AOS/BeWiser duo Stevens and Charlwood seal sidecar championship at Silverstone

Ryan Charlwood, Paul Knapton (team manager) and Ricky Stevens
Ryan Charlwood, Paul Knapton (team manager) and Ricky Stevens
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Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood completed their British Formula One Sidecar Championship success at Silverstone.

Portsmouth driver Stevens hit top speed to secure a memorable success for the AOS/BeWiser team.

I knew we were close to winning the championship and winning it here is fantastic

Ricky Stevens

The penultimate round of the championship took place at the 3.6-mile Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

Stevens and Dover-based passenger Charlwood had one hand on the championship going into the races following an 82.5-point lead.

The grid line-up was like a who’s who from the sidecar world with former world champions, British champions and Isle of Man TT champions in attendance.

Friday’s qualifying saw Stevens and Charlwood finish third.

But from the start of the race they took the lead, breaking the lap record into the bargain.

On lap three the race was stopped due to a crash involving another sidecar.

Having to do it all again for the five-lap restart, the pair set off and again broke the lap record and crossed the line five seconds ahead of Andy Peach and Charlie Richardson.

Moving into pole position for the 10-lap race on Sunday, confidence was high.

Another majestic performance then saw Stevens and Charlwood take the chequered flag by 14 seconds and the championship was theirs, having a 106.5-point lead going into the last round at Brands Hatch in two weeks.

In front of family, friends and sponsors the pair were jubilant.

Stevens said: ‘I can’t believe this. I knew we were close to winning the championship and winning it here is fantastic.

‘Thanks to all the team and sponsors for everything this season.’

Charlwood added: ‘To win like we have is just unbelievable, it’s a whole team effort. It’s a dream come true.’

At the same meeting, Havant’s JH Racing Finning Cat team of Havant driver Ben Holland and his Rayleigh passenger of Lee Watson qualified in fifth place.

Setting off at a good pace in race one, they had a great performance, finishing in fourth place.

Sunday’s race was a huge disappointment for the team after Saturday’s outing.

Their 1000cc Kawasaki-powered sidecar developed an engine fault and, despite trying to repair it, they never started the race.

Afterwards, a disappointed Holland said: ‘We just don’t seem to have any luck.

‘After the first race we knew we could improve in race two but the fault just developed.’