Isle of Wight Smallbrook Stadium geared up for fast start to spectacular ACU British Sidecar Speedway Championships

Defending champions Paul Whitelam and Alan Elliott will be among the teams racing when sidecars head for the Isle of Wight on Saturday. Picture: Marc Webslade
Defending champions Paul Whitelam and Alan Elliott will be among the teams racing when sidecars head for the Isle of Wight on Saturday. Picture: Marc Webslade
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The breathtaking 1000cc methanol-guzzling sidecars are heading to the Isle of Wight on Saturday for the opening round of the ACU British Sidecar Speedway Championships.

The UK’s top 16 crews will be locking horns at Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde, the home of the Wightlink Warriors speedway team.

Sidecar Speedway GB organised five championship rounds last season as well as a very successful team event.

On every occasion the fans and riders left the stadium with the adrenaline flowing after 20-plus heats of fairing-rubbing racing.

The sight and sounds of four 1000cc multi-cylinder 170bhp monsters screaming into the first bend is one of the most breathtaking sights in sport. 

Reigning British Champions Paul Whitelam and Alan Elliott will begin the defence of their title facing some tough opposition.

These include ex-champions and last season’s runner-up Mark Cossar who will have Sam Heath on the back in place of regular passenger Carl Blyth.

Both are very experienced crews, as are Mick Cave with Bradley Steer and Will Penfold with Ricky Pay.

All these riders have raced against the best in the world in Australia, the spiritual home of Sidecar Speedway.

All turned down invites to compete in this year’s World Cup in order to concentrate on preparation for racing in the UK in 2019.

The crews warmed up for the season in Leicester. After 22 heats of thrilling, neck and neck, edge of the seat racing, 2017 champions Mark Cossar and Carl Blyth took a well deserved win.

It was not such a great night for the defending champions as Paul Whitelam and Alan Elliott blew an engine early on.

But if you are going to suffer gremlins then better to do it at warm up event rather than drop championship points.

Sidecar GB had an awesome year in 2018 and with some of the newer less experienced crews getting quicker on the shale meeting by meeting it looks like 2019 is going to be a cracker.

The date for your diary is Saturday at the venue Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde, on the Isle of Wight – the home of Wightlink Warriors speedway.

Gates open at 5.45pm, practice starts at 6.30pm and the main action begins at 7pm. The stadium is well equipped to cater for track sport enthusiasts as they enjoy the meeting so it’s a great night for all the family.

It is 20-plus action-packed races for the price of £10 for adults, while under-16s get in free.