In with the new for Sleaford sidecar ace Gary Horspole

Gary Horspole (left) and Scottish passenger Jimmy Connell are aiming to better last season's top-six finish EMN-191202-092015002
Gary Horspole (left) and Scottish passenger Jimmy Connell are aiming to better last season's top-six finish EMN-191202-092015002

It’s all change for Sleaford sidecar racer Gary Horspole, with passenger Jimmy Connell, as the new season heralds a change to the British Sidecar Championship.

Under new regulations for the 2019 season, competitors will no longer be able to use the big 1,000cc engines as in previous years, but will switch to 600cc-powered outfits.

With this in mind, Horspole has made adjustments to his long LCR chassis to accommodate a new Yamaha R6 engine which is in the process of being prepared by Keith Whiting.

The Lincolnshire/Scottish pairing ended last season in a fine sixth place after an eventful championship which saw them record some strong results, including three podium finishes.

But there were also a few non-finishes as well as a heart-stopping crash which left Horspole trapped in the upturned outfit, luckily without injury.

“We are both looking forward to the new season and will be aiming for a top-five place in the new championship,” Horspole said.

“We realise the need for some intense testing this year because of the change of engine, and instead of struggling in poor weather conditions at home, we have made the decision to go abroad this year.”

Horspole and Connell intend to go to the Val de Vienne circuit in Le Vigeant, Western France, for a week of testing from March 18 to 22.

A large contingent of sidecar racers, including a mix of world and British championship, plus national series runners, are expected to come together and test their respective outfits prior to the start of their various series.

2019 Hyundai Construction Equipment British Sidecar Championship dates -

Rd 1 (May 4-6) – Oulton Park; Rd 2 (June 14-16) – Brands Hatch GP; Rd 3 (June 22-23) – Cadwell Park (sidecar revival); Rd 4 (June 28-30) – Knockhill; Rd 5 (July 19-21) – Snetterton; Rd 6 (August 2-4) – Thruxton; Rd 7 (August 16-18) – Cadwell Park; Rd 8 (September 20-22) – Assen; Rd 9 (October 4-6) – Donington Park GP; Rd 10 (October 18-20) – Brands Hatch GP.