As the 2013 F1 sidecar season has drawn to a close, with CTR ending the season in 10th place. Team Manager, Richard Rollings, and driver, Craig Chaplow, engage in some mutual back-slapping and reflect on the highs and lows of the past season.
“It has certainly been a very interesting season” said CTR Team Manager Richard Rollings, “we have successfully faced and overcome all challenges and I believe this has made us a stronger, more resourceful team because of it. CTR are committed to achieving their best and look forward to a successful season in 2014. Thanks must go to our dedicated driver, Craig Chaplow, who has skilfully driven the sidecar throughout the season, his experience proving invaluable when passenger, Kees Endeveld had to pull out early due to a recurring arm condition, and new passengers came on board. Our team mechanics proved their worth, keeping the outfit on track patching-up, repairing and attending to the various faults and damage that occurred during the season”.
Team Owner Craig Chaplow also remarked “In some ways it has been a really frustrating season, every time we seem to make a leap forward, things have thwarted us, and to finish 10th again is tough for all involved in CTR racing. It has been great to welcome some additional support to the team this year and to that end I would like to extend some special thanks to Richard Rollings, who has helped develop and shape the team and its image into what it is today, worthy of its place in the BSB paddock.”
The following provides a summary of the 2013 season:
Round 1 Brands Hatch
Practice and qualifying resulted in a 10th place on the grid. In race 1 CTR managed to climb through the field to 6th place before dropping back to 8th place. Race 2 followed the same pattern, climbing to 7th before finishing in 9th position giving the team enough points for 9th in the championship. The team left Brands Hatch in a buoyant mood knowing that we had the pace to run in the top 6.
Round 2 Thruxton
During wet qualifying, the team set the 12th fastest time in spite of a broken gearshift. Race 1 started well and the CTR sidecar was up to 9th before backing the pace off due to passenger arm problems. In race 2 the team had again fought through to 9th place again when the red flags came out to stop the race early. The race was called a result at 5 laps, which allowed CTR to come away with 8th place in the championship.
Round 3 Donington
After a wet start to the weekend, qualifying was held in the bright sunshine and CTR had a great session finishing in 5th place. Race 1 started strongly again before passenger arm trouble resurfaced, so driver, Craig rolled back the throttle to finish in a safe 7th place. Race 2 was a disaster with the clutch failing on the warm-up lap. This was the 1st mechanical failure in 12 months.
Round 4 Knockhill
After a good practice and qualifying session the CTR team lined up on the grid in 11th place. Race 1 was uneventful, and an 8th place finish was secured. Race 2 on the Sunday was a tough affair for a passenger with pains in his arms. CTR managed to finish in 11th place and left Scotland in 9th place in the championship. Passenger, Kees also made the decision to take a break from racing to have an operation on his arms.
Round 5 Snetterton
New passenger, John Briggs, partnered driver, Craig on the Suzuki LCR for this round. The pairing qualified in a creditable 8th place, but due to a clutch problem had to retire from race 1. On the Sunday the team fought their way from the back of the grid to an 8th place finish, leaving them in 9th place in the championship.
Round 6 Brands Hatch
The sidecar championship returned to Brands Hatch for the 6th round. The team qualified in 9th position. Both races were close affairs with 6 sidecars battling for 5th place throughout. Unfortunately the CTR outfit only managed 10th and 9th places, but showing they had the pace to run in the top 6. CTR left Kent in 9th place in the championship.
Round 7 Donington Park
CTR qualified in 10th place. In race 1 they made a great start and three quarters of the way round the 1st lap were in 6th place, when suddenly they were struck from behind by an out-of-control sidecar which resulted in major damage and despite working throughout the night, the patched up LCR sidecar was not able to complete the 2nd race. Due to the results of others, CTR remained in 9th place in the championship.
Round 8 Assen
The team settled for an 8th grid position in qualifying. The 1st race resulted in the team’s best result of 5th place, but the elation was to turn to despair in the 2nd race when an oil fitting failed on the way to the grid, which resulted in the number 73 sidecar not being able to take part in the race. CTR headed back to the UK in 9th place in the championship.
Round 9 Silverstone
With the outfit repaired, the CTR team arrived hopeful of points finishes. CTR qualified in a steady 12th place. In Race 1 things started well but by three quarter distance, passenger, Kees’ arms were in pain again, so driver, Craig rolled off the throttle to finish in a disappointing 13th place. Race 2 went the same way with the team coming to the flag in 12th place. CTR returned home dropping one place to 10th in the championship.
Round 10 Brands Hatch
Passenger, Kees announced that he was to step-down to allow the team to fight for a possible 8th place in the championship with a new passenger. The track was a damp and treacherous place when CTR lined-up on the grid for Race 1 in 12th place. They fought their way through to 5th, then with less than 2 laps to go, the sidecar aquaplaned, slid off the track and turned upside down. This ended the team’s aspirations of 8th place in the Championship. The team contested the 2nd race but with an incorrect tyre choice they could do no better than 12th place.