Reeves edges closer to British Sidecar title at Cadwell18/08/2011
By Phil Wain
Image by Wally Walters
Three-time world champion Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze edged ever closer to retaining their British F1 Sidecar Championship title at the weekend with a dominant display at Cadwell Park. The Anglo-French pairing won all three races on their Haith/Padgetts LCR Honda to extend their lead to a whopping 120 points.
The duo signalled their intentions from the off with a good pole position, almost half a second clear of regular sparring partners Ben and Tom Birchall and it was the Nottinghamshire brothers who proved to be Tim and Gregory's closest rival all weekend. Indeed, they had to give best to the Birchall’s in the early stages of Saturday’s 10-lap race, but on lap six, Tim hit the front and was able to edge away all the way to the flag eventually taking the win by 0.848s, the gap being reduced significantly on the final lap when Tim accidentally ran into the tail end of a backmarker.
Onto Sunday’s racing, and Tim and Gregory left no-one in any doubt to the outcome as they grabbed the lead from Scott Lawrie/James Neave on the opening lap and were never headed again, utilising the clear road in front of them to press home their advantage. With the fastest lap of the race and a new lap record, 1m31.995s, on lap 3, they were able to forge clear and take their second win of the weekend, this time by a commanding 7.14s.
The final race of the weekend was the best of the three and it was a lot closer this time around although Tim and Gregory were able to be in the lead each time they crossed the line. His eventual winning margin was 0.451s although Birchall only narrowly missed out on taking the lead on the final lap after a brave overtaking attempt at the bottom of the Mountain.
The hat-trick means Tim now has 305 pts, 120 more than nearest rival Lawrie and with only 175 available from the final three rounds, he could well clinch the crown next time out.
Speaking afterwards, a delighted Tim said; "What a brilliant weekend, it really couldn't have worked out much better for us! We've had a bit of bad luck at a few of the recent World and British rounds, despite wins and podiums at the latter, and have been suffering a bit with the handling of the bike but we fitted a new Maxton suspension system and it totally transformed the bike this weekend. I had a lot better feeling and it was cornering so much better than before so it felt like 'my' bike again - a big thanks to the guys at Maxton for doing a terrific job.
"I followed Ben for a bit in the first race and then, once by, opened up a bit of a lead only to hit a backmarker at the end which caused us a few anxious moments but we had enough of a gap to bring the bike home. In the second, I got to the front early and just made full use of the clear road, taking the lap record in the process. Ben pressured me a fair bit in the last race and we had a right old ding-dong but it was all good,clean racing and although he tried to get by me at the bottom of the Mountain, I was able to hold him off to seal the hat-trick. Pole position, three wins and a new lap record really is a faultless weekend so a big thank you to Gregory again and all of my sponsors for making it happen."
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