With a dry track and sun shining, eighteen sidecar teams took to the grid for a gruelling 22 lap race in the FIM Sidecar Championship in Schleiz, Germany.
As the lights went out the first corner was to play a massive part in championship leader Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes effort to make it two in a row. Josef Moser and Daniel Evenson, Team Tirol, LCR Suzuki came up the inside of Reeves hitting them, with the passenger of Reeves falling out over the front of the outfit and Moser going upside down the two teams were out of the race, Ashely Hawes was taken to hospital for checks and was released with cuts and bruising.
With all the action at the first corner it was Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni, Team Suzuki Finland, LCR Suzuki who got the break to lead the race with Ben and Tom Birchall in hot pursuit on their Mitchells of Mansfield, LCR, Yamaha, Ben and Tom had to change an engine after qualifying, this left them having to put their No 2 engine in their sidecar and “it just is not as good as the engine we took out, but we are happy to finish and get good points for the championship” said Ben. Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer, Team Schlosser, LCR, Suzuki were in third with Jorg Steinhausen and Gregory Cluze, Steinhausen Racing Team, LCR, BMW sitting fourth with Kurt Hock and Enrico Becker, Hock Racing LCR, Suzuki right with them.
As the race progressed Steinhausen and Cluze got passed Schlosser and Hofer then passed the Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom and gave chase to Paivarinta and Hanni who by now were starting to put a good gap between them and the pursuing pack, all Steinhausen’s hard work though was to be in vain as on lap twelve they ran wide at the first corner letting Schlosser and Hofer who had passed the Birchall Brothers through for second place, by the time Steinhausen got back on the racing line Hock and Becker had passed them too for fourth place.
When the chequered flag came out, over 15000 spectators had watched a masterful race by Paivarinta and Hanni who crossed the line in first place, “what a difference a day makes” said Pekka “running off the track yesterday, and now winning” Paivarinta and Hanni now are joint leaders in the championship with Reeves and Hawes, on120 points. Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer crossed the line in second place and are very happy with their performance today, they also had the fastest lap time of 1:29.192. The Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom came over the line in third place, with Steinhausen and Cluze managing to recover well and re pass Hock and Becker, they took the flag for fourth place and Hock and Becker Fifth.
Text and photos Mark Walters