MOTORCYCLING: Sleaford F1 sidecar man secures three top 10 finishes

Gary Horspole and passenger Jimmy Connell in action at Thruxton. Photo: Dave Yeomans
Gary Horspole and passenger Jimmy Connell in action at Thruxton. Photo: Dave Yeomans

After the disastrous last outing at Snetterton when Sleaford sidecar driver Gary Horspole, with passenger Jimmy Connell, was unable to take part in either race because of technical problems, the pair secured three top 10 finishes at Thruxton in round four of the British F1 Sidecar Championship over the weekend.

Horspole and Connell qualified in ninth position and started the first eight lap race from the fifth row on Saturday. They got away to a good start, making up ground to seventh place which they held throughout the eight lap affair. They were, however, awarded sixth place in the results as one outfit ahead was in the 600 Cup class and only recorded points in their own class.

The second race late on Saturday afternoon saw Horspole and Connell start from the fourth row and move straight into fifth position. They were demoted a place when Bryan/Richardson went past but they were soon to retire and Gary and Jimmy moved back into fifth place.

They then became embroiled in a battle for position with the leading 600 Cup outfit of Ben and Tom Birchall who finally made it past on the final lap. But the move didn’t make any difference to the result as Gary and Jimmy claimed the fifth place in the F1 class.

Starting race three on Sunday morning from a third row grid position, Gary and Jimmy maintained fifth place through the first lap but the LCR Honda began to lose pace as tyre wear came into effect and the pair finished the eight laps in eighth place overall, but seventh in class.

Gary commented: “We were struggling for grip in that last race which slowed us down a bit. But on the positive side we have had a good weekend with a fifth, sixth and seventh result and I am happy with that.

“Thanks to Jimmy for his sterling work as passenger, and also the support of our sponsors, Oxford Products, HJC Helmets, Sleaford Quality Foods and Baker Plant Hire.”

The strong set of results placed Gary and Jimmy ninth in the overall rider standings on 76 points, with the next round at Mallory Park this coming weekend.