PETE Founds and Jevan Walmsley took the lead in the ACU/FSRA British F2 Sidecar Championship as Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie DNF’d at Cadwell Park.
Crawford and Hardie saw the lead they had taken into the second round wiped out as they felt the impact from a mistake in Sunday afternoon’s race.
And the ever consistent Founds/Walmsley pairing was ready to pounce, taking the first win of the year and launching themselves to the top of the points table.
Crawford and Hardie had arrived Cadwell Park looking to extend the lead they’d built with two wins in the first round at Croft earlier this month.
The wet weather which has plagued the club racing world since the start of the season had followed the series to the Lincolnshire track, as the championship joined the Bemsee paddock for its second round of the year.
Picking up where they’d left off at Croft, the Team ARC duo set the fastest lap in a wet, drizzling qualifying session with a lap a second quicker than Founds and Walmsley as Mike Jackson and Harry Payne emerged third quickest.
At the green light for race one, Crawford and Hardie shot off the line and launched themselves straight into the lead, building a gap of more than four seconds in the opening lap alone.
From there they continued to stretch the gap lap by lap in very wet conditions, and at the end of the 10 lap race, they literally sailed across the line some 22 seconds ahead of Founds and Walmsley, as Sean Hegarty and James Neave brought their Baker Honda outfit home third.
Under the reversed grid regulations, the early championship protagonists lined up side by side on the third row for Sunday afternoon’s race, with Founds starting fifth and Crawford sixth, as Gordon Shand and Frank Claeys lined up on pole with the J&D Pierce Contracts Shand F2 Suzuki.
Once again Team ARC got the best start, hitting the front on the opening lap with Founds and Walmsley in hot pursuit.
This time the track was dry, and Crawford and Hardie weren’t able to get such a big lead, as their rivals stayed in close contact for the opening few laps.
Crawford’s number 17 machine set the fastest lap on lap two and he was leading Founds’ 72 by almost three seconds as the race reached the end of lap four.
But disaster struck moments later as the leaders made a mistake and Hardie parted ways with the outfit, causing the race to be stopped and a result called.
Founds and Walmsley took the win in their Gleave Lift Services DDM Suzuki, as Hegarty and Neave finished second with Conrad Harrison and Andy Winkle third.
It means Founds and Walmsley have now shot to the top of the points table on 85, 10 clear of Crawford and Hardie on 75 with Hegarty and Neave third with 65.
*Images: Dirk Wharton