North Kelsey sidecar pair cap title defence with eyecatching win at Brands Hatch

Ellis and Richardson climb the top step of the podium. flanked by multiple world champions Reeves and Wilks, and the Birchalls (right) EMN-181019-130540002
Ellis and Richardson climb the top step of the podium. flanked by multiple world champions Reeves and Wilks, and the Birchalls (right) EMN-181019-130540002

North Kelsey sidecar driver Todd Ellis with passenger Charlie Richardson have been crowned Sidecar Cup champions for the second year running.

The pair also sealed the runners-up spot in the British Sidecar Championship with a fine win in the final race of the weekend at Brand Hatch.

The Cup championship is run within the main British championship, with the 600cc competitors scoring points in each round.

Ellis and Richardson secured the Cup last year in their first season of racing, and defended it with an advantage of 70 points from nearest rivals Stevens and Charlwood.

At the Kent circuit they began the first race from a second-row grid position, and when the lights went out Ellis settled into sixth place overall, running third in the cup.

Knowing third place would be enough to clinch the 600 Cup he rode a steadily to make sure of the title and picked up points for sixth place in the overall championship.

The final race was greeted with torrential rain, but the downpours abated for a spell to allow the sidecars to race on a drying, but still slippery track.

Ellis and Richardson started from the second row again, but this time, with the title already in the bag, they were hungry for the win.

They shot off the line and settled into second place behind multiple world champions Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes.

They shook off the attentions of current world champions Tom and Ben Birchall as the two leading outfits pulled well clear of their pursuers.

Reeves blocked each of their attempts to pass, but on the final lap the two outfits rounded the final bend side-by-side and a determined Ellis powered his Honda across the line ahead by just five-hundredths-of-a-second.

The Birchall brothers crossed the finish line for third place, but more than seven seconds back.

It was an amazing performance for the Lincolnshire pair to beat two world champions, especially with Reeves a wild card and unable to score points even if he had won.

The determination to cross the line in front was evident and earned Ellis and Richardson a well-deserved ovation on their lap of honour.

The win confirmed the runner-up spot in the British Sidecar Championship with 369 points, while taking their tally in the final 600 cup standings to 476.