Gold Medals await Vanluchene and Van Den Bogaart, with 2019 just around the corner
With the dust now well and truly settled on a topsy-turvy 2018 season, eyes are firmly turned to the new season ahead. Before that though, the FIM General Assembly and awards presentation takes place in Andorra la Vella over the weekend of December 1/2. It is on that prestigious stage that Marvin Vanluchene and Ben Van Den Bogaart will stand to receive their World Championship Winner's Medals.
It will be a fourth recognition for Van Den Bogaart, whilst Marvin Vanluchene will stand tall as the youngest ever World Champion rider in the sport of Sidecar Cross.
In a season which saw them stay calm and focussed, when all the favourites fell by the wayside with numerous problems, the newly formed duo emerged impressive and worthy champions. 2019 promises to be equally, if not more dramatic with the established stars fighting to regain their control, but at the same time fighting a rear-guard action to fend off the challenges from a new breed of determined youngsters. There was a definite wind of change blowing through the 2018 WSC paddock, and we have not seen anything yet.
A provisional calendar for the new season has been agreed, and we will be publishing that when dates are more concrete, but with fourteen Grands Prix scheduled across ten European countries, it is destined to be another tough yet thrilling season. The WSC team is also well advanced in its planning and budget discussions, with an increase in the degree of LIVE coverage planned. There will also be the usual blow-by-blow reports and newsfeeds over each weekend. Each Grand Prix will be followed by the TV highlights show to be transmitted extensively across Europe, and to a larger global audience.
Team news is filtering through, and as is so often the case, driver and passenger changes are inevitable. These are often secret until quite late in the day, and we will publish details as they emerge. Another interesting topic is which crews will switch from two-stroke power to four-stroke, or vice versa? There is much to look forward to ahead of the new season, and it can't come soon enough.
Meanwhile, from all of us here at WSC – winter well, enjoy the festive season, and roll on 2019. Stay with us for all the news as it unfolds on www.fimsidecarcross.com
From Barry Nutley