After missing the whole of the 2013 British Formula One Sidecar Championship due to major heart surgery, Lauder’s sidecar driver Stephen Kershaw was back in action last weekend.
Competing in the first round of the 2014 British F1 Championship at Brands Hatch, with three races and more, it promised to be a busy time for all the team.
Fit and raring to go, Kershaw and his long-time passenger Rob Wilson have been testing in Spain and competing at East Fortune in the run-up. The poplar team had been sadly missed in the paddock, judging by the welcome they received from other teams.
Supporting new Iru Bru-coloured livery, Kershaw was obviously nervous before the start of the free practice and qualifying sessions. He shouldn’t have worried. With 21 sidecars on the grid, they qualified in sixth place, less than a second behind pole sitters Andy Peach and Charlie Richardson.
Saturday’s race one was held in sunny conditions and the Lauder duo settled into a good pace before suffering front tyre problems, but still finished a creditable ninth place. Sunday’s race two didn’t even start. In some of the wettest conditions seen at the circuit, it was decided that it was too dangerous to race.
Monday’s weather was glorious for both races and having sorted the tyre problem and dried out, the duo set off well in race two. However, on lap two, a front wheel bearing collapsed and Kershaw nursed the sidecar home in 13th place. In race three, lap seven, they had to pull up with a technical fault.
Nevertheless, they were happy to be back and are looking forward to the World Championship round at Donington in May.