This year’s A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British F2 Sidecar Championship reaches its finale here at Knockhill. 2021 has been another season which has seen disruption to the racing calendar owing to the “Covid-19” pandemic – initially the series had been scheduled for its first visit north of the border in almost two decades back in April, but with restrictions stretching into the summer, we find ourselves here on the first weekend of September for round six, thanks to the Knockhill Motor Sports Club reaccommodating us on this date.
A fortnight ago at North Yorkshire’s Croft Circuit, a dominant display from Team A.R.C.’s Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie (LCR Suzuki) saw them take pole-position, a brace of wins and smash their own lap record. In doing so they accrued sufficient points to land the Super F2 title – a first for the team after seven years in the series. As regular competitors here at Knockhill – and indeed F2 lap record holders on both configurations of the circuit – they will start as favourites this weekend.
The British F2 Sidecar Championship runs a second class – the “F2 Cup”, with this being aimed at less experienced teams as they bridge the gap between club and national racing. Teams in this category also score points within the main “Super F2” class. This year has seen dominance from Harry Payne / Mark Wilkes (GP Yamaha), who whilst they did not have their best weekend of the year last time out at Croft, taking a win and a non-finish home, it was in fact sufficient for them to seal the Cup Crown. They will be making their debut as a team at Knockhill, but have already proved they are more than capable of getting on the front running pace at unfamiliar venues, so are likely to be contesting the Super F2 podium as well as the Cup.
While Payne / Wilkes look reasonably comfortable in second in the chase for the Super F2 points, there are a number of teams who will be vying to take third. Alan Founds / Jake Lowther (LCR Yamaha) have 114, while team-mates Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley (LCR Honda) are ten points in arrears. However, both missed the last round at Croft, and are additionally rumoured to be missing this weekend. Former champions Gary Horspole / Kenny Cole (Shelbourne Honda); in-form John Lowther / Matthew Rostron (LCR Yamaha); and father and son combination Steve & Matty Ramsden (LCR Honda), all can mathematically snatch third – but will all need two solid podium finishes to be in with a reasonable chance.
In the F2 Cup, any one of Roger & Bradley Stockton (LCR Suzuki); Chris Schofield / Shane Colbrook (Baker Honda); Rob Atkinson / Mark Middleton (Bellas Suzuki); Brian Ilaria / Matthew Sims (DDM Suzuki); Bruce Moore / Amy Dodd (Ireson Honda) and Richard Hackney / Dave Ryder (CES Suzuki) can all theoretically finish either second or third in this class – so close racing is expected until the very last corner of the second of our eighteen lap races this weekend.
Lap records currently stand as follows: Super F2 – 0:53.558 – Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie – 20/09/20 F2 Cup – No Data Available (Circuit re-aligned prior to 2014 season).
The F.S.R.A. would, as always like to acknowledge the A.C.U. for their assistance and awarding the official “British Championship” title. Thanks also to our series sponsors: A.R.C. (Binchester / Newton Aycliffe); A.V. Craine & Son; Hegarty Plant Ltd; Leeds Parcel Company; Lockside Engineering; Pagid Racing (Breitenbach Rennsport); Rowtec Engineering Maintenance; and Whitby Cottages
Finally, on behalf of the F.S.R.A. and our teams, I would like to thank Knockhill Motor Sports Club for hosting us this weekend, and extend this to all their dedicated staff, officials, marshals, medics and all the other volunteers involved in organising and conducting this event. We very much hope we can continue this partnership and bring the series to Scotland on a much more frequent basis.
So the 2021 British F2 Championship comes to a close for another year – more info can be found on the website – www.fsra.org.uk
Join us this weekend – book tickets online via the Knockhill website:
Words – Tim Langham (F.S.R.A. Press Officer)
Photographs – Dirk Wharton & John Stewart