Major disappointment for Lauder sidecar team

Steve Kershaw (driving) and Rob Wilson take on Scotsman's corner during the qualifying stages at Knockhill
Steve Kershaw (driving) and Rob Wilson take on Scotsman's corner during the qualifying stages at Knockhill

A home round at Knockhill in Fife was the latest circuit for Lauder’s Kershaw Racing/Express Tyres/Blinkbonney Quarry Formula One sidecar team.

Stephen Kershaw and his passenger Rob Wilson continued their British Championship quest and were looking for good results to consolidate their third-place position, the highest the Lauder duo have ever been.

Technical problems at the start of the qualifying session on Friday caused the team to pull over after a few laps. This was repaired and they got faster and faster as the session went on, eventually qualifying in fourth place, only 0.14 off pole position which was taken by second-placed Andy Peach and Charlie Richardson. The top 12 were only separated by three seconds.

Saturday’s race one was delayed due to the torrential rain which caused some track damage. In sunny conditions and with a dry repair track, the pair had a great start and were in third place when their Kawasaki engine developed a miss fire. Nursing the sidecar home, they still finished in fourth.

Sunday’s lunchtime race was a major disappointment for the pair. Getting to the start line, the engine developed a fuel problem resulting in Stephen and Rob starting at the back of the grid.

Trying to nurse the machine home to gain valuable Championship points, the problem became worse and they had to retire.

Speaking in the paddock area, Stephen admitted that he was bitterly disappointed after all the hard work the team had put in.

“If we could have had a warm-up session this morning we would have found the fault,” he added.

“We were definitely on the pace before the mechanical problem and nearly had our first pole position.”

The pair are now in fourth spot in the championship and hope to climb back up at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.