Lauder racing pair stretch UK title advantage
Team Kershaw is in a good place as the next round of the British Sidecar Championship looms into view this weekend.
Donington Park is the venue on October 3-4, pending new lockdown restrictions.
The Lauder line-up of Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood took home the Jock Taylor Memorial Trophy for the fifth time on their recent last ride at Knockhill – doubling their points lead in the series to 20 with a planned two rounds to go.
“Everything went perfectly that weekend – the team, the bike, the organisation and even the weather,” said Steve.
“Thanks to Knockhill for putting this on. It’s just a shame there were no spectators to see it.”
Ryan said: “It’s a long drive for me to get here but to get my name on the trophy makes it a much easier drive home.”
There was a strangely calm and laid-back atmosphere at the Fife circuit last weekend but the on-track action was as fierce as anything seen this year for round three of the title.
The mid point of the shortened series saw local heroes Steve and Ryan a meagre 10 points ahead of reigning champions Todd Ellis/Chas Richardson.
The Borders duo hoped not only to extend their lead but also retain the famous Jock Taylor Memorial Trophy, which had been incorporated into this meeting.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 regulations meant the winners of the last round, Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau, were unable to compete but there were still 20 crews on track.
A damp track for qualifying saw a nip and tuck battle for pole, with Ellis/Richardson pipping Blackstock /Rosney by 6/100ths of a second, with Kershaw/Charlwood’s late charge falling short by 3/10ths .
This left them on row two beside Stevens/Allum, who were the best of the rest.
By the time race one hit, the track conditions were bone-dry and near-perfect for racing. From the lights, the top crews all slotted into order and the pace was instantly hot.
The top three edged ahead and, on lap four, the Lauder crew started to attack, firstly squeezing past Blackstock/Rosney on the start straight and, on lap seven, dived under Ellis/Richardson on the brakes into Duffus Dip.
By now, Blackstock had lost the tow and was falling into the clutches of Stevens/Allum, before his bike clutch gave up on lap 10, forcing him out.
At the front, Ellis tried everything to find a gap, breaking the lap record in the process on lap 12, but the flying Scotsman held his nerve and Kershaw/Charlwood took the win by only ¼ of a second from Ellis/Richardson.
Stevens/Allum held on for third, fending off a late charge by the Christie brothers.
All teams made it to the line for the second race and, this time, Blackstock/Rosney hit the front from the off. But their joy was short-lived as a loose undertray forced them out again halfway round the lap.
Again, Ellis/Richardson led Kershaw/Charlwood and the pack behind but, on lap two, got a poor drive out the hairpin, allowing Kershaw again to dive alongside and take the lead at Duffus.
What followed was 15 laps of impeccable precision racing, as both crews lapped no more than six metres apart, in almost Red Arrows fashion. No-one else could get close and, again, Kershaw/Charlwood won by ¼ of a second from Ellis/Richardson.