The heat was intense, a dead heat. But the “FIM World Sidecar Championship” teams had an eleven lap “Sprint race” to contest.
The top three teams were separated by less than one second as they lined up on the start line for the off.
As the lights went out Ben and Tom Birchall had the perfect start from their pole position. Pekka Paivarinta and Jussi Veravainen slotted in right on the tail of the Birchall Brothers. Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes were drifting out on the outside of the corner, but were getting ready to get right in behind Paivarinta and Veravainen. Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries had a good start and got in behind Reeves and Wilkes. Joseph Sattler and Uwe Neubert were getting right in behind Schlosser and Fries, but they had to watch out as Bennie Streuer and Kevin Rousseau were alongside and ready to pounce and take the position and give chase to Schlosser and Fries. Sam and Adam Christie were next up, but a fast starting Paul Leglise and Emmanuelle Clement were thinking about that position they had, unfortunately for them though, they got out onto the very dirty part of the track, losing traction and starting to drift wide, driver Leglise held on to his machine well, they lost a bit of time but kept their position. Kees Endeveld and Jeroen Remme were in this group before a small gap then it was Rupert Archer and Stephen Thomas just in front of Peter Kimeswenger and Jens Lehnertz, next up was Rasmus Dombernowsky and Rekola Annsi, bringing up the rear was Jakob Rutz and Bjorn Bosch.
The battle at the front was hot; the Birchall Brothers were holding their own at the front, looking very smooth. Paivarinta and Veravainen were trying their hardest to get alongside and make a pass, but Reeves and Wilkes were right on their tail, if Paivarinta and Veravainen made a mistake Reeves and Wilkes would get past and it would be hard for Paivarinta and Veravainen to get back with the leading two. It was only a matter of time though before Reeves/Wilkes would make a move on Paivarinta/Veravainen. This did happen and Reeves/Wilkes gave chase to the Birchall Brothers. Paivarinta and Veravainen fell back after this, but were in a good third place.
There was a great battle going on behind in fourth and fifth place between Schlosser/Fries and Streuer/Rousseau. Streuer and Rousseau managed to get right up behind Schlosser/Fries, so much so that Schlosser could hear the Streur/Rousseau machine.
Another great battle going on just behind the Schlosser/Streuer battle was between The Christie Brothers, and Leglise and Clement. Leglise and Clement were pushing hard and were right on the tail of the Christie Brothers, they were showing the Brothers their nose, but they just could not make the pass. Sam and Adam Christie were having trouble with front end grip, but they were managing to keep Leglise and Clement at bay. The battle at the front was still the same; the Birchall Brothers were keeping a safe distance in front of Reeves and Wilkes, who were in turn under no threat from Paivarinta and Veravainen. However it looked like Reeves/Wilkes were slowing a little, the Birchall Brothers seemed to have a bigger gap at the front. But still there was no threat from Paivarinta and Veravainen to Reeves/Wilkes.
As the race was coming to a close, Reeves and Wilkes were back on the pace and were starting to put pressure on the Birchall Brothers. It was nip and tuck for the last two laps. Reeves and Wilkes were pushing hard for the pass. It was to happen, going into the last corner with one lap to go. Reeves and Wilkes got by for the lead, and they started to make a small gap on the Birchall Brothers. A delighted Reeves and Wilkes took the race win with the Birchall Brothers second, but only 0.614 down. Reeves and Wilkes had the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1:32.301. Paivarinta and Veravainen took third but were just over six seconds down.
The battle for fourth and fifth place between Schlosser/Fries and Streuer/Rousseau raged on till the end. Streuer/Rousseau however just could not get by for the fourth place. Both teams fought hard for their placings in the race, and both teams enjoyed the race.
It was to be a lonely race for Sattler and Neubert, but sixth place was good for the team, and they seemed to have sorted their ill handling machine from the Q2 session in the morning.
Another great battle throughout the race between the Christie Brothers, and Leglise and Clement. It was the Christie Brothers Sam and Adam who got the seventh place over eighth place Leglise and Clement. But both teams enjoyed the race.
Endeveld and Remme were again to have a lonely race like others in the championship so far. But another top ten finish for the team, they happy with this, and hope they can have a good race tomorrow.
Another race finish for Rupert Archer and Stephen Thomas. They had no problems during the race and enjoyed the race, more championship points for their campaign with their tenth place.
Rutz and Bosch managed to get up to eleventh and stayed in this position till the end. Kimeswenger and Lehnertz took twelfth place, but not happy with their performance. They think their engine is lacking power. Dombernowsky and Rekola took thirteenth place. Their first world championship points.
Tomorrow there will be a 21 lap “Gold Race” starting at 13:30 local time.
Mark "Wally" Walters