MOTORCYCLING: Sleaford sidecar pair ride strongly at Brands

Gary Horspole and Jimmy Connell
Gary Horspole and Jimmy Connell

Sleaford racer Gary Horspole and his Scottish passenger Jimmy Connell rode to a fine sixth place in round six of the British F1 Sidecar Championship that took place alongside the FIM World Sidecar round at Brands Hatch over the weekend.

Because they were competing within the World Championship race there was just one race instead of the usual two and the team were anxious to put on a good display alongside the top riders.

Gary Horspole and Jimmy Connell on track at Brands Hatch.

Gary Horspole and Jimmy Connell on track at Brands Hatch.

Qualifying went well with the pair completing the second session in 12th position to make a start from a sixth row grid position for the 18-lap race on Sunday.

As the race got underway, Gary and Jimmy got away to a good start and were circulating in a strong ninth position for the first six laps.

They moved up to eighth one lap later and on lap 13 were up to seventh when a crash involving one of the World Championship teams caused the race to be brought to a halt, allowing the medics and marshals to attend.

As the race had passed the two-thirds distance, a result was declared on positions on lap 13, with Gary and Jimmy behind awarded 10 championship points which moved them up to eighth in the rider standings on 54 points.

Gary said: “I think we put on a good show within the grid of a World Championship race. The British Championship riders took the first six places in the race, with the first of the world riders finishing a long way behind us in seventh place.

“It’s a shame the race was halted for the crash and I hope the riders involved are OK. Jimmy is back to full fitness now and it showed in our performance.”

Gary expressed their thanks Sleaford Quality Foods and Baker Plant Hire for their continued support, and also to Oxford Products for providing them with HJC helmets and support at the track.

Gary and Jimmy will be back in action at Thruxton over the weekend of July 31-August 2 when the pair will be seeking another strong finish to their races to keep in touch with the championship leaders.