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Title joy for sidecar duo
8:00am Sunday 21st October 2012 in Sport
THE DRIVERWOLF team of driver Roger Lovelock and passenger Kingsclere’s Rick Lawrence clinched the British F1 Sidecar Championship crown with a race to spare at Brands Hatch last Saturday.
The title looked like it might have gone down to the wire after Lovelock and Lawrence qualified third and their main championship rivals Scott Lawrie and James Neave were down in sixth.
Jorrge Steinhausen and Gregory Cluze shot off the line to lead, but were soon over taken by Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes. Further back there was a five sidecar scrap including both Lovelock and Lawrence in fourth and Lawrie and Neave fifth.
However, in a dramatic race, Steinhausen and Cluze pulled out with a mechanical problem. Shortly afterwards Sean Hegarty lost his passenger Calum Lawson on the drop down to Graham Hill bend. This pushed Lovelock and Lawrence up to second, while Lawrie and Neave were pushed down to fourth by Andy Peach and Charlie Richardson.
There was more drama still to come as half a lap from the end Lawrie and Neave were forced out following a mechanical problem. Lovelock and Lawrence crossed the line in second place, and the championship was won.
Despite this the pair were determined to finish on a high in the last race and it was an extremely close encounter as less than a second covered Reeves and Hawes, Steinhausen and Cluze and Lovelock and Lawrence.
The pace was fierce with Lovelock and Lawrence happy to get in amongst 2012 World champions Reeves and Hawes and runners-up in Steinhausen and Cluze.
Due to a red flag on lap eight, Lovelock and Lawrence were awarded third place to take their 12th podium out of the 18 race championship.
Looking back over the year Lawrence said: “It has been a really memorable year as we have not changed a thing and have still been racing with the same engine and chassis as last year.
“I think winning on the opening weekend when we were brave and went out on slick tyres on a drying track gave us the belief we could win the championship.
“Being leaders we were a target all year, but with the help of everyone it has been fantastic and now we will hope to do it all again next year.”