The 2019 F.S.R.A. / Lane Building Services
F350 / Post Classic / Pre-Injection Championship
Round 2 - Oulton Park - Wirral 100
Saturday 27th April
Words - Dave Tibbles
Photographs - Haydn Wyatt
Unfortunately the second round of the 2019 F.S.R.A. / Lane Building Services Pre-Injection Sidecar Championship saw fewer competitors – not due to a lack of enthusiasm or interest, but owing to the fact that the shared grid of sidecars was over-subscribed well before the closing date for entries. The atrocious weather had a major bearing on the day's proceedings, with persistent rain, surface water and debris on circuit from trackside foliage wrecked in the storms making it a challenging event for competitors and officials alike.
However, with a typical “British” determination, a full grid of sidecars made it out in the practice / qualifying session. That was enough for the more sensible pairings(!), with a number of teams in all classes either having mechanical problems, or with their own common-sense prevailing that they would prefer not to take any further part in such adverse conditions.
Entries from twelve Pre-Injection championship teams had been accepted for this event. The race programme detailed a total thirty sidecar teams, along with three reserves. However, race one started with only twenty teams across all classes, which – despite the conditions - the Wirral 100 club had refused entries from twenty-two additional sidecar teams wanting to do this meeting, including a number of Pre-Injection competitors.
Rob Fisher and stand in passenger Jake Lowther (600 Baker Yamaha) demonstrated their remarkable ability in the wet, winning the six-lap race and finishing second overall, with only one RKB-F1 combination making it to the chequered flag in front of them. The second Pre-Injection F2 were John and Doug Chandler (600 Ireson Yamaha). Next up in the Pre-Injection class, and first of the F1 duos were Dave Tibbles / Raitch Greenwood (1100 DDR FJ Yamaha). Hayley Christie / Matthew Sims (600 Windle Yamaha) were going well after recovering from an ignition failure in practice, coming from the back row of the grid to climb up to finish third in the F2 class. After a disastrous round one at Mallory Park, newcomers to the series Lee Chadwick / Steve Fairclough (1000 Baker Yamaha) claimed second place in the F1 class. Just behind them came the ever-improving Andrew and Joanne Thomas (600 MRE Yamaha).
The grid was even more depleted, with only eight teams altogether venturing onto the circuit, with no signs of the inclement weather improving. Showing commitment, five of the eight were F.S.R.A. Pre-Injection competitors. Fisher / Lowther once again dominated, not only winning the Pre-Injection race, but the outright sidecar race. The Chandler brothers repeated their earlier second place, which puts them into a strong second place in the title standing at this early stage, having been runners-up to Fisher in every outing so far. The Thomas pairing took the final podium place, and ten valuable championship points. A DNF for Tibbles, retiring on lap three, promoted Chadwick / Fairclough for their first win - and the two Steves Alexander / Woolcott (1000 Broadstock GPZ Kawasaki) finished second - their highest finishing position to date.
To sum up this meeting. The popularity of this event meant some later entries submitted by our teams did mean some missing out due to being hugely over-subscribed. In a championship, competitors must enter early as possible to help guarantee your ride. Due to time constraints, clubs cannot simply add “extra races” to an already packed schedule regardless of the numbers entering by the closing date – these plans are made weeks or even months beforehand (to answer some of the queries which had been posed on “Social Media”. It was a meeting that, if perhaps, had not been a championship round, many of us would have thrown the towel in early or not bothered at all.