Brown and Chamberlain Earn a
World Sidecarcross Podium at Markelo
Report and pictures by Tracy Thacker
Last weekend the world sidecarcross championship arrived in Holland at the sandy Markelo track for round eight.
The spectacular track was set in the trees with massive table top jumps that had the keen fans crowding the fencing, but the sandy track conditions turned out to be very demanding.
Bax / Stupelis retained the red plate at the end of GP round seven in Estonia. For driver Etienne, this will be a home GP, and they will have extra support to motivate them to keep the championship lead, although they hold a twenty-five-point advantage going into the event which they will be working hard to maintain. Passenger Kasper has been suffering a few setbacks with broken bones in this hand at the last GP and damage to his leg after getting it caught behind the back wheel after a crash during the Dutch championship. Let’s hope a bit of rest has helped with recovery, but he’s one tough passenger, and a few injuries won’t slow him down, especially when leading the championship.
Jake Brown / Joe Millard
Current world champions Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart holds second, but they have been suffering problems of their own with a big crash in France during the closing laps of GP race two, this meant they lost their second position in that race and will lose the red plate. Fortunately, the injuries didn’t stop them racing in the last GP in Estonia, and their goal is to regain that championship lead as soon as they can.
Hermans / Musset took a double win in Estonia and are closing on the leaders.
Top British team Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain put a difficult GP in France behind them and currently hold sixth.
Dan Foden / Roy Bijenhof
The other top 20 British teams to watch out for is the second Brown Team, Jake Brown with Joe Millard, George Kinge / Lewis Gray, with Hodges / Grahame just outside the top twenty.
This track has been visited regularly by the sidecars, and all the Dutch sidecar family make everyone very welcome.
Teams returning this week were Team No 8 – Brett Wilkinson / Ryan Humphrey. Brett is still recovering from a damaged back after a bad crash at GP 1. Also, Julian Veldman had a bad fall during training and broke his wrist.
And teams missing are, Team No 111 – Daniel Willemsen parted company with passenger Luc Rostingt in Ukraine and has not yet organised a replacement for the GPs, and No 32 – Moulds / Kirwin, passenger Steve has a damaged back and needs to rest. Also, Kenny Van Gaalen joins No 9 – Sanders as a stand-in passenger while Larry Kunnas is injured.
Brett Wilkinson / Ryan Humprey
Qualifying races were full of action, although there were only thirty-one teams so, every one qualified after Hodges / Grahame landed badly on a jump and passenger Scott Grahame broke his leg.
Five British teams qualified for the GP races.
The weather was cooler on race day with rain overnight and a stiff breeze during the day. It kept the dust under control and was a better temperature for the riders.
In race one, Dierckens / Bax took the holeshot from Hermans / Musset with Bax / Stupelis third, but they were determined and fought to second, they had the leader in sight but couldn’t find a way past, they held second until the final few laps when Hermans / Musset slowed with a broken steering damper. This allowed Bax / Stupelis to blast into the lead, going on to take the win. Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart worked hard to take second with Dierckens / Bax just behind.
J Brown / Millard took fourth off the start, but the competition was intense. It wasn’t long before Brown / Chamberlain tucked in behind creating a father and son battle, but it was the experience of Brown / Chamberlain that won through moving ahead, going on to pass Dierckens / Bax and take an excellent third place. J Brown / Millard was just behind in fifth.
Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain
Kinge / Gray had a great start in tenth, they had a steady race fighting through to with passing Giraud / Haller who slowed towards the end of the race when the bike began to smoke.
Wilkinson / Humphrey in their first GP race of the season didn’t get a clear run into bend one and started near the back of the pack, but gradually worked their way forward to take a tremendous thirteenth place.
Foden / Bijenhof fought hard all race to take their first point of the 2019 season.
In race two, there was a crash on bend two, and Giraud / Haller flipped the bike with many teams unable to avoid them. It was a massive pileup, but when the dust settled, and the teams had untangled, it was driver Giraud who came off worse. The race was stopped as he was still on the track, and the medical teams worked hard to remove him from the track in an ambulance safely.
In the restart, Hermans / Musset put their race one problems behind them and blasted into an early lead, with Brown / Chamberlain in second but their rivals behind were determined.
By the halfway point, Bax / Stupelis had taken the lead, going on to take a brilliant double win. Hermans / Musset held second until the final few laps when Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart found a way past. Brown / Chamberlain took a safe fourth, with enough points for third overall.
Etienne Bax / Kaspars Stupelis
J Brown / Millard also had a great start and battled hard for the whole race, managing to fight past Sanders / Van Gaalen and take a magnificent seventh.
Wilkinson / Humphrey had a better start holding a good tenth until Varik/ Daiders blasted ahead towards the end of the race.
Kinge / Gray battled through the field having a great racing, taking thirteen. Foden / Bijenhof worked hard to finish in the points again.
There are still three British teams in the top twenty with Stuart Brown / Chamberlain holding a brilliant sixth, Jake Brown / Millard are thirteenth and Kinge / Gray fourteenth.
In next week the championship moves to the natural hilly Straßbessenbach track in Germany.
We will keep you updated on all the action.