Wednesday May 02, 2018
The eagerly awaited 1000cc Sidecar Speedway season gets underway on Saturday evening (May 5th) at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena, the home of the Leicester Lions.

Sixteen top class crews have signed up for the main event, the opening round of the British Sidecar Speedway Championship. Heading the list are reigning champions Mark Cossar/Carl Blyth. They must go into the four round series as favourites after dominating the shale in 2017. But Mick Cave/Bradley Steer and Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliot who shared the championship podium at Belle Vue last October, will no doubt be looking to topple Team Cossar from that top step.

All the above crews have already had track time this season after representing GB in the 1000cc Sidecar World Cup in Australia where they went head-to-head with the best on the planet. It wasn’t the most successful trip down under results wise, beating the sidecar loving Aussies on home soil is a tough ask. But the experience gained will be valuable to all concerned.
Back in the championship full-time this season are Kent aces Rob Wilson/Terry Saunters. Wilson couldn’t commit to all four rounds last season so chose to sit it out although he did make a reserve appearance at the final in Belle Vue.

Another to look for from the ‘Garden of England’ is Will Penfold/Ricky Pay who, as with most of the crews on show, spend most Sunday’s throughout the summer racing on the grass. They also made the trip to Australia earlier in the year to the World Cup. After mixing it with the best in the world many fans will be watching there progress with interest.

In fact many fans from both grasstrack and speedway will be watching how the sport progresses over the next twelve months. Grasstrack outfits can be used, but more and more are purchasing or having new speedway chassis built for the shale. The crowds in 2017 were excellent at all rounds and it is hoped that interest will grow even more this season. In past seasons sidecar speedway was mainly followed by grasstrack fans, but over the past couple of seasons that has changed. The majority of the crowd are now speedway fans wanting to be entertained. With four monster 1000cc lined-up on the starting tapes waiting to unleash 170bhp as the tapes rise who can fail to be entertained. Four sidecars all charging into the first corner with no brakes is one of the most exciting sights in motorsport. And after 20+ heats of wheel-to-wheel, fairing scraping action the question from the fans was simply “When are the sidecars coming back?” Well they’re back! With four Championship rounds and two open meetings already organised the sport is ready for lift-off.

A new website has been set up and obviously social media also has a big part to play, not just in the promotion but the organisation of the sport. This year the sidecars can be seen in Leicester (May 5th) Somerset (June 1st and 29th), Kings Lynn (July 14th) and Belle Vue (October 13th). But keep an eye on the website for all the latest sidecar speedway news

The race action begins at 7pm on Saturday May 5th with 28 races lined-up for only £10. Under 16’s are free with accompanied adults as the organisers want to make it a night of entertainment for all the family. The main event is supported by both 1000cc and 500cc sidecar action, a night of thrills and spills on the shale.

If you can’t wait till Saturday, on Friday night some of the crews will be in attendance putting in some practice time before the big event. Entrance price for the Friday practice night is £3 for fans so why not come along and meet the riders. Find out what 1000cc Sidecar Racing is all about at close quarters. Practice begins at 6.30pm and ends at 9.30pm. The perfect starter before the main course which is served up on Saturday night.

The rider draw for Leicester - Round 1
1.Mick Cave / Bradley Steer
2.Joe Mogg / Jake Cutler
3.Rob Wilson / Terry Saunters
4.Paul Whitelam/ Alan Elliott
5.Mick Stace/ Kizz Ivy
6.Neville Penfold/ Kev Jones
7.Tom Cossar/ Wayne Rickards
8.Philip Wynn/ Adam Cowper Smith
9.Simon Beaney / Gareth Bemister
10.Rod Winterburn / Billy Winterburn
11.Will Offen / Josh Little
12.George Penfold / Ryan Barker
13.Matt Fumarola / Gaz William
14.Will Penfold / Ricky Pay
15.Kevin Lapham / James Laurie
16.Mark Cossar/Carl Blyth

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