Top ten joy for sidecar stars
A PERFECT partnership has seen two race aces overcome a horror crash to notch a top ten finish in the British sidecar championships, writes Hayley Paterson.
Selby’s Phil Knapton and Dave Atkinson, of Whitby, are gearing up for a busy 2013 season after experiencing mixed fortunes in last year’s campaign which saw the duo flip in their bike.
The crash happened along the Oliver’s Mount circuit in Scarborough after the dynamic duo had just recorded their first ever British championship win at Croft.
Confident of building on their encouraging results from their previous visit, the Team AWR pair took on the first race but a rare driver error saw the bike flip and end up causing minor injuries to the pair with considerable damage to their vehicle.
That crash led to the pair being forced to sit out of the event’s feature Gold Cup race and they could not compete in the remaining rounds of the British championship.
However, before the 2012 season came to a close, the team pushed hard to get their bike back on the tracks for the last meeting - the International Sidecar Festival in Leicestershire.
The race marked the first event since passenger Knapton and driver Atkinson’s shocking crash and the pair overcame any demons to finish with two seconds in qualifying and two podium finishes in wet conditions.
The team finished seventh overall in the British FII Sidecar Championship - despite only being in just over half of the races.
Atkinson admitted afterwards that if they had got a set of new wet tyres, they could have taken both victories, however was delighted with their two third podium finishes.
The racing calendar re-starts in March with Knapton and Atkinson expected to compete in round one of the championship in Snetterton between March 30-31.
Knapton comes from a strong line of sidecar racers including his dad Ken Knapton - the current European Champion.
His brother Paul has passengered for 17 years, notching up a fourth and sixth at the world famous Isle of Man TT Races and claimed several world championship podiums during his career.
The Selby sportsman has been using the break to secure sponsorship to help Team AWR in the quest to be crowned British champions.
“Our dream is to win the 2013 British Championship, but in order to do that we need to secure as much sponsorship as we can,” said Knapton who won the Aaron Kennedy trophy for Best Newcomer Passenger in 2010.
“We have a great team and great potential, Dave and I are hungry for this title and I know it is within our reach.
“A season costs in excess of £20,000 and the more that we can raise to help with this, the more we can spend on developing the bike and making sure we are as competitive as possible.”
To sponsor, email email@example.com.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Selby
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North