After the exciting opening round of the Superside FIM Sidecar World Championship on the 1.2 mile/1.9km 'Indy' circuit at Brands Hatch three weeks ago the teams travel to Hungary this weekend for round two of the series on the long 2.7mile/4.3km Hungaroring on the outskirts of Budapest.
Following the success of the 3-race format at Brands, the action in Hungary reverts to the traditional single race of 19 laps around the F1 track, a distance of over 80kms. After Brands Hatch brothers Tim & Tristan Reeves lead the World Championship standings after two second places in the Match and Sprint races, and a win in the main 'Gold' race in front of their home fans. Steve Webster & Paul Woodhead on the Castrol-Suzuki were victorious in the opening two encounters after some tremendious faring bashing antics with Reeves' but were let down by their machinery in the final race while holding a comfortable lead. Despite the setback they managed to retained second position in the championship table just two points ahead of Germany's Jörg Steinhausen and his British passenger Trevor Hopkinson, who by their own high standards had a disappointing weekend in the UK with 'only' three 3rd positions for their efforts. Steinhausen will be looking forward to the longer race in Hungary and has a new engine for the weekend.
Andy Laidlow & Patrick Farrance were the revelations of Brands Hatch. In their World Championship and Brands Hatch debuts they ended the day lying 4th in the Championship and will be hoping to continue their good fortune around the vast expanses of the Hungaroring.
Dan Morrissey & Rob Biggs had an excellent weekend at Brands Hatch on the Team Advan Excalibur machine, but will be hoping for better fortune than their last experience of the Hungarian track when they failed to make the start after mechanical probems in the warm-up session.
Others hoping to improve on their opening round performances will be Dutch duo of Martien & Tonnie van Gils on their Maton Racing Etec LCR-Suzuki, and the German/Swiss pair of Mike Roscher & Adolf Hänni. Respectively they were 2nd and 3rd in last years World Cup standings but both suffered at Brands and find themselves with a lot of catching up to do already.
Unfortunately missing from the line up will be Richard Gatt & Paul Randell who scored a superb 2nd position in the final race, and Steve Norbury and Scott Parnell.
Gatt's wife Tara gave birth to their second child on Wednesday morning, and rightly so Richard has decided to stay home with their new addition.
Norbury and Parnell meanwhile had hoped to contest the event and then fly back to the Isle of Man for the TT races on their F2 machine, but with Parnell still injured after Brands Hatch (see separate story) Norbury has decided to concentrate on the TT instead.