Sleaford sidecar racer out of luck at Knockhill

Gary Horspole tackles the twists and turns of Knockhill EMN-180716-190515002
Gary Horspole tackles the twists and turns of Knockhill EMN-180716-190515002

Sleaford sidecar racer Gary Horspole travelled up to Scotland to join Jimmy Connell for round five of the British Sidecar Championship.

But it didn’t quite go to plan for the pair who finished the first race in fifth place and were taken out of the other two races at Knockhill.

After their first podium finish in the series at Cadwell, the pair were fired up at Connell’s home round and recorded a strong sixth place in qualifying to start the first 15-lap race from a third-row grid slot.

Horspole and Connell were quick to anticipate the lights and moved straight up into fourth place on the opening lap.

They held station for five laps before being overhauled by Stevens and Charlwood on the 600 outfit on the short, twisty circuit.

While Horspole was faster on the straights, Stevens was able to nip past on cornering, and after exchanging places numerous times, on lap five Stevens finally made his move stick and pulled clear.

This left Horspole with a lonely race in fifth for the remainder to earn 11 points.

Starting the second race again from the third row, Horspole and Connell got a good start, but became tangled with another two outfits at turn one and were forced to retire.

Because of the non-finish, they began the final race from the back and despite another good start, moving through the back markers, they were caught again by another outfit at turn one and spun.

This caused another outfit to run into the side of the LCR Kawasaki and once again it was game over.

“This weekend was one to forget,” Horspole said. “Neither crash was my fault, just circumstances beyond our control.

“The outfits are all bunched up at the start which makes it difficult to get a clean run through the first corner.

“But we came through unscathed and the outfit just has some fairing damage which is easily fixed, so we will regroup at Brands Hatch and try again.”