The Sidecar Bash

by Roy and Chris

This event is held at Cadwell Park, not far from Louth in Lincolnshire, and it is run by the Auto 66 Road Racing Club; this year was the forth time that this event has taken place. This meeting takes place at the end of October, and it’s the largest sidecar-oriented event in the country, with solo bike racing slotted in between the sidecar races. All in all an exciting weekend’s racing.

Chris and I arrived on Saturday morning in time to watch the 10-minute practice sessions. The riders were warned that the track was cold so they had to be a little careful, but luckily the track was dry, unlike the last time that we came to the meeting. I started by going to the paddock leading onto the race track. The staff here were kept pretty busy, with bikes arriving every 10 minutes for their warm-up sessions. The chief marshall had her work cut out when some riders came slightly out of turn. The bikes in the paddock were each checked for noise emissions. Some machines, having been switched off whilst they were waiting, needed a good push to get them going again.

Close to the paddock was the club house which was already doing a steady flow of breakfasts for riders and spectators alike. This being a weekend meeting the catering staff were kept busy, with the club house doing food until 9.00 pm and the bar being open until 11.00 pm. Camping is allowed on the site, so you could have a great weekend here. One nice thing about the circuit is that you can get fairly close to the race track, which is situated in the pleasant Lincolnshire Wolds countryside.

Having been to the track before I wandered around to the hairpin corner; I like this spot as the competitors have to slow down here and this gives me a few seconds to try to take some photos. I had not been here long when two outfits turned up and parked up under the trees. I thought that I recognised the lads, so I sauntered over; one of them was Dave Greenwood. By the end of the day 7 Fed outfits were parked up there and they proved to be of great interest to other spectators who came over for a chat.

I wandered back to see Chris and spotted three outfits looking a bit lost. I explained to them that there were other outfits in the far corner of the field. A little later I saw the same three again, still looking lost; I had an idea and jumped on the back of Pete’s Ariel outfit and found a way through to the other guys. I think that it helped that the race outfits were on the race track at this time, which left space between the caravans to wiggle through.

On another visit to Chris we spotted Ray Doran and John and Tracy Spavound sitting by a burger bar. I told them where the rest of the guys were. In the end there were seven Fed outfits and 14 Fed members at the meeting.

The racing, both on two and three wheels, was very enthusiastic – a top class meeting

Amongst the racing sidecars the BMW K series were fitted with trails-type open sidecars; these outfits went well.

However one that we spotted going really well was a 125 cc Aprilia. Talking to the riders later, I felt that this could be the way to start sidecar racing. Over the last two years they have competed in more than 60 races without touching the bottom half of the engine. Basically it costs £100 to run during a season; however, they did splash a bit of cash recently when they purchased three new tyres for £180!! Often the engine is running at 13,000 rpm, but the outfit handles really well and they can catch up with the larger outfits in the bends as they explained that they do not have to change gear for bends. This is when they can catch up with the larger outfits – and we saw them do it. All this from a 26 bhp engine, when some of the other outfits in the race had 1,200 cc engines

There were 18 races on both Saturday and Sunday – a total of 36 over the weekend, which is great value for money. Weekend admission pre-booking for an adult online is £19.00 with £10.00 for each day. The on-the-gate price is £15.00 a day. However, being OAPs, Chris and I paid £10.00 each on the gate.

The next Cadwell Park Sidecar Bash will be held on 27 / 28th October 2018 – well worth a visit, but don’t forget to wrap up warm!!