FIM Sidecar World Championship.
Assen, Gamma Race Day, Report.
“Reeves and Wilkes Tops in Assen”
With the skies gray, was there going to be rain? All the sidecar teams were looking to the skies. It was to be a dry race though, the rain stayed away.
The lights went out for the start of the 17 lap “Gold Race” at the “Cathedral of speed” in Assen. What a start for Pekka Paivarinta and Jussi Veravainen on their “LCR” Yamaha. The “Flying Finns” have had some electrical issues over the weekend, but they certainly sorted the problem. They led the sidecar field through the first complex of corners, not knowing what was going on behind. Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes with their “Adolf RS” Yamaha, made contact with the Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom on their “LCR” Yamaha going up the inside at the “Ossebroeken” corner. With it being the start of the race, the teams behind saw what was going on and were ready to pounce if the Reeves/Wilkes, Birchall coming together was going to end in disaster. But no, the two teams re grouped and got their heads down and gave chase to Paivarinta and Veravainen.
Bennie Streuer and Kevin Rousseau slotted into fourth spot with their “LCR” Kawasaki, but they were having to fend off the Christie Brothers Sam and Adam on their “LCR” Yamaha. A fast charging Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries with their “LCR” Yamaha were trying to make up places from eighth place on the grid, and they were doing this, they were running up the inside of Paul Leglise and Emmanuelle Clement with their “LCR” Yamaha at the “ Strubben” corner for sixth spot.
Maru Moreau and Sebastien Arifon had a good start with their “LCR” Yamaha slotting into eighth place, but they were to suffer a problem with their battery, they continued with their race though, but not as they had liked to.
Kees Endeveld and Jeroen Remme were in ninth spot on their “Adolf RS” Kawasaki, just in front of Rupert Archer and Stephen Thomas with their “Adolf RS” Yamaha.
Paivarinta and Veravainen led the race for the first few laps, but it was only a matter of time before the two chasing teams of Ben and Tom Birchall, who had now passed Reeves and Wilkes for the second spot, would catch and pass the “Flying Finns”.
This was to be the battle for the top three podium places throughout the whole race. The Birchall Brothers followed by Reeves and Wilkes, got by Paivarinta and Veravainen. The battle for the win was to be a hard fought battle between Reeves/Wilkes and the Birchall Brothers.
Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries fought their way up the fourth place and they were to keep this place till the end of the race. It was a lonely race for the Swiss pairing, but a good solid finish with good points for their championship campaign.
There was a great battle going on behind Schlosser/Fries, between Bennie Streuer and Kevin Rousseau and Paul Leglise and Emmanuelle Clement, these two teams would change places to the delight of the large spectator attendance, while this was all going on the Christie Brothers were watching and waiting to pounce.
Another good battle was between Endeveld/ Remme and now Lukas Wyssen and Thomas Hofer with their “LCR” Yamaha, who had caught and passed Moreau and Arifon.
As the race was drawing to an end the two teams at the front were now starting to catch the back markers in the race. Reeves and Wilkes by this time had managed to pass the Birchall Brothers for the lead and managed to get a good run through some back markers, but it was not the case for the Birchall Brothers, by the time they got passed they had lost some time to Reeves/Wilkes, and also it looked like Paivarinta and Veravainen had gained time on the Birchall Brothers. In the end though these three teams took the chequred flag. Reeves and Wilkes delighted with the race win extending their championship points tally from the Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom who took second. And Paivarinta and Veravainen taking third. At the podium ceremony the tension between the two top teams could be seen, after such a hard race.
Schlosser and Fries took fourth well ahead of the fifth place team of Streuer and Rousseau, who just managed to stay ahead of the Christie Brothers Sam and Adam, who made a last gasp dash to the line for sixth place.
Leglise and Clement crossed the line in seventh spot with their machine not sounding so good. It turned out that they had a problem with their spark plug cap coming off the plug. So they were happy to take seventh place.
Wyssen and Hofer over powered Endeveld and Remme for eighth place, but again Endeveld/Remme were so happy with their ninth place and more points for their rookie year.
Tenth place went to Moreau and Arifon, who were happy to finish considering they had a problem with their battery.
The FIM Sidecar teams head to the next round in Croatia next weekend, where there will be two races.