Bax and Stupelis Extend their lead in the Sidecar World Championship
Report and pictures by Tracy Thacker
Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain.
The third World Sidecarcross Championship travelled to the sleepy little Dutch town of Oldebroek last weekend.
Current champions Marvin Vanluchene / Ben Van Den Bogaart claimed the red plate at the end of the last round in Spain. But it was later decided that Bax / Stupelis should, in fact, have it because they had the same number of points, but more GP race wins. It was swapped over during the week.
Lots of British and Irish teams made the relatively short trip over the channel for the weekend with six pairs trying to qualify. But with thirty-seven teams, in total racing it was tough.
Wilkinson / Humphrey did not make it to round three after a bad crash at the first round left driver Brett in hospital. He had a back operation, but the pair did attend as a spectator, it was great to see them.
Marvin Vanluchene / Ben van den Bogaart.
The conditions were hot and sunny with temperatures reaching 25 deg.
In the qualifying group, A, Hermans / Musset battled with Bax / Stupelis to take pole position. Giraud / Haller was third. British team Kinge / Gray had a great race to finish seventh. Hodges / Grahame were just a few places behind taking tenth.
In qualifying group B, Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart took the hole-shot and stayed there for the duration to make a great win. Brits Jake Brown / Millard battled hard to take a brilliant second ahead of Varik / Daiders with Willemsen / Rostingt fourth. In seventh Brown / Chamberlain recovered well from hitting the start gate to qualify for the front row. Moulds with stand-in passenger Zac Snell took tenth, with Osbaldiston / Cooper having a safe race to take 11th.
So that was a total of six British / Irish qualified. Unfortunately, Moulds / Snell had a crash during qualifying and Gary damaged his shoulder, so they didn’t compete on race day.
George Kinge / Lewis Gray.
Unusually Easter Sunday was a rest day, with the GP races on Monday.
In GP race one Brown / Chamberlain took the, but Willemsen / Rostingt blasted ahead on lap one. Behind, Bax / Stupelis fought past their rivals to take the lead towards the end of the race. Willemsen / Rostingt held second despite being challenged by Giraud / Haller. Current champions Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart worked hard to take fourth with Sanders / Kunnas passing Brown / Chamberlain in the final few laps. Hodges / Grahame had a steady race gradually moving forward from a midfield start to take tenth. Jake Brown / Millard struggled with suspension problems but held on to take a great twelfth place.
Jake Brown / Joe Millard.
In the final race of the day, Brown / Chamberlain took a second holeshot, but Willemsen / Rostingt were determined and took the lead on lap one. Bax / Stupelis were on fire and battled to take the lead and a second win. Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart tucked into second with Willemsen / Rostingt third. Brown / Chamberlain was in fourth for the majority of the race, but passenger Josh was suffering from an injury he picked up during qualifying. Hermans / Musset and Veldman / Janssens did manage to get past with Brown / Chamberlain holding sixth. Jake Brown / Millard had a safe race finishing just a few places behind tenth. Hodges / Grahame was left on the line but fought hard to take sixteenth. Kinge / Gray had a few problems but managed to take the final point.
Strart Brown / Josh Chamberlain.
Bax / Stupelis took the overall win and retained the red plate, Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart are just ten points behind with Willemsen / Rostingt holding third. Brown / Chamberlain stay fifth in the world with Jake Brown / Millard now thirteenth, and Kinge / Gray fifteenth.
In three weeks, the championship moves to the Czech Republic. Kramolin is a fantastic natural track in the hills. Expect the battles to be just as exciting.