Husband-and-wife sidecar-racing duo Giles and Jen Stainton have been busy using a break between British F2 Championship rounds to solve mechanical issues and boost their confidence.
The Upton stars improved their machine by buying a new quick shifter, which duly helped them to some fine performances in events at both Cadwell Park and the Darley Moor circuit in Derbyshire.
“With a few weeks of breathing space until the next round of the British Championship, we used our time to buy and fit the new quick shifter, which we are running through the Motec system,” said Jen.
“Our thanks go to Angus, from Mototronics SBK, for helping us through the process and set-up. He was invaluable.”
With the shifter fitted to their outfit, the Staintons, known as Team SaS, headed off to Cadwell to take part in the North Gloucester Club races, which they used as a test session.
After two good practice sessions, when they bedded in the new shifter, they qualified fourth in a mixed grid of 1000cc and 600cc outfits and rode well to finish the first race in fourth place overall. They were delighted to find they had won the F2 class, finishing more than 19 seconds ahead of the next outfit, and had shaved a full two seconds from their personal-best time with a lap of one minute, 47 seconds.
The second race gave the Staintons another class win, and then they bagged their third victory with an improved lap time of one minute, 46 seconds. In the final race, they achieved a lights-to-flag triumph, crossing the finish line to take their fourth win of the weekend.
In the knowledge that the quick shifter was working perfectly and was making a vast improvement to the performance to their LCR outfit, the Staintons travelled to to Derbyshire for a round of the Darley Moor racing club’s sidecar championship.
On what was a baking hot weekend, there was a full grid of F2 outfits, plus a couple of F1 machines, which made for some close and exciting racing.
As practice got under way, the temperature was already in the upper 20s, which made for leathers and helmets feeling uncomfortable. Experimenting with new gearing, it took the Staintons a few laps to learn how this would affect their performance, but the pair still recorded a new personal-best time of one minute, 5.81 seconds to claim a front-row position on the grid.
With temperatures soaring to 33 degrees, they went out for the first race amid medic warnings that all racers should drink at least two litres of water in between each race -- and they certainly needed it! They made a poor start, but soon recovered to third place which was maintained without threat to the end of the race.
It was a similar story in the second ten-lap race as the Staintons overcame a bad start before finishing fourth.
Jen commented: “We came away pleased with changes we had made to the gearing and with more lessons learned about tyre lifespan. The heat was punishing, but we came through unscathed.”