Bryan pips stepson Ellis at GB sidecar championship opener

Gary Bryan finished ahead of Todd Ellis using his stepson's 2018 cup-winning maching EMN-190905-135329002
Gary Bryan finished ahead of Todd Ellis using his stepson's 2018 cup-winning maching EMN-190905-135329002

North Kelsey sidecar racing teams Todd Ellis with passenger Charlie Richardson, and Gary Bryan and Phil Hyde opened their British Championship campaigns at Oulton Park.

The opening round of the restructured championship brought a top-seven result for Ellis and Richardson, with Bryan and Hyde going one better to finish the race in sixth.

The new regulations forbid competitors to use the big 1000cc engines as in previous years and instead switch to 600cc-powered outfits.

Bryan is racing step son Ellis’ LCR 600 Honda which won the 600 championship last year, while Ellis has a new Honda-powered LCR to contest this year’s series.

Bryan/Hyde were consistent in free practice and qualifying, being the 10th-fastest outfit each time to earn a start from the fifth row of the grid.

Once under way, the pair made up places to eighth on lap one and continued to maintain their position behind Ellis until the penultimate lap when they made a pass stick to take up seventh place.

When John Holden lost his passenger on the final lap and pulled off the track, Bryan/Hyde were gifted sixth place to pick up 10 championship points.

Ellis and Richardson were also consistent during free practice and qualifying and as seventh-fastest competitors began the race from the fourth row.

As the lights went out they maintained seventh place for the first three laps before passing Stevens and Charlwood as they slowed with a technical problem.

The Lincolnshire combination continued to circulate in sixth position until they were overtaken by Bryan and Hyde and then Biggs and Schmitz on lap 11 of 12.

But Holden’s withdrawal promoted them back up to seventh to pick up nine championship points.

The next round takes place at Brands Hatch over the weekend of June 14 to 16, but prior to that Bryan and Hyde will contest the two sidecar races at the Isle of Man TT festival.

They will be riding their Honda-powered Baker F2 outfit which last year helped them record seventh and ninth-place finishes.

The 2019 TT begins with a week of practice from May 25 to 30 with the first three-lap race on Saturday, June 1 at 3pm, and the second race on Friday, June 7 at 10.30am.