out Philp and Allum made good use of the pro-shift electronic gear change and going into Old Hall corner for the first time moved into sixth, defending their move well as they exited the corner at the front of a hard-charging pack of nearly 30 sidecars. They were soon lapping in the 1.51s as they held their own against the vastly more experience crews. But there was one crew hunting them down, Sam and Adam Christie on a Brian Gray Powerbiking Racing Team supported LCR Yamaha had to start near the back as they were a late entry but the World Championship contenders were flying and on the last lap there was nothing they could do to stop them overtaking. But they had the satisfaction of taking another F1 win and a further 25 points in the championship. Before the second race some drastic changes were made to the handling as the earlier issues were more pronounce with the faster laps and Philp said he was fighting to stay in control. Race two saw another lightning start from Philp and Allum and again they exited Old Hall in sixth place as they charged down The Avenue. The adjustments to improve the handling had transformed the bike completely giving them a lot more stability and it showed as they reduced their lap times down to 1.50, holding their own against very strong competition. They were first in their class again and sixth overall. But on the last lap John Holden and Lewis Blackstock both retired, moving Philp and Allum up to fourth overall and they got another F1 sidecar win to increase their lead in the championship. They have increased their championship lead to 13 points over John Bicknell and Pete Ensor, who scored two second places in the F1 class.