Team Castrol Suzuki sidecars aces Steve Webster MBE and Paul Woodhead are piling the motorway miles in again this weekend with a long trip down to the Hungaroring, near Budapest, in Hungary.
It's for Round 2 of this year's premier international sidecar series, the 2004 UEM European Sidecar Championship, and after a victory in the opening round a couple of weeks ago in Italy, Easingwold-based Webster, driving his Suzuki GSXR1000 powered LCR outfit, will be looking to renew his acquaintance with the curving, technical track with a win.
Sunday's race will be Webbo's fourth visit to the Hungaroring; he first went there in 1990 and after retiring in the race saw great friends Alain Michel, partnered by Goole's Simon Birchall, win the World title. Next time out Webster set a new lap record on the way to a second place in 1992 behind arch rival Rolf Biland.
Steve's last and most successful visit to the track was in the 1997 season opener, seven years ago this week, and saw him post pole position before going on to what was his 24th World Championship win, with David James in the chair.
This year though, the nine-time World Champion is going to find some slight alterations to the track. The most significant change has seen the circuit's main start-finish straight lengthened by 202m to make it 788m, and the whole circuit is now some 400m longer at 4.384km.
"The extra space on the straight is going to make it all a bit quicker, which means that braking for the second gear sharp turn at the end of the straight is going to be quite hard work. But it is a circuit I like and I've got plenty of good memories of going there," said Webster who over three consecutive weekends will have raced in Italy, Ireland and now Hungary.
It'll be the first time passenger Paul Woodhead has visited the track though:
"Woody is going to have to take a couple of laps to learn it and feel comfortable, but it's a fast flowing track, nice and smooth, that isn't too demanding compared to some the places we race" continued Webster.
"We're both looking forward to it - a nice fast track that will suit our style, and we may have a slight advantage in that I've raced there before, and most of the others haven't. Tim Reeves will soon be up to speed though and having beaten me last Sunday he'll be wanting to do it again. But I'm going to make him have to work hard for it. We want to get the win and get maximum points for the championship" said Webster.