Isle of Man TT sidecar racers were to the fore again at the latest round of the British F2 Sidecar Championship.
The 5th round of the series, held at Croft at the weekend, produced two fascinating races.
Gary Bryan and Jamie Winn won Saturday’s opening race, leading from start to finish, and ensured they regained the title lead from Ian and Carl Bell.
The Bells had an unforgettable race. Closing in on Bryan on lap four they spun exiting Tower which let Dave Atkinson and Phil Knapton through, but a lap later chasing after Atkinson, they went wide at the very fast Barcroft bend, going off track amd hitting a bump which ripped the fairing in half.
Bryan won by just a second from Atkinson, with TT podium regulars Conrad Harrison and Lee Patterson completing the top three.
Carl Fenwick and Mark Sayers had missed qualifying, but came from the back of the grid to finish 4th, just ahead of Tony Baker and Fiona Baker-Milligan.
Saturday’s race was held in sunny conditions, but Sunday saw the track wet in places, making tyre choice difficult.
Atkinson led from the start, followed by Harrison, Bryan and Fenwick, with Bell through to 6th from the back of the grid. Lap times were some 15 seconds slower as the drizzle turned to steady rain and Bryan in particular suffered with grip, losing 3rd to Fenwick on lap three and 4th to Bell two laps later. Meanwhile, an inspired race from Atkinson saw him build up a lead of 5 seconds on Harrison.
On lap nine, the rain turned into a deluge and within a minute the track was flooded with race control unable to see the track through the spray. The red flags were out on lap 10 as outfits were spinning off all around the course and results declared as at the end of the previous lap.
That gave Atkinson and Knapton their first British Championship win and the Steve Norbury Trophy.
In the championship, Bryan leads with 153 points to Bell’s 150, with Fenwick 3rd on 125 just ahead of Harrison on 123. Two rounds remain, at Snetterton on September 8-9 and Brands Hatch on September 29-30.