Louth sidecar passenger off to flyer in record GB title quest

Louth sidecar passenger and his driver Pete Founds began their quest fir a record-breaking fourth straight British F2 Sidecar title earlier this month.

Pete Founds is seeking a record-breaking fourth straight title Picture: Dirk Wharton EMN-190418-152630002

Team Founds 72 headed to Snetterton for round one of the ACU FSRA British Championship, with a test day on the Friday and two races over the weekend.

With multiple TT-winner Dave Molyneux in the field and a guest appearance from Pete’s brother and 2015 British champion Alan Founds, it was all geared up to be a weekend of fast and close racing aboard the new TF72.

In just their second practice session Founds and Walmsley were surprisingly close to lap record pace on Friday and went even quicker the next day in the first timed practice session unofficially smashing the lap record by more than half-a-second with 1min 18.147secs.

Jevan Walmsley hangs tough as the title-chasing duo ride the kerb Picture: Dirk Wharton

They kept up the pace in qualifying, breaking the lap record again to secure pole position with a brilliant time of 1min 17.139secs

The duo made a brilliant start to race one and kept their position in the first corner, closely followed by Molyneux and Harry Payne, and Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie.

Founds/Walmsley pushed hard from the off and had soon pulled a gap on the rest of the field, but in doing so overshot the chicane at the end of the fast back straight on lap two after locking the front wheel while braking hard.

They rejoined in second behind Crawford and Hardie, but they were soon on the leaders’ back wheel and within the lap were past and back into the lead.

For the rest of the 11-lap race, no-one could get close as the duo streaked away at the front, crossing the finish line more than nine seconds clear.

Race two brought a reverse grid for the top six teams, leaving Founds and Walmsley to line up on the third row in sixth alongside Crawford and Hardie.

As the lights went out, Founds again started brilliantly and with some nifty manoeuvres, they were up into second place before the first right-hander, following pole-sitters Lowther/Stokoe.

A great exit from the hairpin and onto the back straight, allowed the champions to pass the leader down the back straight and by the end of the first lap were already 200m in front.

Engine problems saw Alan Founds and his passenger Jake Lowther sit out race one, but with a new engine fitted and starting from the back of the grid in this race, they began to fly and make up ground on the frontrunners.

But back at the front, TF72 was stamping its authority on the competition, and as the lads got faster, they again went under their own lap record.

With the laps ticking down, Pete and Jev had another commanding lead, and were able to back off, while still lapping faster than the original lap record.

During the latter stages they encountered a large amount of traffic, but made light work of the backmarkers and crossed the line for their second win of the weekend, ahead of Molyneux/Payne and Founds/Lowther who took a brilliant podium.