Quad Racing Ireland hosted the fourth round of the ACU British Sidecarcross championships of 2022 at the Tandragee track in Northern Ireland.
The track was in great condition, with overnight rain helping to keep the dust to a manageable level. The weather was cloudy but no rain, apart from the cold wind it was perfect conditions.
Not all the sidecar regulars made the trip to Northern Ireland, noticeable absences from top five teams were Dan Foden/ Nathan Cooper and George Kinge/ Dan Phelps, with Jake Brown/ Paul Horton still out due to injury.
In the previous round we saw another very closely fought battle for the championship lead, at the start of the day Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard were just one point ahead of Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain. The leading pairs battled hard again and at this round it was Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard who took the seven-point advantage at the end of a great days racing. Two Northern Irish teams at their local event also challenged the leading pairs, with both Gary Moulds / Lewis Gray and Neil Campbell / Ross Graham both taking a hole shot and pushing hard for podium positions.
Racing got underway with an early lead for local team Gary Moulds / Lewis Gray going on to take a great win, cheered all the way by their local supporters. Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain held second ahead of Neil Campbell / Ross Graham with Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard fourth. For second place the battle was on, Championship leaders Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard were determined, and blasted into third chasing Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain, but didn’t find a way past. Behind Michael Hodges / Jack Wilkinson were left on the line and were on a charge throughout fighting through to take a brilliant fifth place, passing both Jonathan Wilson/ Andrew Rowan and Paul Pelling/ Michael Curnow on the final few laps.
Going into Race two there was still one point separating Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain and Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard at the top of the championship. It was Gary Moulds / Lewis Gray who again took the holeshot, and worked hard to take a second win, but it wasn’t to be. From behind Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard battled through to second and then into the lead taking their first win of the day. Gary Moulds / Lewis Gray stayed close, until disaster struck just a few bends from the end of the race when the engine died but that didn’t stop them, they pushed the bike round the track and over the line to take an amazing fifth place. Behind, Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain were not having any more luck and also slowed with mechanical problems, Neil Campbell / Ross Graham saw an opportunity and blasted past, giving them a brilliant second place, Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain held third with Michael Hodges / Jack Wilkinson taking fourth.
Preparing for race three was a battle of the mechanics everyone watching to see who would be ready, firstly Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard changed an engine, Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain and Gary Moulds / Lewis Gray swapped to their spare bikes, although less powerful it meant they made the restart, so they all made the start of the last championship race of the day. This time it was another local team who took the holeshot, with Neil Campbell / Ross Graham held the advantage going into lap one, and they disappeared into the wooded area being chased by Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard, and when the team reappeared that had dropped to second. Brett Wilkinson / Joe Millard went on to take a second win, giving them enough point to take the overall win on the day. Behind Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain started fourth but fought forward to take second with Gary Moulds / Lewis Gray tucking into third. Neil Campbell / Ross Graham held on for fourth with Michael Hodges/ Jack Wilkinson a few bends behind in fifth, just ahead of Paul Pelling/ Michael Curnow.
At the end of another eventful day Wilkinson / Millard hold a seven-point advantage from current champions Brown / Chamberlain. Moulds / Gray hold third in the championship, with Hodges/ Wilkinson up to fourth. With Foden / Cooper, and Kinge / Phelps not racing this week they dropped down the leader board but only by one position. Unfortunately, Jake Brown/ Paul Horton missed another event due to injury but still hold a top ten place.
Don’t miss round five on 17 July at Wakes Colne, where the exciting battles for the championship lead will continue.