Todd Ellis moves to the verge of world title at Donington Park

North Kelsey sidecar driver Todd Ellis with French passenger Emmanuelle Clement edged nearer to their first world title when they rode to a win and a second place in round six of the FIM World Sidecar championship at Donington Park over the weekend.

Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement following their win at Donington Park. Photo by Wally Walters.
Todd Ellis and Emmanuelle Clement following their win at Donington Park. Photo by Wally Walters.

Going into the two races at Donington, Ellis and Clement held a 16 point lead over their nearest rivals and current world champions Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries and it was imperative the Anglo-French pairing completed their races ahead of them to maintain their series lead.

The two races were part of the support package to the World Superbike Championship at the Leicestershire circuit and Ellis and Clement set the fastest lap to claim pole.

It was Schlosser/Fries who anticipated the lights to perfection in Saturday’s race but Ellis and Clement soon snatched the lead, pulling clear of the pack with Schlosser/Fries and Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood. Ellis and Clement eventually crossed the line for the win just a tenth of a second ahead of Schlosser/Fries to extend their series lead to 21 points.

Race two took place in the searing heat of Sunday afternoon and again it was Schlosser/Fries who got the jump on Ellis/Clement at the start. But their lead was short lived as once again Ellis/Clement took control at Redgate.

Kershaw/Charlwood were right on their tail with Harry Payne/Mark Wilks also battling for the lead. Schlosser/Fries dropped to fourth, Payne/Wilkes passed Kershaw/Charlwood for second place and then passed Ellis and Clement for the lead. Two laps later Ellis/Clement were back in front swiftly followed by Kershaw/Charlwood with Schlosser/Fries holding fourth but losing ground to the top three.

As the race unfolded the battle was between Ellis/Clement and Kershaw/Charlwood for the lead and the two outfits pulled away from Payne/Wilkes. Dramatically Schlosser/Fries pulled into the pits to retire with a technical problem on lap 12 of 18 and so were denied any chance of points.

At the front the two leaders frequently exchanged places throughout the final few laps and on the drag to the flag it was Kershaw/Charlwood who took the win just 0.3s ahead of Ellis/Clement.

Ellis/Clement picked up a further 20 points and now hold a 41-point lead with two rounds remaining.

The next round is at Oschersleben in Germany on September 30/October 2.