Isle of Man TT regular Tim Reeves is leading the F1 World Sidecar Championship after a dominant weekend of racing.
Reeves and passenger Ashley Hawes won both races at the third round of the championship, at the Rijeka circuit in Croatia. These were his first wins since Magny Cours in September 2010, elevating Reeves and Hawes to the top of the World Championship table.
After qualifying 2nd, Reeves and Hawes were in confident mood going into Saturday's 10-lap 'Sprint' race and with a lightning start, they completed the opening lap in first.
They extended their lead on each lap, crossing the line for a comfortable win with Markus Schlosser in 2nd and reigning World Champion Pekka Paivarinta 3rd.
Sunday's longer 18-lap race proved tougher in the searing heat and it was Schlosser who grabbed the holeshot. However, Reeves and Hawes were in front and the duo soon left the rest of the field behind. Finding a good rhythm, Reeves never allowed his German rival to get close enough to try a pass and he wrapped up the second win of the weekend. Jorg Steinhausen was 3rd, some 22 seconds further back.
A week earlier at Hungaroring, Hungary, the pair took a solid 3rd in a race interrupted by rain.
With four rostrums, the pair have moved onto 82 points to lead the championship by 8 points from Paivarinta.
“It's been a great week on the continent for me and to be fair it couldn't have gone much better. The bike's absolutely flying and that, coupled with a lighter passenger, has been the major difference. Mind you, perhaps Ashley's a bit too light as he fell out in practice in Hungary! He's taken so much stick since it happened though that he'll make sure it won't happen again, but, being serious, he's doing a terrific job and I'm delighted for him that he's taken his first World Championship wins.”
“It's a really abrasive circuit and with the temperature being around the 35 degree mark, it all came down to who could conserve their tyres the best. In the first race, I just went for it from the start whereas everyone else seemed to take it steady to begin with and that allowed me to make a break - by the time the rest got going, we were well clear and the tyres held out for the 10 laps so it was a great start.”
“In Sunday's longer race, I managed to get by Schlosser towards the end of the first lap and with it being a longer race, we were all taking it steady in the early laps. I got into a good rhythm though and began to edge away and although Markus came with me, I always felt I had enough off a gap to feel secure and when I looked behind on the last lap there were 6 or 7 bike lengths between us so it was very much a case of job done.”
“We're the only team to finish on the podium in every race so far and I think that's going to be crucial this year. There's nothing between the top six crews so whoever can be the most consistent, and can keep racking up the podiums, will be the Champions - and that's what we aim to do!"