Sleaford sidecar Gary Horspole up to seventh in F1 championship after Thruxton

Horspole overcame a crash in qualifying to clam two good points finishes at Thruxton EMN-171008-155117002
Horspole overcame a crash in qualifying to clam two good points finishes at Thruxton EMN-171008-155117002

Sleaford F1 sidecar driver Gary Horspole and passenger Jimmy Connell recorded two point-scoring finishes in round seven of the British F1 Sidecar Championship at Thruxton.

Free practice went well for the pair in the dry and they were sixth fastest, but it was a different story on a wet track in qualifying.

Horspole has never been comfortable racing in the wet and it was no different.

He ran wide at Village and clipped the wet grass, flipping the outfit onto its roof and causing a red flag which ended the session.

But the pair escaped unhurt and the outfit had minor damage.

Starting the first of three eight-lap races on Saturday from a ninth row grid position, Gary and Jimmy started well and moved up into 15th on lap one.

They reeled in Robinson/Smithies and passed them on lap four to move into 14th, but they were too far adrift of the next outfit and had to be content to finish in 14th and 12th in their class for four championship points.

Horspole and Connell started the second race from the seventh row and got a fantastic start, moving up to 10th place on the first lap.

They then passed MacLaurin/Hope and Archer/Thomas, but Archer got back ahead again on lap three, leaving Horspole and Connell in eighth.

As the race wore on they edged nearer and nearer to Ellis/Richardson and finally overhauled them on the final lap to cross the finish line in a strong seventh place to claim nine more points.

Horspole and Connell started race three from the second row and got away well to lead the riders around the first corner.

But a multiple bike crash brought out the red flag on the first lap. The riders lined up for another quick restart, but on the warm-up lap yet another outfit crashed and the race was abandoned.

“I was really disappointed the race was abandoned as we were going well and I was looking at a top result,” said Horspole.

“But these things happen in racing and luckily apart from a few broken bones for the riders involved, and some severe damage to their outfits, no-one was seriously hurt which is the main thing.”

The results leave the pair in seventh place in the rider standings on 93 points with the next round at Horspole’s local track of Cadwell Park this weekend.