Halstead MCC hosted round five of the Maxxis sponsored British Sidecarcross Championships on Sunday, and also included in the programme at Wakes Colne, was round nine of the NGR over 30's championships plus two groups of solo racing for allcomers. A decent sized crowd watched the action, held in dry, warm weather. Fourteen times British champion, Stuart Brown with his new passenger, Joe Millard, were once again, in great form, winning all three races to extend their lead in the series with one more round remaning.
The British number two team of Brett Wilkinson/Dan Chamberlain were second each time, and most of the interest was centred on the battles for the other eighteen points scoring places. With Brown and Wilkinson well ahead in race one, Michael Hodges/Charlie Ide raced well for third place, followed by George Kinge/Ryan Humphrey and Dan Foden/Scott Grahame. Race two saw Brown chased by Wilkinson again throughout the twenty five minute long race, leaving Irishman Gary Moulds/Steve Kirwin holding off Tony Grahame/Harley Lloyd and Kinge/Humphrey in a fierce three way scrap for third place. Hodge was also involved, but crashed heavily over the big jump at the end of lap two. Brown/Millard easily won race three, taking maximum points on the day, Wilkinson was second, with the two leading outfits over half a lap ahead of the rest. Making the long trip from Ireland worthwhile, Moulds took third place, and retains third in the championship. Kinge/Humphrey staved off the challenge from Grahame/Lloyd to claim fourth.
In the first NGR race, the leading three in the series battled at the front with Liam Walker and Aaron Hopkins swapping places several times for the lead, and at the finish, series leader Walker took the win. 2016 champion, Tim Clark, held third place for most of the race, but a late charge from Adam Gordon relegated Clark to fourth. Mark Lloyd and Paul Hubbard rounded out the top six. Hopkins and Walker continued their battle in race two, and after a closely fought encounter, it was Hopkins who took the win. Clark was third from Gordon and Lee Keyton. With a win and second place each, Walker and Hopkins were at it again as they fought for the lead in their final race, but as they approached the roller section, Hopkins crashed heavily, putting him out of the race. Walker took the win to extend his lead in the series, followed by the consistent Clark. Paul Hubbard had his best ride of the day in third place followed by Keyton, Lloyd and veteran Mark Goodson. Adam Gordon came from last to seventh after slicing through the pack.
The allcomers races featured around a dozen expert graded riders, along with the fastest juniors from timed practise, and Shaun Southgate was in great form, leading all three races from the start, and building up a big lead each time. Race one saw teenager Connor Hughes keeping pace with Southgate for a few laps on his very quick twostroke Husqvarna, but Southgate upped his pace to win comfortably. Brad Tomlin was third throughout, followed by Jason Morland, Harry Clark and the impressive fifteen year old, Josh Peters. Race two was almost a carbon copy of the first race, with Southgate disappearing into the distance at the front. Hughes battled hard with Tomlin to take second place again, with local star, Morland holding off Peters and Sam Mitchell for fourth place. Southgate raced to his third win in great style, leaving Hughes and Tomlin to squabble over second place again. Tomlin fought hard, but Hughes, who has been in great form over recent weeks, took second. Morland ended his day with his third fourth place, whilst behind him, Peters, Harry Clark and Sam Mitchell were involved in a great scrap for fifth.
The allcomers B group saw Halstead's Mark Relland taking all three race wins, with James Wilkinson in second place each time.
Photos by Sophie Brinkley