East Fortune favours Lauder sidecar racing crew

Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood in action at East Fortune Racing Circuit's inaugural Scottish Sidecar Festival (Pic: Mark Walters)Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood in action at East Fortune Racing Circuit's inaugural Scottish Sidecar Festival (Pic: Mark Walters)
Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood in action at East Fortune Racing Circuit's inaugural Scottish Sidecar Festival (Pic: Mark Walters)
Lauder crew Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood got their 2023 season up and running by winning a trophy at the first-ever Scottish Sidecar Festival, held at East Fortune Racing Circuit, near Haddington, at the weekend.

Hosted by the Scottish Sidecar Racing Club and East Lothian’s Melville Motor Club, the two-day event saw current world formula one champions Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement make their debut at the track but the Anglo-French pair ended up second best to the Borderers.

Kershaw was returning to riding after undergoing open-heart surgery in December to repair faulty cardiac valves for the second time in ten years but, not content with getting back to action 16 weeks later, he was also in record-breaking form.

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Kershaw, 35, and passenger Charlwood were slightly faster in practice than Ellis/Clement, with Bedlington’s Phil and Carl Bell third.

The first race of the Marin Motorsports-sponsored event saw Kershaw, setting a new lap record, finish just ahead of Ellis.

He also won the second, more easily, as Ellis missed its start, having had to change an engine.

The last race of the day, for the Andrew Couper Memorial Trophy, saw Kershaw and Ellis going head to head again, the former getting the better of the world champion by less than half a second at the flag.

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Phil Bell took third place ahead of his brother Michael, with Shane Colbrook in the chair.

Sunday’s first race saw both Kershaw/Charlwood and Ellis/Clement break the previous lap record, with the Lauder crew getting to the flag only three-tenths of a second in front.

Race two saw both teams break the new lap record, with the result the same but Kershaw and Charlwood also becoming the first crew ever to go round in under a minute. Bell/Bell were third.

The last race of the event was a handicap race for both F1 and F2 crews won by Humberside’s Daryl Gibson/Rhys Gibbons, with Dave Wilmott/Jamie Brading second, Ellis/Clement third and Kershaw/Charlwood two-hundredths of a second behind them.

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Kershaw was also presented with the International Jock Taylor Memorial Trophy for dedication and commitment to the sport.

Next up for him and Charlwood is round one of the 2023 British Sidecar Championship at Cheshire’s Oulton Park at the end of the month as a warm-up for another tilt at the world title starting in June.

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