Gary Horspole’s hopes of ending his F1 Sidecar season on a high note at Brands Hatch hit the skids - due to a rainsoaked track.
Horspole and Selby rider Paul Knapton were optimistic of getting into a top 10 position at the end of a season marred with mechanical problems.
Free practice and qualifying went well with the pair clinching eighth place for a fourth row start to the penultimate race of the season on Saturday.
However,the rain was falling heavily and as the lights went out the spray from the outfits ahead made visibility very poor. The duo dropped to 12th until the field spread out when they maintained their position, building up speed.
But their race was over when they rounded Paddock Hill bend on lap four, the outfit spun and they travelled backwards at speed into the gravel trap.
The pair were forced to start the second race from the 11th row and would have to work hard. The rain had stopped but the track was still very wet and the surface was treacherous. Four riders crashed uninjured at Clearways on the first lap and another at Paddock Hill which brought the course car out to lead the riders around the track while the stranded machines were moved to safety.
By lap five the race was back on but by this time Horspole and Knaptonl had decided they would retire to the pits as there was nothing to be achieved and a lot to be lost by staying out in the difficult conditions.
They finished their 2013 campaign in 13th place on 77 points and will now revamp the outfit in preparation for an all out assault next year.