Stuart Brown and Josh Chamberlain superb in Rudersberg Finale
Two races ahead of the teams, and the final two races of the 2019 season, that was the situation as race day dawned. The weather was again fine, dry and excellent, with morning warm-up giving the teams the final chance to make those tweaks needed maybe to ensure success.
Etienne Bax and Kaspars Stupelis would want to go out on a high, but hopes were strong for British success after a dominant day of qualifying for the Brown family. Generally speaking, British qualifying had been good, with George Kinge and Lewis Gray having a very good day too..
Race One – Thirty minutes plus two laps twice! That is what lay ahead of the crews as they lined up for the first encounter. The temperature was even hotter by the time the race formed, although there had been copious amounts of water sprayed to keep the dust down. Even the start straight had a good soaking, and that might prove crucial.
When the gate finally dropped, Brown and Chamberlain were magnificent and shot into the lead, followed by Marvin Vanluchene and Ben Van Den Bogaart.
Both Koen Hermans and Arne Dierckens were struggling with bad starts, leaving that battle for third still open. Thomas/Lebreton were third ahead of Jake Brown and Joe Millard, with Bax/Stupelis fifth. One lap later, Bax was on the move, relegating Jake Brown.
Four laps done and Bax was up to third, pulling Jake Brown with him.
Stuart Brown was superb at the front, opening a three second lead from the former champions, with Bax/Stupelis dropping away in third from Jake Brown/Joe Millard.
This was particularly good from Brown senior, as Arne Dierckens and Robbie Bax were languishing down in twenty-fourth and out of the points.
Varik and Daiders were a strong fifth, but into the closing stages the field was quite strung out behind the flying trio at the top of the race.
Hermans/Musset were up to sixth, and looking to consolidate their third place spot, whilst Brown was poised to claim fourth in the standings from poor Dierckens/Bax.
Gert Van Werven/Lari Kunnas were also strong in seventh, with Foden/Bienhof a respectable twelfth.
Into the closing few laps, and Brown/Chamberlain looked magnificent, dispelling any doubt about the stamina of the British crew. They were untouchable, and took victory by a good margin from the two best driver/passenger combinations in the world.
Result – 1/ Brown/Chamberlain, 2/ Vanluchene Van Den Bogaart , 3/ Bax/Stupelis,
4/ Brown/Millard, 5/ Varik/Daiders, 6/ Hermans/Musset, 7/ Van Werven/Kunnas,
8/ Compalati/Chopin, 9/ Heinzer/Betschart, 10/ Thomas/Lebreton
Race Two – Stuart Brown and Josh Chamberlain's ride in race one did indeed move them ahead of Arne Dierckens in the points table, but only by a slender six points. They would need to keep the young Belgian behind them in this one.
In very hot conditions of twenty-six degrees it was “game on” again as the gate dropped.
It was a second sensational hole-shot for Brown and Chamberlain, making no mistake from the extreme right-hand side. They took the gamble and it paid off.
Koen Hermans and Nicolas Musset slotted into second ahead of the Cuche cousins, with bax/Stupelis grabbing fourth.
Jake Brown and Joe Millard were once again strong, and sat fifth, with Vanluchene down in seventh place behind Dierckens/Bax.
Brown and Chamberlain were really on it, and had a ten second lead over the two fighting behind. Hermans and Bax were tooth and nail in chase of the leaders, but Brown and Chamberlain had it under control. Etienne Bax and Kaspars Stupelis wrestled their way past Hermans/Musset just as the sidecar wheel developed a problem for the third place challengers. Once again, mechanical gremlins had taken Hermans out of the running.
Half distance and Brown extended his lead, with Bax second, Cuche third. and Jake Brown fourth. This was going to be both Browns on the podium if things stayed this way.
Varik/Daiders sat seventh ahead of Thomas/Lebreton, but Vanluchene was on the move.
Lap ten and Jake Millkard moved third behind Etienne Bax. What a day for the Browns if they could pull this one off.
Vanluchene fought hard, but still Arne Dierckens and Robbie Bax kept him at arm's length.
Stuart Brown meanwhile had extended his lead over the new champions, and stayed assured of that fourth in the standings with a twenty second margin
This was an amazing display, and a fantastic way to finish the season. If things stayed the way they were, this would go down in the history books with two generations of the same family on the podium,
Then suddenly, Vanluchene was up to fourth, and that spoiled the plan for Jake. The former champions would steal that final podium spot.
Result – 1/ Brown/Chamberlain, 2/ Bax/Stupelis, 3/ Brown/Millard, 4/Vanluchene/Van Den Bogaart, 5/ Dierckens/Bax, 6/ Varik/Daiders, 7/ Cuche/Cuche, 8/ Kolencik/Hejhal,
9/ Van Werven, 10/Heinzer/Betschart
Overall GP result - 1/ Brown/Chamberlain, 2/ Bax/Stupelis, 3/ Vanluchene/Van Den Bogaart
Final Standings are on this website
Stay with us here on www.fimsidecarcross.com for the highlights show later in the week, and all sidecarupdates as they happen.
From Barry Nutley