Three small steps are a giant leap for Stevie and Stuart

Stevie and Stuart in high-speed action (picture by Telltaletim)
Stevie and Stuart in high-speed action (picture by Telltaletim)

After 11 years on the British Championship trail, Lauder’s Kershaw Racing sidecar team finally climbed on to the top step of the podium at round two of the Hyundai Construction Equipment F1 series.

Savouring the sunny view recently across the scenic grassland of Cheshire’s Oulton Park, a clearly emotional Steve Kershaw paid tribute to everyone who had helped get the team to the top, on behalf of himself and passenger Stuart Clark.

“It feels like that we’ve really got the monkey off our backs now, having come so close all last year, and at round one this year,” he said.

“That’s for all our families, friends and sponsors who’ve put so much time, effort and money into the last 11 seasons to get us where we are now.”

Where they are now is a healthy 27 points clear at the top of the Championship table and their competitors are struggling to find the pace to keep with them.

Topping the timesheets all through practice and qualifying by almost two seconds a lap faster than the next outfit, the handling gremlins at Brands Hatch looked to have been eradicated, which Stuart confirmed.

“We took in the first meeting at East Fortune last weekend just to sort out the steering and ended up with a personal best lap and four wins as well. The outfit now feels like it’s on rails again.”

With only one race at Oulton, it was all or nothing. Steve fired the Santander Salt/Molson-backed LCR into first place by the first corner and was never headed until the end, at one stage over 16 seconds ahead, but apparently throttling back in the later stages to control the gap.

Behind, Bell/Ramsey just held off Stevens/Charlwood for second as the race was red-flagged with a lap to go.

At the end, Steve and Stuart’s faces told a different story as a stone had stuck in the front disc and partially jammed the brake on, which had caused the drop in pace.

Their luck had held, though, allowing them a famous victory and the first F1 British win by a Scottish team in six years.

The next round is on June 15-17 at the high-speed Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, with highlights of previous rounds on Motorsport TV, Frontrunner TV and You Tube, which also is showing the ‘Portrait of a Passenger’ documentaries about the team.