Thursday 17th April.
They're ready and set up at Brands Hatch, waiting for the fun to start. The time table for this weekend is;
Friday 18th - 11.40am free practice.
Saturday 19th - 9am Qualify and 5.15pm Race One with 15 laps
Sunday 20th - 10am Warm Up and 3.35pm Race Two with 15 laps
Monday 21st April - 9am Warm Up and 11.55am Race Three with 15 laps.
We have the new engine, the new fairings painted and the boys are ready to race. We have our new awning all set up so please come and say hello if you're about at Brands Hatch this weekend. There'll be a cup of tea or coffee on the go throughout the weekend for everyone who wants to come and see us.
Also we have some fabulous framed race track outlines for sale kindly given to us by Graham and Leigh. They would make a fantastic gift for anyone who loves racing. We also have some Horizon watches, given by Horizon, again good quality and the latest trend.
Good luck to them for the weekend. Keep updated as we go along by following our Facebook Page - Horspole Racing.
our new awning
The race track frames for sale.
What a weekend - not least for the weather that made most of the weekend very wet. It did brighten up to be a beautiful day on the Monday.
Gary and Paul made great time through free practice and it was something to build on for the rest of the weekend. Everyone in the team was happy and looking forward to the weekend racing. Our new awning was up and ready and we had a constant string of people coming in to visit us, which was brilliant and made the weekend great fun.
Saturday morning qualifying went very well. They qualified in 6th position, meaning a start on the third row of the grid for the race that afternoon. Unfortunately when it came to the race, they got off to a good start but Gary lost the gears after a couple of laps and they had to pull into the pit lane. The disappointment was immense. At one point the lads were 5th fastest through Sector 2. The engine is new so they started working on it straight away. Our huge thanks to Alan, who came along to help through Saturday night. Luckily it wasn't the engine but a screw from the gear box had broken. It was a big relief all round.
With the engine running properly again for Sunday, they were both looking forward to getting back onto the track to race. Its what they'd come for.
As they hadn't finished the previous race they took their places at the back of the grid for the start. They were waiting ready to go but the track was water logged due to the rain, with deep puddles over it. The officials had no other choice but to abandon the race until Monday.
The race was re-scheduled for 6.10pm Monday night. That meant Monday was going to be a busy day.
Gary and Paul started the 1st race of Monday, at the back of the grid. There's not many passing places on the short Indy circuit but Gary and Paul worked together and kept on at it. They passed some others over the course of the race and passed the finish line in 12th place. Not too shabby since they started at the back. During this race they were, at one point, fastest through the speed trap on Sector 1, 5th fastest through Sector 2 and back up to 3rd fastest through the finish line with a speed of 135.5 mph.
They were up and ready for the next race. They started on the 6th row of the grid and throughout the race they worked up to 8th place.
Gary siad "After the bad start to the weekend, we have come out ok". Paul said "It's the start of things to come". They were 2nd fastest through the speed traps at Sector 2 and they got back to their time of 49.7 seconds for a lap. They've promised to better that next time they're at Brands Hatch.
The points accrued over the weekend bring their total to 12. The Championship is taking a break now until after the TT races, in which Paul is racing so we'll all be routing for him and wishing him luck while he's out there.
Round Two of the Eastern Airways Sidecar Championship is at Snetterton on June 15th. Hope to see you all there.
The F1 British Sidecar Championship riders were invited to join the grid of the FIM World Sidecar Championship at Donington Park at short notice. The teams that could attend agreed to ride without scoring points, to make it fair on the teams that could not make it as it coincided with the Isle of Man TT races.
With Knappo away in the Isle of Man, Dutch passenger Sander FABER stepped in to help out. It was the first time that he'd been to Donington. The duo began the 19 lap affair from a sixth row grid position. They began to make their move and on lap 10 were running in eigth place among world class riders. But the LCR Suzuki developed a problem with the gearing and Gary was forced to retire. He was the third fastest British rider and would have ended the race in a podium position.
Gary explained "It was just a 10p bolt that worked loose in the gear linkage which then fell apart so we couldn't change gear through the race".
With Knappo being injured during a crash in the Isle of Man TT races, Sander has once again agreed to step in to help out for this weekends racing. We wish our team mate a speedy recovery and know that he can't wait to get back. He's currently in Leeds hospital having had surgery on his ankle.
On a day when red flags disrupted both sidecar races Gary with Sander completed both races in the Championship round at Snetterton in the points.
Free practice and qualifying went well for Gary and Sander after spending considerable time on track to enable Sander to learn the circuit layout, they qualified in eighth place to start the first race from a fourth row grid position.
But their progress was short lived as the red flag brought the race to a halt on the very first lap. Because of the delays the race was put back to late afternoon on Saturday and reduced from 12 laps to just six which didn't really give the team sufficient time to settle into a rhythm and they completed the sprint in 14th place.
Race two on Sunday was scheduled for early afternoon but because of more red flags, this time in the solo classes, once again the sidecar race was put back to the end of the day.
Gary and Sander began their campaign from a seventh row grid but got away to a sluggish start and were 15th at the end of the first lap. But they soon settled and began to pick off the outfits ahead exchanging places with Kershaw/Wilson and Drowne/Edwards throughout seven of the eight laps. Gary made a concerted effort on the last lap to overtake Drowne and crossed the finish line in a fine 10th position to pick up a further six championship points to add to the two gained in the first race bringing his total to 20 and moving him to 12th in the rider standings.
Gary said "We did a lot of hanging around this weekend with all the delays but we managed two points' finishes in the end so it was worth the wait. I have to say a big thank you to Sander who stepped in to passenger me again this weekend. To come over here from Holland at the last minute was really good of him. Unfortunately he has other commitments so will be unable to ride with me in the next round but I'm talking to a couple of people so will hopefully be on the grid for teh next round. The team wishes Paul Knapton a speedy recovery and hopes to see him back on the outfit later in the year.
words - Helen Pask
This weekend Gary raced with stand in passenger Ged Pilmore-Brady in the chair, they completed the second of two races at Knockhill in 12th place to claim four more championship points which moves Gary to 14th place in the overall standings.
After completing the free practice session in 17th position, things were looking good for them but an accident in the pits caused the outfit to fall from its stand which bent the chassis. There was then a race against time to get the outfit repaired ready for qualifying but unfortunately luck wasn't with them and they missed the session. All was not lost however as they were given a place on the back row of the grid.
The sidecar family is very close knit and help was provided by fellow competitors to get the outfit up and running in time for the first race on Saturday. Gary said "I must thank Andy Peach, the Kershaw team plus teams Nicol and Biggs who gave up their time to help us with repairs and provided spares which enabled us to make the grid for the first race"
Once again luck was not on his side and after running in 17th place for nine of the 15 laps Gary discovered a water leak and retired into the pits on lap 10.
Starting from the ninth row for the start of race two on Sunday, Gary and Ged maintained 17th place for the first three laps before making a move forward passing Drowne/Edwards for 11th place on lap seven. But Drowne fought back and retook the position one lap later leaving Gary to follow in close company for the remainder of the race. The pair crossed the line in 12th place to pick up four championship points which takes Gary to 14th in the rider standings on 24 points.
Gary commented saying "I have to thank Ged for helping me out this weekend as passenger, and also Oxford Products for providing me with the HJC helmets plus support at every race meeting. Also a big thankyou to my sponsors and supporters, Sleaford Quality Foods, Baker Plant Hire and everyone else who help to keep Team Horspole on the track. After all our problems this weekend we finally managed to finish the second race and claim some points so I have to be happy with that."
The next round is at Brands hatch on July 20th when Gary will be hoping to score two good results. Sander Faber will be back in the chair for the weekend.
words - Helen Pask
Gary, with Sander Faber back in the chair, rode to a strong 10th place in race one at Brands Hatch on Saturday to secure six championship points in the Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar championship but a wrong tyre choice left him struggling in the second encounter on Sunday where he finished the race in 17th place.
Sander was welcomed back to the team as our regular passenger Paul Knapton is still sidelined with injuries sustained at the Isle of Man TT races. Last weekend Sander was in Germany riding with Robert Zimmermann in the World Sidecar championship at Sachsenring where they finished in third place.
Gary and Sander completed their qualifying laps in 10th place and were anticipating a good race on Saturday afternoon. Starting from a fifth row grid position the pair soon began to make progress up to ninth but were in a close battle with Kershaw/Lawson and Holden/Winkle and were forced back to 11th on lap nine of the planned 12. They moved back into 10th place one lap later and were poised to make further progress when the red flag brought the race to an early end on lap 10 after an outfit became stuck in the gravel at Druids in a dangerous position.
The second race took place on Sunday evening just after a heavy shower of rain that left the track wet but drying fast. It was a lottery as to which type of tyre to go with as the tarmac was slippery and wet. Gary opted for wet weather treaded tyres but as it turned out it was the wrong choice as the circuit dried out quicker than anticipated. Gary never made it further up the field than 14th and as the race unfolded his tyres began to wear and he dropped to finish the race in 17th place.
Gary said "we were quite happy with our first race result but having made the wrong tyre choice it soon became obvious we would struggle to finish race two. It had been reduced from 12 laps to eight because of delays in the solo classes which was a bonus as at least we did make it to the chequered flag. Had the race gone the full distance we would have pulled into the pits as the tyres were just about spent after the eight laps".
The points accrued at Brands Hatch take Gary 's total to 20 and place him 13th in the rider standings.
The next round is at Thruxton where sidecars will enjoy three championship races over the two days of August 2/3. The date clashes with a world championship round at Asdsen which means that Sander will be unavailable to race with Gary. Jim Connell will step in to the breach.
Gary with Jim Connell in the chair were on form at Thruxton where the duo completed all three races in the points with Gary claiming his best result of fifth in the final event on Sunday.
Gary welcomed Scottish passenger Jimmy Connell who was standing in for our injured Paul Knapton. They took it steady during the free practice session to enable the pair to gel together as a team and once they began their qualifying they were flying.
Starting the first eight lap race on Saturday from a fifth row grid position Gary was quick to anticipate the lights and the pair moved straight into seventh place to enter into a three way battle for fourth. At the half way stage they moved up to sixth and continued in that position to the chequered flag for Gary to claim his best result of the season plus 10 championship points.
The second race on Saturday did not go quite as well as Gary was unable to make much headway from his third row grid position. The duo completed the eight laps in ninth position to pick up another seven championship points.
The final outing was on Sunday and once again Gary and Jimmy rode well. They were 10th on the first lap but began to make progress through the field to sixth place on lap five. On the penultimate lap they passed Gilbert/Allum and held station to cross the finish line in fifth place. This bettered Gary's previous best of the season set in the first race and saw him awarded a further 11 championship points bringing his total to 58 which place him 11th in the rider standings.
"That was a good weekend for us" said Gary. "The outfit ran well and we were able to put in some fast laps. Fifth is the best result for me this year and I am hoping we can match that next time out. I must thank Jimmy for steppng into the breach as passenger for me this weekend and also my sponsors, Sleaford Quality Foods and Baker Plant Hire for their continued support. Also thanks to Oxford Essential Products for providing us with the HJC helmets and their support at each of the meetings"
words Helen Pask.
A brace of sixth places awaited Gary and Jimmy Connell when they travelled to Donington Park for the two races in the Eastern Airways F1 Sidecar series at the weekend.
Although Gary and Jimmy finished sixth in both races they were awarded points for fourth place in each race as the two world championship wildcards were not permitted to score points.
Gary and Jimmy have really gelled as a team and the pair have scored well since Jimmy joined Horspole Racing at Thruxton a few weeks ago. The pair qualified in seventh place and began the first race on Saturday from a fourth row grid position. They instantly began their move forward and spent the last few of the 12 laps dicing with Craig Chaplow and Patrick Farrance, who they finally passed and held station to the chequered flag in sixth position.
Gary was over the moon with the result and said "That was a really good race for us. Jim has settled well into the team and this has resulted in some quick lap times. Because the two wild card riders were ineligible to receive the points for their efforts we have benefited as we were awarded the points we would have won for fourth place."
The second race on Sunday saw Gary and Jimmy set off from the third row to take up sixth place on the first lap. They were beaten back to eigth before passing Stevens / Charlwood for seventh place. A rider ahead retired on lap six which elevated Gary and Jimmy to sixth where he once again battled with Chaplow. As they rounded Goddards on the last lap the two outfits were side by side and they crossed the line virtually together although Chaplow was awarded the fifth place with an advantage of just 43 thousandths of a second between them and Gary was again awarded with sixth place.
This gave Gary and Jimmy 13 points for each result bringing their total to 84 and placing them 11th overall at this stage. Gary said "We have had a really good weekend. We also welcome our new sponsor TEMPOBET to the team and look forward to showing off our new fairing in Assen"
The next race is in the Netherlands at the "Cathedral of Speed" circuit of Assen on September 21 when Gary and Jimmy will be seeking to move into the top 10.