Rain fails to dampen Stevens' hopes of title defence
Reigning champions Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood enjoyed a positive start to the British Sidecar Championship at Oulton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
Sidecar driver Ricky Stevens from Portsmouth, and Dover-based passenger Ryan Charlwood, began the race third on the grid.
And despite the challenging weather conditions, the duo finished an impressive second behind world champion Tim Reeves and his passenger Gregory Cluze.
Stevens and Charlwood also had the honour of claiming the fastest lap of the race.
‘There are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend and we continually built our speed with each and every session,’ said Stevens.
‘It’s been a long winter and it’s been a while since we’ve raced in anger and that resulted in me suffering a bit of arm pump.
‘It took me a while to get going in the race and I should have gone harder from the start.
‘But we’ve scored some good points and set the fastest lap so it’s a solid start to the season.’
Preparing for the race in Cheshire was not plain sailing for the team, who were dogged by technical difficulties in pre-season testing, both at home and abroad.
Paul Knapton, team manager, said: ‘The outfit hasn’t been running at 100 per cent over the past six weeks but we’ve been working hard in the run-up to this race to resolve those issues and I’m delighted the team’s efforts have paid off.
‘We’re really pleased with our performance this weekend and are now looking forward to what looks like being a hotly contested championship!’
The next round of race action is at Brands Hatch in three weeks time.