As he prepares to contest the 2010 Isle of Man TT, Tim Reeves has launched his bid to win a fourth World Sidecar Championship.
His hopes of racing at the 2010 TT were almost dash when he lost a major sponsor, but just days ago Reeves was able to confirm he would return to the Mountain circuit after two existing sponsors increased their backing.
In his first outing of the season, at the opening round of the British Championship, Reeves took victory, and he had hoped for more of the same when the World Championship started at Le Mans, France, at the weekend.
However, mechanical problems led to loss of power which stopped Reeves and passenger Gregory Cluze challenging for the win. Instead the pair put in a steady performance to finish fourth and take 13 points.
There are only another six races in the World Championship, so the haul of points ensures there are still in with a chance of victory.
Throughout qualifying, Reeves found that although the machine was working fine for one lap, beyond that it started to feel sluggish and drop-off performance, making it a trying weekend for the team.
All manner of components were changed between the two 20-minute practice sessions to try and rectify the problem, but it was to no avail, so the duo qualified in a somewhat unusually lowly sixth place.
A good start saw Reeves and Cluze rocket up to second, but with the top speed of the machine suffering, they were soon pushed back down to sixth. The leading outfits continued to pull away on the first lap, but once they got back to the tighter, twistier section, Reeves was able to close back in.
However, the engine gremlins meant he was powerless to respond as the race wore on and rather than push too hard and damage the tyres or crash out, Reeves opted to settle for fourth place and get some solid points on the board.
“Having dominated at Pembrey, I was feeling really confident coming to Le Mans, but somehow, and somewhere, something’s affected the performance of the engine and niggling problems have affected me all weekend.”
“All we did after Pembrey was give the bike a bit of a clean as it was absolutely flying there, but it just felt sluggish from the word go at Le Mans and I was three seconds off the times I’m used to doing around the circuit.”
“We didn't have a lot of track time, but we changed all sorts - fuel pump, injectors, the regulator, allsorts - to try to get to the bottom of it, but nothing seemed to work and although it was good for a lap or two, it gradually tailed off.”
“I was having to push real hard just to keep the leaders in sight, but in the end I just backed off and brought the bike home for some points as the last thing I wanted to do was wreck the tyres of spin off. We’ve now got a couple of weeks before our next meeting so we’ll be checking everything over on the bike with a toothcomb and then spend some time on the dyno to ensure we’re back to where we should be.”
“I feel like I’m driving better than ever at the moment whilst Gregory is absolutely first class so I’m sure we’ll be back at the front next time out.”