Ellis and Clement begin FIM World Sidecar championship campaign with victory and second

By Helen Pask

Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement. Photo: Wally Walters
Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement. Photo: Wally Walters

North Kelsey sidecar driver Todd Ellis and passenger Emmanuelle Clement secured a win and a second place at the opening round of the 2022 FIM World Sidecar championship which took place at Le Mans in France over the Easter weekend.

The pair, last season’s runners-up, were on board the LCR Yamaha supported by Santander Salt.

The Anglo/French pairing completed their qualifying in third place and lined up on the front row for the start of the first of two 18-lap races.

Ellis and Clement finished first and second at Le Mans. Photo: Wally Walters

As the lights went out it was former champion Tim Reeves with Kevin Rousseau in the chair who hit the front with Ellis/Clement right in their tyre tracks in second place.

They entered into a fierce battle for the lead and were joined by three other outfits with less than a second separating the five teams.

As the race unfolded the front two began to pull a gap and on lap 14 of 18 Ellis/Clement finally managed to snatch the lead from Reeves/Rousseau. Ellis/Clement maintained the lead through the final few laps to take the first win of the new campaign.

Starting the second race on Saturday from the front row this time they were joined by current champions Schlosser/ Fries who had solved their earlier problems.

This time it was Ellis/Clement who took the lead at the start but Reeves/Rousseau passed them on lap three and once again there was only a second between the top four outfits.

But this time the pace was too hot for them and once Schlosser/Fries took over at the front he accelerated away from the following three to establish an unbeatable lead.

Ellis/Clement passed Reeves/Rousseau at the half way stage of the race and they too pulled clear of their pursuers and although unable to catch the leaders they crossed the finish line in a strong second place with Reeves some 4.7s adrift in third place.

Clement said: “A very nice weekend for us, we are more than happy to start the 2022 season like this with a win and a second place.

“A big thank you to all our sponsors, the team, our families and all of you who support us again and without whom nothing would be possible.

“We are currently on the road for the second round that will take place this weekend in Assen.”

The next round is at Assen in the Netherlands this weekend, April 22-24.