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Sidecar-racing duo banish their Donington Park demons

Team SaS, alias Stainton and Stainton, in sidecar-racing action at Donington Park, where they recorded a fine fifth-placed finish in the British Championship. (PHOTO BY: Sid Diggins)
Team SaS, alias Stainton and Stainton, in sidecar-racing action at Donington Park, where they recorded a fine fifth-placed finish in the British Championship. (PHOTO BY: Sid Diggins)

Husband-and-wife sidecar-racers Jen and Giles Stainton banished their Donington Park demons to post a top-five finish in the British F2 Championship.

The last time the Staintons, alias Team SaS, were at the Leicestershire circuit, they suffered a crash that turned their outfit upside down.

But this time, the Upton duo were delighted with fifth spot in their class and 14th overall in the second of two races in the third round of the championship.

It also rebuilt their confidence after a luckless opening race when they were going so well, clocking times of five seconds per lap quicker than their previous personal best, when they spun at Coppice on the final lap, causing another outfit to crash into them.

The weekend also comprised four races with the North Gloucester Road Racing Club and with the Staintons registering four top-six finishes in those too, they had to be pleased with their two days’ work.

“Because of our accident last year, we were a little apprehensive ahead of practice and qualifying,” said Jen. “But we needn’t have worried as it was a great turnout for sidecars, with about 45 outfits in attendance, and over the course of the weekend, we completed in excess of 70 laps on this fantastic track.

“We were glad to banish our demons, pleased with our new personal-best times and happy with our stamina levels! Thanks to everyone for their support.”

Saturday’s practive and qualifying sessions were hectic, and the Staintons soon realised they had not solve the electrical problem that had plagued them over the previous few weeks. So they decided to disconnect the quick shift and use the first club race to see whether this was the issue.

“Sure enough, this was confirmed when the bike no longer hesitated around right-handers,” said Jen. “This presented new challenges because Giles had to change gear manually for the rest of the weekend, but it was great to know we had located the problem.”

Growing in confidence, they bagged three fourths and a sixth in strong, experienced fields for the four club races.

Next on the agenda are a club meeting at Cadwell Park and the Darley Moor Championship in Derbyshire.