AFTER inclement weather at the previous round cost them double victory, Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley were back to winning ways as the FSRA rolled into Donington Park for round three.
Alongside NG Road Racing, the dedicated sidecar series boasted 28 outfits in the weekend’s programme, making track position a premium on the National circuit as qualifying got underway early Saturday afternoon.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Rowtec/Trustlands Construction-sponsored LCR Suzuki of Team Founds that led the charge in the 15-minute session as the championship-winning duo scorched under lap record pace to set pole position with a 1:14.570, a full tenth under the official lap record set in 2011 by Simon Neary and Dipash Chauhan.
Steve and Matty Ramsden joined the series leaders on the front row of the grid, as Lee Crawford and Patrick Farrance qualified third just ahead of John and Jake Lowther who completed row two.
Action kicked off in the early evening sunshine on Saturday and it was once again Founds and Walmsley leading the way ahead of the Lowthers and the Ramsdens, as Sean Reeves and Tom Christie moved up into fourth after the first lap.
Just one lap later, the powerhouse pair of Crawford and Farrance retired with technical and handling issues that would plague them throughout the round.
But nothing was going to stop Founds and Walmsley as the duo stretched out an 11.5-second lead at the chequered flag ahead of the Lowthers, with the Ramsden boys holding third.
King of Pop Michael Jackson and fellow Manxman Callum Crowe led the charge in the F2 Cup, crossing the line ninth overall just ahead of series leaders Brian Ilaria and Jody James in 10th and Riley/Parker rounding out the rostrum in 12th.
Under sunny Leicestershire skies, 23 sidecars lined up on the Wheatcroft Straight for the second and final race of round three.
From the off, Team Founds led the way once again but this time it was Crawford and Farrance who slotted in just a second behind and the Lowthers hot on their heels.
Just a few laps later, Crawford and Farrance had lost their early pace and dropped to fifth, promoting the Lowther duo to second and the Ramsden racers to third.
No one was able to keep with the leaders as they pulled out nearly a second per lap to take another dominant win by nearly 11 seconds, with the Lowthers and Ramsdens repeating their podium performances.
Doubling up in the F2 Cup class, Jackson and Crowe took yet another win in seventh overall, with Ilaria and James in the runner-up spot three places adrift and Ralph Remnant/Samantha Tilley completing the podium one place further back.
Heading into the 11-week break, Founds and Walmsley command the Super F2 series lead on 133 points, with the Ramsdens and the Lowthers tied on 95. Ilaria and James lead the F2 Cup charge on 100 points, 12 ahead of Jackson/Crowe and 17 ahead of Remnant/Tilley.
Before the FSRA race began on the Sunday, there was a start line incident in the NG club sidecar race involving Paul Riley/Shaun Parker and Peter Alton/Keith Brotherton. The FSRA sends their best wishes to Keith for a speedy recovery and give thanks to the marshals, medics and NG staff that attended the incident.
*Images: Dirk Wharton