Sidecar GP was in Latvia for Round Ten

Report and Pictures by Tracy Thacker

Jake Brown – Joe Millard
            This weekend the sidecar GP season moves to GP 10 in Latvia at the fantastic Stelpe track.
            The track is set in grounds of a private house with a shop, bridge, rowing lake and viewing platforms. It has man made jumps and wide sweeping bends, a great backdrop to a wonderful weekend of racing.
            Still in our minds is the saddest news from Valentin Giraud who was injured in a terrible accident on the start of race two in Markelo. He broke his spine and doctors do not think he will regain feeling in his legs. The sidecar family is still in shock and are continuing with fund raising to help with medical costs.

Brett Wilkinson – Ryan Humphrey
            At the end of GP 9 in Straßbessenbach, Etienne Bax and Kaspars Stupelis retained the red plate, and aim to do the same in passenger Kaspers’ home GP in Latvia.
            Current world champions Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart hold second and are fighting to regain that championship lead.
            Hermans / Musset remain third helped by a double win in Estonia but suffering mechanical failures and injury problems with driver Koen damaging his hand, but luckily it wasn’t broken.
            Dierckens / Bax have been consistent over the first half of the season and this week  hold fourth place. With some great hole-shots helping to rack up the points.
            Top British team Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain have been on the podium in the last two GPs and move back into fifth place.
            Sanders / Kunnas hold sixth but passenger Larry still has a damaged hand and will be unable to race. Driver Davey has been using stand in passengers but this week also suffered a serious hand injury in a work injury, we think the team will be out for the rest of the season.
            Qualifying races were the best we have seen this season, with four British teams qualified for the GP races.
            The weather was extremely hot reaching over 30 deg on race day – it’s lucky there’s a swimming lake on site.

Stuart Brown – Josh Chamberlain
           In Race 1, Dierckens / Bax took the hole shot and despite strong challenges hung on for a brilliant win, their first GP win together.
           Behind Hermans / Musset tucked into second and challenged hard but couldn’t find a way past. Bax / Stupelis worked hard to blast into third Veldman / Janssens were fourth.
           J Brown / Millard had a great start working hard to take a brilliant fifth.
           Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart were just ahead of them until they got tangled in the green fencing which stopped their front wheel from turning freely and slowed them up considerably.
           Varik / Daiders held sixth much to the delight of the home crowd who cheered Latvian passenger Lauris right to the last lap. Brown / Chamberlain fought back from a slow start to take seventh.
           Kinge / Gray had a midfield start but work hard in the difficult conditions to take eleventh.
           Wilkinson / Humphrey had a big tumble over a jump on lap one, driver Brett came off worse as he cartwheeled up the track with the bike, but the pair were able to walk away, although very dazed.

Etienne Bax – Kaspers Stupelis
            In Race 2, the hole shot kings Dierckens / Bax again took an early lead, but this time Bax / Stupelis the red plate holders were second and challenging all the way, blasting into the lead in the first half of the race, much to the delight of the home crowd. Dierckens / Bax kept them in sight but had to settle for second with enough points to take the overall win, a brilliant achievement for the pair.
            Behind Hermans / Musset had a steady race passing Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart to tuck into third, and take third overall on the day.
            Varik / Daiders held a brilliant fourth with British father and son battling behind. J Brown / Millard held sixth with Brown / Chamberlain close behind in seventh looking for a way past. When J Brown / Millard went wide and slowed slightly in the rough, Brown / Chamberlain made their move and blasted up the inside. They also passed Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart on the final few laps with J Brown / Millard holding seventh.
            Kinge / Gray had a bad start but battled hard throughout, blasting into twelfth and despite begin exhausted hung on to the end.
            Wilkinson / Humphrey didn’t start race two and took the sensible option to sit this one out.

George Kings – Lewis Gray
           Bax / Stupelis hold the championship lead with their rivals Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart in second.  No 10 – Dierckens / Bax – have move up another place this week and take third, with Hermans / Musset in exactly the same points.
           There are now three British teams in the top twenty with Stuart Brown / Chamberlain hold fifth, Jake Brown / Millard are eleventh and Kinge / Gray fifteenth. 
           Brett Wilkinson / Ryan Humphrey are just outside the top 20.
           In four weeks the championship moves to the Roggenburg track in Switzerland.
           We will keep you updated of all the action.

Results

Overall

Championship positions