Team Kershaw hold on to trophy in Jock’s memory

Team Kershaw at Knockhill in Fife.
Team Kershaw at Knockhill in Fife.

Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark were the masters of the changeable Fife weather at the final Knockhill meeting of the year, featuring the annual Jock Taylor Memorial Sidecar Race.

With the Lauder duo taking the British title at the previous meeting at Cadwell Park – the first Scottish team since Taylor in 1980 – they were keen to retain the trophy they won last year.

Their main competition looked to be Lawrie/Fairhurst, former winners and world championship runners-up this year, Irish visitors O’Neill/Fitzpatrick, who always excel at Knockhill, and Michael Bell/Connell from Northumberland, among the 18 crews entered.

It certainly felt like autumn on the Saturday as heavy rain and fog enveloped the track all day.

Only one block of racing was able to be completed and, in the sidecars, Team Kershaw tried a different electronics set-up for the wet, which Steve found a revelation, winning by 25 seconds from Lawrie.

Sunday dawned cool, dry, and overcast, so a change back to dry set up meant a fresh start for all.

No change, though, in races one and two, as the lap record holders dominated from the front to win both from Lawrie/Fairhurst, as an unlucky Bell/Connell had to spend most of the day changing a broken gearbox.

The big trophy race is traditionally the last of the weekend, and all the teams made it to the start line for the 10-lap dash. As the lights went out, another smooth start by Team Kershaw saw them sneak ahead of Lawrie/Fairhurst into turn one and steadily break away, putting in several laps less than half a second off lap-record pace, before starting to pass back markers.

By contrast, Lawrie/Fairhurst’s safe second place came under threat from O’Neill/Fitzpatrick, who chased them hard through the traffic but came up short on the run to the flag. Kershaw and Clark cruised through to an unchallenged victory, again over 20 seconds clear.

Collecting the trophy from Jock Taylor’s sister, Steve said: “To win this again, now champions as Jock was, is a massive honour. Thanks to Stuart, all the team and sponsors who’ve made it possible.”

Next up is round nine of the British series, the annual overseas trip to the Cathederal of Speed at Assen, Holland.