-- The Australian Sidecar Championship,
The first round of the 2011 Australian Sidecar Championship took place at the Barry Sheene Festival of Speed which was held at Sydney’s Eastern Creek raceway on the second and third of April. Despite rain all week leading up to the meeting and clouds on both days, there was no rain all weekend.
The meeting had a large amount of sidecar entries, reaching well over forty sidecars with the F1 sidecars having a separate race to the F2 and Period 4 and 5 historic sidecars. Sidecars from every mainland state, and ten from New Zealand made up the two grids, with some teams riding different sidecars in both F1 and the F2/Historic races. The New Zealand teams were allowed to run to their regulations, which meant 1300 cc, although those under 1000 cc were eligible for points in the Australian Championship. There were also the Trans-Tasman Challenge races, separate to the championship races for all F1s.
The F1 qualifying didn’t last long with most riders only getting two or three laps in before the red flag came out due to Beare boys tipping over at turn eight resulting in minor brain bleed and broken foot for Noel and neck stain and some gravel rash for Dwight. Bosman took pole, then Soutar, then Jacobs. The most impressive performance in qualifying was eight times NZ champ, Andy Scrivener, on the Hayabusa powered Porteus short bike, who in only three laps, managed to get down to a 1:47.5, securing fourth place on the grid, despite never having seen the track before. Chris Pym, on his new James-built hub centre short only managed to get one lap in and qualified in twenty-fifth.
The F2 and historic qualifying went a lot better with Doug Chivas taking pole position followed closely by Darryl Rayner and Mick Alton.
The first F1 race was taken out by Shane Soutar with Paul Jacobs getting the fastest lap while trying to chase him down after being held up by Andre Bosman early in the race. There also some nice dicing for fourth place between Jeff Brown and Andy Scrivener with Andy getting the place.
The first historic and F2 race was full of action and amazingly close with Dags beating Chivo by a tiny three thousandths of a second after Chivo set the lap record of 1.47.7 chasing him down on the last lap of the race.
The second F1 race was also won by Shane Soutar as the first one but this time Andre Bosman made Shane fight for it but eventually came up short. This race had quite a few close dices including for fourth place again between Brown and Scrivener with Scrivener getting the better. The dice for sixth place was Warren Thompson and the Lawrence brothers with Thompson placing sixth and Lawrence’s seventh, and last but not least Mick Alton and Howard Ford with a close race for eighth place.
The second F2 and historic race had great expectations to live up to after the photo finish the previous race and didn’t disappoint with Glenn West keeping in the mix for the first couple lap but couldn’t keep up with Dags and Chivo as they broke into a great race of their own out front but not quite as close a finish as last time but did not disappoint as Dags took the win.
The first race the next morning was the F1 sidecars race which resulted in a close finish between Paul Jacobs and Shane Soutar with Shane getting the win by only 0.036 seconds. Howard Ford had an interesting DNF as under brakes his stomach pushed his new air box off the throttle body rubbers.
The first f2 and historic race for the day Chivo got back at Dags by snatching the win in another hard fought battle with Glenn West right on the back of them but dropping off later in the race.
The last F1 race of the weekend got off to a messy start as Jeff Brown crashed into the Lawrence Brothers with both spinning with Jeff spitting Brett James onto the track and nearly tipping over. After that mess was over Andre Bosman and Shane Soutar got away from Paul Jacobs while he was stuck behind Scrivener and after a hard fought battle Bosman ended up taking the win.
The last race of the weekend was another Historics and F2 race with Glenn West leading the opening laps before Chivo reeled him in to take the lead and Glenn not getting rewarded for his extra efforts as Dags snatched second of him just before the line. Mick Alton, who was doing double duty in the F1 and F2, coasted to a stop on the F2 for the fourth time in four races, with an apparent electrical problem.
Australian F1 Sidecar Championship
1. Andre Bosman/ Dave Kellett – LCR/Suzuki 45
2. Shane Soutar/ Jeff Rowe – LCR/Suzuki 45
3. Paul Jacobs/ Steve Bonney – LCR/Suzuki 36
4. Warren Thompson/ Peter Fleming – RHR/Suzuki 32
5. Howard Ford/ Tom Milanovic – Blueybuilt/Suzuki 29
Trans Tasman F1 Sidecar Challenge
1. Shane Soutar/ Jeff Rowe – LCR/Suzuki 50
2. Paul Jacobs/ Steve Bonney – LCR/Suzuki 44
3. Andre Bosman/ Dave Kellett – LCR/Suzuki 40
4. Andy Scrivener/ Steve Bryan – Porteus/Suzuki 36
5. Jeff Brown/ Brett James – Kellett/Yamaha 32
1. Darryl Rayner/ Peter Cumming – Shelbourne/Honda 100
2. Glenn West/ Brendan Justice – DMR Yamaha 88
3. Harold Nankervis/ Andrew Chen – Ford-Dunn/Yamaha 76
4. Tracey Anderson/ Jo Mickelson - DMR/Yamaha 74
5. Dave Dickie/ Joanne Dickie – ECM/Honda 63
Period 5 Sidecars
1. Doug Chivas/ Matt McKinnon – Peterbuilt/ Yamaha 100
2. Peter Selke/ Christine Williams – Blueybuilt/ Suzuki 84
3. Richard Hirst/ Zac Cutler – MGF/ Kawasaki 82
4. John Blaymires/ Charles Bilby – Moto Guzzi 70
5. Darrell Johnson/ Corey Forde
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