Team Founds race review.
Round 1 – Brands Hatch Indy
After spending Friday afternoon testing around the short but fast Brands Hatch indy circuit, the team felt prepared for the weekend of racing ahead. On our newly acquired F2 LCR sidecar fitted with a Suzuki GSXR 600 K7 engine, we where still getting to grips with the difference in handling to our old TFR sidecar. All was positive from the test day, our speeds improving every session and we now looked forward to seeing how we compared with the British Championship contenders.
We put new tyres all round on in the morning and so went out in morning practice to scrub them in ready for qualifying.
For qualifying, we got to use our lap timer which transmits the lap time onto my dash counter for my reference. This is part of the many technological advances which we are learning with the new sidecar but which will save excess usage of the bike during the qualifying session. We achieved a lap time of 53.47 which put us in 9th position on the grid and 2nd quickest F2 Cup position. We were happy to be in the top 10 of the 22 sidecars and considering our stock, breakers yard engine.
The weather was really good for the first race of the season and we all lined up on the grid in anticipation. With mine and Toms pre race rituals out the way we looked to the lights ready for the red to go out. As we shot around the blind and steep paddock hill bend it was packed with sidecars everywhere. We held our position for a few laps before picking off Fenwick/Knapton and having Baker/Baker-Milligan in our sights. With a retirement in front of us we were up to 7th position and all over the back of Baker/Baker-Milligan. Unfortunately our standard engine was starting to show a bit now, we were quicker around the corners but didn’t have the power out to pass on the straights and so couldn’t get close enough to make a move on the brakes! This frustration continued for the entire race and gave those behind a chance to catch up to us. Now with Lowther/Lowther nipping at our heels we had to make a move on Baker/Baker-Milligan. We put it up the inside of them into clearways, albeit a bit forcefully and we kissed fairings all the way around and over the line for the penultimate time. The Baker/Baker-Milligan pairing just had to much speed and out dragged us into paddock hill bend for the last time. This is how it stayed and we crossed the line in 7th position and a great 2nd in the F2 cup.
Sunday – race 2, 16 laps
It was another dry race and we all lined up again on the grid in our qualifying positions from saturday. The start was going to be crucial to our position due to the difficulty we had to overtake as we found out in race 1. The lights came on red and then extinguished and we all hurtled towards paddock hill bend in a mass of sidecars. It seemed that everyone bunched up on the inside line and cued to get around! We saw an opportunity and opening and drove round the outside of 6 sidecars in one bend before taking the inside line into druids and out-braking one more and going into 2nd position! We couldn’t believe the start we had, we were now battling for the lead and completed lap one in second position behind Bryan/Winn. It stayed like this until lap 5 when Bell/Bell came past us and then and lap 6 Lelias/Knapton came past, both sidecars also overtaking Bryan/Winn and taking the lead. This was more the reality, I kind of expected to drop a few places with the lack of power but it was still a close race and the 3 sidecars in front where not getting away! We stuck in 4th position, chasing Bryan/Winn closely till lap 11 where a back marker pushed them off the racing line and I took full advantage and out braked them into Druids putting us into 3rd position. The pressure was on now to keep a cool head and stay smooth and quick to keep corner speed up as we lacked the straight line power. Sure enough, we held the 3rd position over the line and unbelievably took our first ever podium position in the British Championships and winning the F2 cup as well.
WOW, what a weekend and what a bike me and Tom now have! A great start to the season putting us joint 1st in the F2 cup and 3rd in the British Championship standings.
A massive thanks to all our sponsors and 50 club members for helping us achieve this amazing start. Heres to the season ahead and more of this success.