Sleaford sidecar driver Gary Horspole, with Jimmy Connell in the chair, rode to a fine seventh-place in round three of the British F1 Sidecar championship at Oulton Park on Monday.
It was Horspole’s best result of the current campaign and gave him nine championship points, moving him up to 15th in the rider standings.
With only one race at the Cheshire circuit instead of the usual two there was everything to race for and Gary and Jimmy began from the seventh row. They made a fantastic start and moved up to 11th place on the first of 14 laps.
By lap six they were up to eighth and then sixth, and at two-thirds race distance their excellent progress through the field had seen them move into fifth place, hotly pursued by two other outfits.
When Horspole moved over to allow the race leader through, his pursuers Kirk/Hughes and Gray/Ransley seized the opportunity and also followed through. He did manage to regain fifth place briefly before running wide onto the gravel at the last corner which lost him time, and he finally crossed the finish line in seventh place.
Horspole said: “We were a little apprehensive going out to run 14 laps on such a demanding circuit, especially with Jimmy still recovering from his shoulder injury. He must have been in considerable pain towards the end but he hung on in there.”