Disaster struck in the second of two British Championship races for Upton sidecar-racers Giles and Jen Stainton when the handlebars on their outfit snapped.
The Staintons, known as Team SaS, had already completed three races over the weekend at the Cadwell Park circuit, including one in the British Championship when they crossed the line 13th overall and fifth in the British F2 Cup with a new personal-best lap time of one minute, 45 seconds.
In the second, they were going well and were holding fourth place in their class until they hit problems on the ninth lap. “Under heavy breaking, the handlebars snapped,” explained Jen.
“Thanks to Giles’s quick reactions, we were able to retire safely into the pit lane. We were really disappointed, but we were also very lucky the problem happened where it did and not somewhere faster on the circuit.”
The other two races over the weekend were Auto66 events. The Staintons started the first from the back of the grid, but made their way through the pack to settle into eighth position out of 15 starters. In the second, they were content with seventh place.
However, the British Championship was the most important, and qualifying went better than they had hoped for. After making a few adjustments to their lines, they enjoyed the 11 laps and were delighted to find they had qualified in 17th place on the mixed grid of F1 and F2 outfits.
“It was a weekend of learning about pacing ourselves,” said Jen. “We were excited to be regularly recording around 1.46 as consistency is what we are aiming for, and we were even happier to be slightly better than that in the first British Championship race.
“However, it was our fourth successive racing weekend, and we realised how tiring it is. It has taken its toll and we have decided to take a welcome weekend off to recharge our batteries, while the handlebars have gone off to the Mansfield workshop of world championship racers Ben and Tom Birchall for repair.
“Thankyou for the continued support of all our sponsors and backers.”