The 2005 Superside FIM Sidecar World Championship bursts into action in
just 3 days time at the famous venue of Brands Hatch in Kent, England on
Saturday and Sunday 7th & 8th May.
In 1949 Britons Eric Oliver & Dennis Jenkinson won the first ever FIM
Sidecar World Championship on their Watsonian-Norton machine. 2005 sees
the 57th consecutive running of an FIM World title for the sidecar
class, an unbroken run only matched by the MotoGP/500cc class and the
125 and 250cc GP events.
Steve Webster MBE, from Britain, won his first title in 1987. Seventeen
years later in 2004 he increased his already record tally to 10, while
his passenger since the year 2000 Paul Woodhead recorded his 3rd World
title. After a long Winter and Spring layoff, 'Webbo & Woody' on the
Number 1 Castrol-Suzuki machine will be sure to come under increasing
pressure from a host of eager rivals from around Europe.
German driver Jörg Steinhausen is the son of the 1975/76 World Champion
Rolf, and is desperate to emulate his father's success. Passengered by
Britian's Trevor Hopkinson the pair were runners up in 2002, and scored
three race wins in 2003. After spending 2004 concentrating on winning
the German Championship, the pair are back in World class action and
ready to step back up to the top of the rankings.
Tim and Tristan Reeves, the brothers from Biddenden in Kent, just down
the road from Brands Hatch, are also in with a real chance of the World
Championship title this year. Having finished runners-up to Webster and
Woodhead in last season's 8 round European Championship [scoring 2 wins]
they switched teams over the winter. Having already given their new boss
Dave Roberts a winning start in a National event back in March, the
Reeves' boys line on the grid at Brands as current lap record holders
around the spectator friendly 1.2 mile Indy Circuit, and are on the top
of their form.
Another family pair topping the billing are the father and son team of
Martien and Tonnie van Gils from Holland. Second in the 2004 FIM World
Cup event, they will be keen to prove they have the pace to maintain a
consistent challenge to the rest throughout the year. The multiple Dutch
Champions have new sponsors this year and will be keen to stand on the
top step of the podium for the first time.
So will Webster increase the record number of World Championships to 11.
Or will Steinhausen become the first Sidecar Son to match dad's
achievements. Perhaps Tim and Tristan, or Martien and Tonnie will take
the first title within a family environment. Or will one of the other 17
permant teams in the Championship spring a surprise?