Sidecarcross Six. Dusty France

Report and pictures by Tracy Thacker

Etienne Bax / Kaspars Stupelis 
            The sixth 2019 GP of the World Sidecarcross Championship was held this weekend at the brilliant natural track at Plomion in France.
             Throughout the weekend the weather was almost too hot, peaking at 30 deg, this caused the track to be very dusty despite plenty of watering.
             There were thirty-eight teams in qualification, nineteen in each group.

Jake Brown / Joe Millard and Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain.
            In group “A” Hermans / Musset took the holeshot, with Keuben / Rietman second. Stuart Brown / Chamberlain fought from fourth in the opening lap to tuck into second. From behind the challenges were tough with Bax / Stupelis struggling forward to take third. Varik / Daiders battled hard to pass Keuben / Rietman and take a brilliant fourth.
            Moulds / Kirwin had a steady race taking a safe eighth place with J Brown / Millard just behind in tenth after an excellent recovery when they spun on one of the watered bends and started from the back, despite finishing without a seat. Foden / Bijenhof had a great start and a steady race to take eleventh.
            Unfortunately, Osbaldiston / Cooper was relegated to the last chance qualifying.

Marvin Vanluchene / Ben van den Bogaart.
            In group “B” Dierckens / Bax took the holeshot from Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart who took the lead on lap one, with Giraud / Haller third. Sanders / Kunnas held a safe fourth with Van Wernen / Beunk having a great race to battle through to fifth.
            British team Kinge / Gray had a steady start holding eight, the race was hot and dusty, and they battled hard to take a great tenth place. Hodges / Grahame was just behind but picked up stone damage to the radiator and had to nurse the bike home, but held a qualifying position throughout.
            In the last chance qualifying, Osbaldiston / Cooper easily took a top six place and secured a GP place for Sunday.
            Also, Reimann with his new Australian passenger, took a qualification place – so passenger Brian Anthony raced in his first GP.
            So, seven British / Irish teams qualified for the GP races.

Gary Moulds / Steve Kirwin.
            On GP race day the weather was even hotter and the track dry and dusty.
            In Race 1, Dierckens / Bax took the holeshot from Sanders / Kunnas with Hermans / Musset third but fought hard to take second and challenged for the lead, but they were left trackside with gearbox problems. This left a great battle for the lead with local hero Giraud / Haller fighting through to take the lead. Dierckens / Bax held second with Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart in third. Bax / Stupelis had a slow start but were determined and battled through, slowly picking off their rivals before tucking into fourth with Sanders / Kunnas just behind.
            Brown / Chamberlain was pushed out on the start but worked hard to get back in the top 10, but collided with another team and their brakes were smashed leaving them out of the race.
            Moulds / Kirwin had a good start but only lasted to the halfway point, and passenger Steve aggravated a back injury, and they had to retire.
            J Brown / Millard put their mechanical issues behind them and had a great first race, despite the slow start they took twelfth.
           Hodges / Grahame and Kinge / Gray both took points with Osbaldiston / Cooper and Foden / Bijenhof just missing out.

George Kinge / Lewis Gray.
            In Race 2, Giraud / Haller took the early lead, but their rival behind was determined. Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart came through first with Bax / Stupelis holding second, but they were determined and moved into the lead within the first few laps. Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart stayed close but had problems on the last few laps when they crashed through the green fence leaving them out of the race. Hermans / Musset took second from Giraud / Haller in third, and enough to give them the overall win in front of the home crowd.
            Brown / Chamberlain was going well just outside the top 6 but had to retire with mechanical problems.
            J Brown / Millard was on a charge and fought through to take ninth. Kinge / Gray was just a few places behind in thirteenth, and Osbaldiston / Cooper made their first GP point.
            Another first was Australian passenger Brian Anthony taking four points with driver Reimann.

Sam Osbaildiston / Nathan Cooper.
           So after another exciting weekend, the red plate stays with Bax / Stupelis, in fact, no change in the top four, with Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart second, Hermans / Musset third, and Sanders / Kunnas fourth. Brown / Chamberlain now hold seventh.
            The British teams are doing well with another three teams in the top twenty: Jake Brown / Millard, Kinge / Gray and Hodges / Grahame.
            So in next week, the championship moves to the Kramolin track in Estonia, where Vanluchene / Van Den Bogaart will be fighting hard to get the red plate back.
            We will keep you updated on all the action.