Monday August 14, 2017 at 5:39pm
This past weekend saw the fifth round of the ACU/FSRA F2 Sidecar championship hosted for the second time this season with the Auto 66 club at Cadwell Park.
After a fifteen minute free practice session in the first part of the morning in dry conditions it was on to qualifying at 1100am, but there was a wait of some fifteen minutes in the holding area as the recovery vehicles were out on circuit collecting broken down Super karts. When the session got underway nineteen outfits took to the track and after five minutes it was Team Founds Racing Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley who set the early pace with a 1:39.028, followed by Printer Roller Services sponsored Conrad Harrison/Andrew Winkle on their Bellas Honda and making the top three Team ARC of Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie also on their LCR Suzuki. In the F2 Cup leading the charge was Nicky Dukes/William Moralee of Team Dynobike on their Baker Yamaha, with Stuart Anderson/Phil Gravel on their DMR Honda just 0.4s ahead of F2 Cup championship leaders Mike Jackson/Callum Crowe on their Windle Suzuki. At the halfway stage of qualifying the pairing of Founds and local lad Walmsley had set a blistering time of 1:38.140, some 1.3s in front of second placed pairing Crawford/Hardie, relegating Harrison/Winkle to third by 0.4s and a second further back, the Lowther brothers John and Jake on their LCR Honda who in turn were just 0.156s ahead of Sean Hegarty/James Neave on their Baker Honda. Meanwhile in the F2 cup it was still Dukes/Moralee but just by 0.321s ahead of Jackson/Crowe who in turn were just under a second in front of Team Powerhouse Brian Ilaria/Jody James on their DDM Suzuki. With eight minutes left Steve and Matty Ramsden had slotted in to fifth place on their LCR Honda and Jackson/Crowe had gone ahead of Dukes/Moralee posting their fastest ever lap around the Cadwell Park circuit of 1.42.786 and qualifying eighth overall.
So on to race one scheduled for 15.45pm over ten laps in sunny and dry conditions it was the championship leaders who made a great start and had opened up a 1.477s gap after the first lap, with the Lowther brothers John and Jake moving up two places in to second, Harrison/Winkle holding station in third and dropping two positions to fourth Crawford/Hardie. In the F2 Cup it was Dukes/Moralee leading the way from Jackson/Crowe, with Anderson/Gravel taking hold of third postion. By the end of lap three of ten Founds/Walmsley had opened up a 4.5s gap, the pairing of Crawford/Hardie had gone up to third recording their fastest lap of the race so far. There were also changes in the F2 Cup with Anderson/Gravel going ahead of Jackson/Crowe slotting in to second. At the halfway stage John and Jake Lowther had gone ahead of Harrison/Winkle and with just 1.5s separating positions three to six who knew what the outcome will be for the third spot by the end of the race. At the end of lap six Founds/Walmsley set what was to be the fastest lap of the race 1:38.405 to open up a 7.778s gap. The pairing of Mike Jackson/Callum Crowe had gone ahead of Stuart Anderson/Philip Gravel and set about chasing down the leading F2 Cup pairing of Nicky Dukes/William Moralee which the Manx pairing achieved on the next lap and recording their fastest ever time of 1:42.837 and taking the lead in the F2 Cup. At the end of lap nine Harrison/Winkle had overtaken John and Jake Lowther to take third place. I was a win number seven for the season for Founds/Walmsley and win number five on the trot for Jackson/Crowe.
Super F2 Cup
The second race and overall winners of the weekend would receive the Steve Norbury trophy and this took place over fourteen laps at 14.15pm.
After an eventful opening lap it was the pairing of Founds/Walmsley leading the way from Harrison/Winkle with Crawford/Hardie in third and moving up three places to fourth Gordon Shand/Phil Hyde on their Shand Honda. In first position in the F2 Cup and seventh overall were Jackson/Crowe closely followed by Ilaria/James with Anderson/Gravel slotting in to third. By the end of lap two Hegarty/Neave had moved ahead of Shand/Hyde in to fourth position. In the F2 Cup Anderson/Gravel would retire thus promoting third place in the cup to Dukes/Moralee. With four completed laps Dukes/Moralee had overtaken Ilaria/James and had gone in to second place in the F2 Cup. The positions remained the same until lap ten when Crawford/Hardie overtook Harrison/Winkle and by this time the championship leaders Founds/Walmsley were already some eighteen seconds clear and recorded the fastest lap of the weekend with 1:38.073. But on the very next lap Founds/Walmsley set their fastest ever lap time around Cadwell with a blistering 1:37.731 and had open up a twenty one second gap, there was a right tussle for second place as Harrison/Winkle had gone ahead of Crawford/Hardie and the gap just 0.543s with Hegarty/Neave having a great view of this battle just under 3.5s behind. By the end of the penultimate lap Crawford/Hardie and once again gone ahead of Harrison/Winkle and Hegarty/Neave were just 1.6s behind this battling duo. Setting their fastest lap of the race on lap fourteen was not quite enough for Sean Hegarty/James Neave as this missed out on the podium by just 0.873s.
So it was season win number eight for Founds/Walmsley, a double of second place finishes for Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie who were thrilled after suffering many non-finishes this season and also with a brace of third place finishes Conrad Harrison/Andrew Winkle. In the F2 Cup and winning the last six races birthday boy Mike Jackson/Callum Crowe, in second Nicky Dukes/William Moralee and third Brian Ilaria/Jody James
The pairing of Founds/Walmsley also retained the Steve Norbury trophy which was presented to them by Steve’s father Jim and one of our sponsors Lockside Engineering.
So after five of seven rounds the top three in the championships are as follows:
The FSRA would like to give thanks to the organising club Auto 66 and to all their marshalls and medics.
The sixth round of the ACU/FSRA F2 sidecar championship will be held at Mallory Park 9th/10th September.
Report by Mark Dennis - FSRA Press Officer