Sleaford sidecar racer Horspole rues false start at Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch brought further frustration for Gary Horspole EMN-180726-131537002
Brands Hatch brought further frustration for Gary Horspole EMN-180726-131537002

After their problems at Knockhill, Sleaford sidecar driver Gary Horspole headed to Brands Hatch hoping for a change of luck.

But he and passenger Jimmy Connell came away with just 12 points from the two British Sidecar championship races.

They qualified in eighth for a fourth-row grid start, but could not make much progress and completed the 12-lap race in eighth in a mixed grid of F1 and 600cc outfits.

Despite being the fifth F1 outfit over the line, this year the 600cc outfits also take the points in the overall race as their own 600 Cup, leaving Horspole with eight championship points.

With the top 10 outfits from race one reversed on the grid for race two, Horspole and Connell started from the second row.

But Horspole was a little too keen to get away and jumped the start, shooting off to lead around Paddock Hill.

Realising his mistake, he dropped back to his original position hoping the race director would not issue a penalty, but the pair were duly forced to enter the pits for a ride through penalty and rejoined at the back of the race.

Horspole drove like the wind in an effort to catch up the tailenders, and eventually overtook Russell and Parker to settle into 14th, but were too far behind to make further headway.

But, in another twist, two wildcard outfits finished ahead of them and Horspole and Connell were given the points for 12th place.

Horspole and Connell stay fifth in the rider standings on 112 points ahead of three races at Thruxton this weekend.

Timetable: Friday – free practice 12.10pm, qualifying 4.40pm. Saturday – Race one (8 laps) 1.15pm, race two (8 laps) 5.50pm. Sunday – Race three (8 laps) 2.15pm.