Sleaford sidecar racer Gary Horspole left to settle for sixth in GB Champs

Gary Horspole and Jimmy O'Connell improved to a top-six finish EMN-181017-175641002
Gary Horspole and Jimmy O'Connell improved to a top-six finish EMN-181017-175641002

Gary Horspole and Jimmy Connell ended their 2018 British Sidecar Championship in sixth after the final round of an eventful series at Brands Hatch.

The pair headed to the Kent circuit looking to retain their fifth place in the overall standings, but ninth and 18th-place finishes in their two races left them in sixth, one place higher than last season.

Horspole, from Sleaford, and Scottish passenger Connell completed qualifying in 16th place and began race one from the eighth row.

They started well and moved through the bumper field of 30 outfits to settle into 11th place on the opening lap.

They remained in this position for much of the race, but were demoted to 12th on lap eight.

But on the 10th and final lap they pushed hard and made a pass stick on Gilbert/Tritton to take the chequered flag in 11th.

With two wildcard riders ahead excluded from the points, Horspole and Connell were elevated up the finishing order to ninth.

With double points awarded in the final round, Horspole and Connell picked up 14 championship points bringing their total to 188 going into the final race the following day.

In wet conditions, Horspole and Connell started in the middle of the pack from the sixth row.

With spray from the outfits ahead making visibility virtually non-existent, they began to drop down the field and completed the race in 18th.

As two wildcard riders ahead were again excluded from the results, Horspole and Connell were awarded 16th place in their class, but just outside a point-scoring position and they slipped a place in the overall standings.