North Kelsey sidecar racers extend GB 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

North Kelsey sidecar team Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson rode to a double win in round five of the Molson British Sidecar Championship at Snetterton.

The results extended their championship lead to a comfortable 74 points over Kershaw/Clark.

Ellis’ step father Gary Bryan, with Leicester passenger Phil Hyde, completed the first race in ninth place, but were unfortunate to be penalised and then black-flagged for a jump start in race two.

Ellis and Richardson are the team everyone wants to beat this year, but the Lincolnshire duo are virtually unbeatable and in a class of their own.

They were beaten to pole position by their closest rivals Kershaw/Clark but were a very close second and started race one from the front row alongside the pole sitters.

As the lights went out Ellis/Richardson got away well and followed Kershaw/Clark for the first five laps before making their move and taking the lead on lap six of 12.

From then on they were never troubled and coasted home with a 4.9-second gap to their rivals to extend their championship lead by five points.

The top 10 finishers from the first race were reversed on the grid for race two, with Ellis/Richardson starting from the fifth row.

The first few laps were hectic as the top riders made their way through the midfielders.

Ellis/Richardson were seventh on the first lap, fifth on lap two and then third on lap three before taking the lead on lap four.

Once again they were never troubled once ahead and crossed the finish line for their second win with an advantage of 2.8 seconds from Kershaw/Clark, bringing their total to 220 points and a comfortable advantage of 74.

“It all seems to be going to plan this year,” Ellis said.

“We had a couple of races getting to grips with the new bike, but we have it sorted now.

“We have a lot of tracks coming up now that we are strong at, and, of course, my local circuit of Cadwell Park and Charlie’s local track of Brands Hatch, so we are really looking forward to those.”

Meanwhile, Bryan/Hyde completed their qualifying in 11th place and started the first race from the sixth row.

They got away to a flying start, rising to eighth on the opening lap, but were overhauled by Walker/Hawes on lap two and spent the rest of the 12 laps circulating in a lonely ninth place to pick up seven championship points.

With the grid reversed for race two, Bryan/Hyde found themselves placed on the front row for the start.

But, without realising, Bryan was a little too keen to get under way and was deemed to have jumped the start.

Riders are allowed three laps to pull into the pits for a ride-through penalty, and although a board was shown, they missed it and consequently were black-flagged.

They saw the black flag on lap four while running in eighth, and stopped out on the circuit thinking they had a technical problem before being informed of their disqualification.

The non-finish saw Bryan/Hyde lose their third place in the rider standings, dropping to fifth on 91 points, one point away from fourth.

The next round is this weekend at Thruxton.