SIDECAR: SIMON Smith returned to racing last weekend with a triumphant personal best at Darley Moor in Derbyshire.
Simon had a six-week lay-off while passenger Anne Garnish competed at the Isle Of Man TT, but returned in style with a full weekend of racing and taxi-rides. It was an opportunity for Simon to say thank you to local Solihull firms and supporters, with sponsor The Bathroom Centre renewing their contract and Solihull fan Andy Edwards having his first taste of passengering an F2 sidecar in the taxi rides.
During Saturday qualifying a broken wire caused the team to retire early, leaving them at the back of the grid for the main race. Smith made the most of the wet conditions to blast through the field from 17th to mid-field before a flat tyre caused a spin and then retirement on lap 3. In the second race Simon repeated his aggressive start and they recorded a personal best lap time as they crossed the line in 8th place.
In the lunchbreak Simon, along with a dozen other drivers, offered supporters and fans the opportunity to try passengering with a three-lap blast around the circuit. Over 60 people had a high-speed ‘taxi ride’, each donating to charities “Help For Heroes” and the ACU Benevolent Fund and raising over £1,200 in the process. Participant Andy Edwards, who started supporting the team after reading about them in the Solihull Observer, said afterwards: “I am buzzing! This is the best experience I’ve had on wheels or wings, absolutely loved it.” He’s hoping to repeat his taxi ride again later in the year.
Sunday’s racing was dry, allowing the team to consolidate their Saturday improvement, qualifying 9th on the grid and finishing the two races in 8th and 6th respectively. Their next outing is at Mallory Park where Simon is hoping for a new personal best lap.