North Kelsey sidecar pair extend British Championship lead

Ellis and Richardson have taken a commanding lead in the British Championship. Picture: Dave Yeomans EMN-190407-165830002
Ellis and Richardson have taken a commanding lead in the British Championship. Picture: Dave Yeomans EMN-190407-165830002

Despite suffering from a bad bout of flu and laryngitis, Todd Ellis extended his lead in the Molson British Sidecar Championship.

The North Kelsey racer, with passenger Charlie Richardson, rode to a win and a third place at Knockhill in the fourth round of the championship, while his stepfather Gary Bryan, with passenger Phil Hyde, moved up to third in the overall standings.

Ellis and his passenger qualified third for race one at the Scottish circuit to start from the second row of the grid.

But with Ellis feeling the effects of his illness he couldn’t match the pace of the leading two outfits of Kershaw/Clark and Stevens/Charlwood, and rode to a solid third place which they maintained throughout the 15 laps for 16 championship points.

Race two, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, was cancelled by a huge thunderstorm, which left the circuit flooded in places, with the race to be run later in the season.

The top 10 finishers in the first race were reversed for Sunday’s race, meaning Ellis and Richardson started from the fourth row.

But Ellis must have been feeling better as he stormed off the line to take up fourth place on lap three, with less than two seconds covering the top six outfits. On lap seven, the pair had moved up to third place and were challenging for the lead, and when the leading two outfits crashed, Ellis and Richardson shot away to establish a commanding lead.

They held it to the chequered flag to secure their fifth win of the season and extend their championship lead to 64 points over Kershaw/Clark.

Meanwhile, Bryan and his Leicester passenger Hyde began the first race on Saturday from the eighth row.

As the lights went out they made a good start to move up into sixth position, but they were soon reeled in by Crawford/Hardie and dropped to seventh.

There they remained until lap 12 of 15 when they made a pass stick on Kirk/Smithies to take sixth place which they held to the chequered flag.

On Sunday the grid was reversed with Bryan/Hyde starting from the third row.

With the outfits bunched up on the run towards the first corner, there were plenty of clashes, resulting in Bryan’s faring being tucked under and catching on the rear tyre.

Hyde did a magnificent job of pulling it clear of the wheel while still running in eighth place, and once done the pair settled back into the race to make it back up into sixth at the flag.

This strong set of results gave Bryan/Hyde 20 championship points and elevated them up into third place on 84 points.

The next round is closer to home at Snetterton, in Norfolk, from July 19 to 21.