A total of 27 Sidecar crews set off at ‘Sethern’, Dunsfold, at 10am on Sunday morning in pouring rain and gusty winds, possibly the worst weather conditions this year so far and it had been raining most of the night but there was still smiling faces about.
So conditions were going to be very testing for everyone but the majority got through the first section – over rubble and in and out of gully and up a slippery bank okay, enticed perhaps by a selection of various cupcakes awaiting them at the Ends Cards if they wished.
The Clubman winners Paul Fishlock/ Sam Atherton, didn’t start off well with an unwanted five on the scorecard when the motor stalled, where most of his rivals cleaned it.
On the second section Jon Tuck/ Mat Sparkes had a five when they got caught on the tree trunk but reigning champions Josh and Luke Golding got through with a clean ride.
Section four – a drop into a gully out round some trees, then back and forth across the gully – took marks from everyone except Clubman pairing Pete Pesterfield/ Deborah Smith, Inters Jack Corlett/ Beth Thomas and Sportsman Jamie Clarke/ James Coker.
Further round the course, nine – down and up a steep climb – took marks from all the competitors, the best scores here from Karl Jarvis/ Jana Grossman taking full advantage from being the second team away with a single dab. Also Jon Tuck/ Matt Sparkes had a superb ride here for a three, the same as Richard and Miles Gilham on their B40 on the Sportsman route.
Section 14 featured a ride across a leafy bank and Tuck/ Sparks excelled here with a lovely clean. The Clubman class had an easier route, which saw most clean this, along with cleans on the Inter route for Jack Corlett/ Beth Thomas and Sean and Paul Cuckow.
Then a little further along the bank 15 – up and down a leafy bank between the trees – was another one to take marks from all the Experts, again Tuck/ Sparks being the best with a three.
Onto 18 the last section of the first lap saw pacemakers Karl Jarvis/ Jana Grossman with a three and, then came Paul Fishlock/ Sam Atherton, who had caught Jarvis/ Grossman. The best of the Experts here was Josh and Luke Golding with a single dab.
So at the end of the first lap it was Tuck/ Sparkes 22, Goldings 26, and Nigel and Gracie Mae Scott 58. In the Inters were Corlett Thomas led on 40, with the Cuckows on 55.
On the Clubman route it was Fishlock/ Atherton on 14, with Jarvis/ Grossman on 18, with Jake Pope/ Harriet Shore on 25 and Pesterfield/ Smith on 31.
In the Sportsman it was Gilham on 41 and Clarke on 53, so it was all to play for on the second lap.
Section 24, which was between trees then down and uphill, took marks from most but not Tuck/ Sparkes who posted a clean ride, and in the Clubman Jake Pope/ Harriet Shore.
In the Inters, Jack Corlett/ Beth Thomas, Sean/ Paul Cuckow and Clark/ Coker – and the father and son Gilhams in the Sportsman were the only other cleans here.
Section 27 – a drop downhill across a ditch, then up and around trees and back across the ditch to a bank – took a single from all of the Experts, with Corlett/ Thomas the best of the Inters with a clean.
So onto the final section which saw fives from all the Experts. The best Clubman ride here was from Pope/ Shore with a clean.
So at the final it was Jon Tuck/ Matt Sparkes 54, Josh & Luke Golding 68 and in the Inters, Jack Corlett/ Beth Thomas 77, Sean & Paul Cuckow 106.
The Clubman with a superb second lap score of nine saw Paul Fishlock/ Sam Atherton finish on 23 with Karl Jarvis/ Jana Grossman 47, Jake Pope/ Harriet Shore 51.
Over on the Non-Championship Sportsman was Richard and Miles Gilham on 77.
The club was keen to thank all the officials but most of all the observers for standing out all day in the horrendous rain and wind.
Results: Wessex Plant British Sidecar Trials Championship – Rd 1 Surrey
Expert: Jon Tuck/ Matt Sparkes 54, Josh Golding/ Luke Golding 68, Nigel / Gracie-Mae Scott 110.
Clubman: Paul Fishlock/ Sam Atherton 23, Karl Jarvis/ Jana Grossman 47, Jake Pope/ Harriet Shore 51, Pete Pesterfield/ Deborah Smith 67, John Corlett/ Jamie Howe 73, Mick Treagus/ Steve Gould 85, Luke Etheridge/ Dave Denyer 92, Elliot Tickner/ Graham Tickner 102, Neil Hannam/ Barry Pocock 103, Bernard Chambers/ Ian Allaway 108, Chris Newsham/ Anna Newsham 110, Graham Thomas/ Chris Kimber 120, Paul Collins/ Daniel Jessup 170.
Intermediate: Jack Corlett/ Beth Thomas 77, Sean Cuckow/ Paul Cuckow 106, Robert Head/ Aaron Kacobs 125.
Newcomer: David Ryan/ Kevin Ryan 138, Neil Franks/ Mike Franks 140.
Sportsman (Non competitive): Richard Gilham/ Miles Gilham 77, Jamie Clarke/ James Coker 107, Joseph Butcher/ Russell Stafford 139.