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Sidecar World Championship

FIM Sidecar World Championship
Sport Motorcycle sport
Founded 1949
Countries International
Most recent champion(s) Tim Reeves (driver)
Gregory Cluze (passenger)
LCR-Kawasaki ZX-10 (motorcycle)

FIM Sidecar World Championship is the international sidecar racing championship. It is the only remaining original FIM road racing championship class that started in 1949. It was formerly named Superside when the sidecars moved from being part of Grand Prix Motorcycles racing to being support events for the Superbike World Championship. In 2010 the FIM took over the management of the series from the Superside promoters, and the championship was called "FIM Sidecar World Championship". However, the FIM still uses the word Superside for promotion purposes, despite the demise of the Superside promoters.

The championship is raced over a number of rounds (8 in 2013) at race circuits, mainly in Europe, although in other years they have been held in USA (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), South Africa (Kyalami) and Australia (Phillip Island).

The 2013 Calendar consists of races in Aragon (Spain, supporting the WSBK), Rijeka (Croatia), two rounds at Assen (Netherlands, first round supporting MotoGP), Sachsenring (Germany, supporting MotoGP), Oschersleben (Germany, supporting Endurance World Championship), Schleiz (Germany), and Le Mans (France, supporting Endurance World Championship).

In 2014, for the first time a Kawasaki rig won the title with Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze ending an 11 years consecutive Suzuki run.

Historic Grand Prix racing 1949—1976

File:Chris Vincent Norbsa number 23 front view.JPG
Chis Vincent on the Norton-BSA outfit he used for 1958 in grasstrack and 1959 for road racing, just by changing the tyre tread, a low sitter achieved by 16 inch wheels instead of 19 and showing an early version of the passenger platform which endured until the late 1970s
File:BMW RS 54 Replica Deubel-Hörner.JPG
Modern replica of Max Deubel's 1960s low sitter with traditional 16 inch wheels with sidecar-tread racing tyres


Transition Period

Prior to 1977, the racing sidecars were similar to road-going sidecars. A traditional racing outfit was a road-going motorcycle outfit without the boot and with the suspension lowered. The bootless sidecar frame would have a flat platform. Both the battery and the fuel tank could be placed either between the motorcycle and the sidecar, or on the sidecar platform. Over time the subframe, struts, clamps, sidecar frame, etc. would merge with the motorcycle mainframe and form a single frame. But essentially the racing outfit was still a variant of the road-going outfit in principle.

In 1977 George O'Dell won the championship using a Hub-center steering sidecar called the Seymaz, however during that season the Seymaz was rarely used. The Seymaz had been built by Rolf Biland, however O'Dell used his old Windle frame for much of the year. Then in 1978 Rolf Biland won the championship using a sidecar called BEO which was a rear-engine rear-drive trike. To keep up with technological innovations, in 1979 the FIM split the championship in two: One for traditional sidecars (B2A), another for prototypes (B2B). The B2B championship was won by Bruno Holzer using an LCR that turned the act of motorcycle riding into the act of car driving, including sitting on a driver's seat and using foot pedals and a steering wheel. Neither the BEO nor the LCR required much participation from the passenger. The former only required Clifford Williams to sit on his seat, while the latter only required Charlie Maierhans to lay flat down on the passenger platform. Due to the high cost of technological development, the non-active participation of the riding passengers, and the fear that sidecars would eventually become something that has nothing to do with motorcycles, in 1980 the FIM banned all prototypes. But in 1981 the FIM reversed its decision due to protests from competitors, and allowed prototypes again. However the FIM and the competitors reached a compromise involving the rules: A sidecar must be a vehicle that is driven only by a single rear wheel and steered by a single front wheel, the driver must use a motorcycle handle bar as opposed to a steering wheel for steering, and there must be active participation from the passenger. The only ban that still exists today is the ban of using trikes or cyclecars.

The 1981 rules remain largely unchanged to this day, with the exception that during the late 90s the FIM finally allowed the use of car-type suspension for the front wheel, such as the wishbone suspension. Sidecars that are outside of the technical rules can still compete in racing events, but would not be able to score or record their positions officially. An example would be the team Markus Bösiger/Jürg Egli, who achieved several high placings in the 1998 season using a sidecar in which Bösiger sat driving instead of riding. Even though they were allowed to race, their results were not classified in the official records. They would have finished third in the championship.

The traditional racing sidecars remain popular in several countries, especially the United Kingdom, mainly due to lower cost. They also have lower top speed but better maneuvering capabilities. They are now commonly called Formula Two Sidecars (600cc Engines) which are mostly used in true road racing events like the Isle of Man TT race. This is to distinguish them from the modern post-1980 Superside machines which are now called Formula One sidecars (1000cc Engines).

Today

File:LCR-Gespann.jpg
LCR Sidecar in race paddock

Today the Sidecars raced in Superside are modern high tech machines related to motorcycles only by the engines that are used. The chassis are purpose built and owe more to open wheel race car technology and the tires are wide and have a flat profile. They are sometimes known as "worms".[1] The basic design remains unchanged since 1981.

Under FIM regulation, the word "Rider" applies to both the driver and the passenger. The driver is positioned kneeling in front of the engine with hands near the front wheel, while the passenger moves about the platform at the rear transferring their weight from left to right according to the corner and forward or back to gain traction for the front or rear.
File:BMW RS 54, Gespann von Deubel-Hörner cropped.JPG
BMW RS54 Rennsport 500 cc engine as installed in a modern replica of Max Deubel's 1960s low sitter
The passenger also helps the driver when it comes to drifting, and is also usually the first person to notice any engine problems since he is next to the engine while the driver is in front of it. The two must work together to be a successful team. Nowadays it is common to call the driver the "Pilot", while the passenger has several nicknames: the "Acrobat" used in North America which is no longer in use, and the now common term "Monkey" which originated from Australia. Occasionally the words "Co-Driver" or "Co-Pilot" are also used.

The most successful sidecar racer in Superside has been Steve Webster, who has won ten world championships between 1987 and 2004. The most successful chassis is LCR, the Swiss sidecar maker, whose founder Louis Christen has won 29 championships between 1979 and 2012, with a variety of engines, originally Yamaha and Krauser two-strokes, more lately Suzuki four-strokes. The BMW Rennsport RS54 Engine powered to 19 straight constructors titles from 1955 to 1973, the most by any engines.

Match, Sprint, Gold

File:Sidecar.jpg
Sidecars on starting grid

Since 2005 the organizers have created a new format in which there are now three types of races. A championship round can have all three type of races. But sometimes there is only one type of race (the Gold Race) in one round, usually when the round is a supporting event of a major meeting such as MotoGP.

  • Match Race. Teams are divided into groups and race in very short heat races. Winners and the better placing teams in these heats would advance to the next round (semi-finals), until only the best six teams left for the final heat race. A typical heat race distance is three laps.
  • Sprint Race. All teams participate in a short race. A typical race distance is twelve laps.
  • Gold Race. All teams participate in a long race, usually twice the distance of the sprint race.

FIM Sidecar World Champions

Grand Prix

Season Driver Passenger Bike Constructor
600cc
1949 23x15px Eric Oliver 23x15px Denis Jenkinson Norton Manx Norton
1950 23x15px Eric Oliver 23x15px Lorenzo Dobelli Norton Manx Norton
500cc
1951 23x15px Eric Oliver 23x15px Lorenzo Dobelli Norton Manx Norton
1952 23x15px Cyril Smith 23x15px Bob Clements
23x15px Les Nutt
Norton Manx Norton
1953 23x15px Eric Oliver 23x15px Stanley Dibben Norton Manx Norton
1954 23x15px Wilhelm Noll 23x15px Fritz Cron BMW RS54 Norton
1955 23x15px Willi Faust 23x15px Karl Remmert BMW RS54 BMW
1956 23x15px Wilhelm Noll 23x15px Fritz Cron BMW RS54 BMW
1957 23x15px Fritz Hillebrand 23x15px Manfred Grunwal BMW RS54 BMW
1958 23x15px Walter Schneider 23x15px Hans Strauß BMW RS54 BMW
1959 23x15px Walter Schneider 23x15px Hans Strauß BMW RS54 BMW
1960 23x15px Helmut Fath 23x15px Alfred Wohlgemuth BMW RS54 BMW
1961 23x15px Max Deubel 23x15px Emil Hörner BMW RS54 BMW
1962 23x15px Max Deubel 23x15px Emil Hörner BMW RS54 BMW
1963 23x15px Max Deubel 23x15px Emil Hörner* BMW RS54 BMW
1964 23x15px Max Deubel 23x15px Emil Hörner BMW RS54 BMW
1965 23x16px Fritz Scheidegger 23x15px John Robinson BMW RS54 BMW
1966 23x16px Fritz Scheidegger 23x15px John Robinson BMW RS54 BMW
1967 23x15px Klaus Enders 23x15px Ralf Engelhardt BMW RS54 BMW
1968 23x15px Helmut Fath 23x15px Wolfgang Kalauch URS BMW
1969 23x15px Klaus Enders 23x15px Ralf Engelhardt BMW RS54 BMW
1970 23x15px Klaus Enders 23x15px Ralf Engelhardt
23x15px Wolfgang Kalauch
BMW RS54 BMW
1971 23x15px Horst Owesle 23x15px Julius Kremer
23x15px Peter Rutterford
Münch-URS BMW
1972 23x15px Klaus Enders 23x15px Ralf Engelhardt BMW RS54 BMW
1973 23x15px Klaus Enders 23x15px Ralf Engelhardt BMW RS54 BMW
1974 23x15px Klaus Enders 23x15px Ralf Engelhardt Busch-BMW RS54 König
1975 23x15px Rolf Steinhausen 23x15px Josef Huber Busch-König König
1976 23x15px Rolf Steinhausen 23x15px Josef Huber Busch-König König
1977 23x15px George O'Dell 23x15px Kenny Arthur
23x15px Cliff Holland
Windle-Yamaha TZ500
Seymaz-Yamaha TZ500
Yamaha
1978 23x16px Rolf Biland 23x15px Kenneth Williams TTM-Yamaha TZ500
BEO-Yamaha TZ500
Yamaha
1979
(B2A)
23x16px Rolf Biland 23x16px Kurt Waltisperg Schmid-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1979
(B2B)
23x16px Bruno Holzer 23x16px Charlie Maierhans LCR-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1980 23x15px Jock Taylor 23x15px Benga Johansson Windle-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1981 23x16px Rolf Biland 23x16px Kurt Waltisperg LCR-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1982 23x15px Werner Schwärzel 23x15px Andreas Huber Seymaz-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1983 23x16px Rolf Biland 23x16px Kurt Waltisperg LCR-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1984 23x15px Egbert Streuer 23x15px Bernard Schnieders LCR-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1985 23x15px Egbert Streuer 23x15px Bernard Schnieders LCR-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1986 23x15px Egbert Streuer 23x15px Bernard Schnieders LCR-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1987 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px Tony Hewitt LCR-Yamaha TZ500 Yamaha
1988 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px Tony Hewitt
23x15px Gavin Simmons
LCR-Yamaha Yamaha
1989 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px Tony Hewitt LCR-Krauser Krauser
1990 23x15px Alain Michel 23x15px Simon Birchall LCR-Krauser Krauser
1991 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px Gavin Simmons LCR-Krauser Krauser
1992 23x16px Rolf Biland 23x16px Kurt Waltisperg LCR-Krauser Krauser
1993 23x16px Rolf Biland 23x16px Kurt Waltisperg LCR-Krauser Krauser
1994 23x16px Rolf Biland 23x16px Kurt Waltisperg LCR-Swissauto V4 ADM
1995 23x15px Darren Dixon 23x15px Andy Hetherington Windle-ADM ADM
1996 23x15px Darren Dixon 23x15px Andy Hetherington Windle-ADM ADM

Sidecar World Cup

Season Driver Passenger Bike
1997 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px David James LCR-ADM
500cc 2-stroke or 1000cc 4-stroke
1998 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px David James LCR-Honda
1999 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px David James LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000
2000 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px Paul Woodhead LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000

Superside

Season Driver Passenger Bike
1000cc 4-stroke
2001 23x15px Klaus Klaffenböck 23x15px Christian Parzer LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000
2002 23x15px Steve Abbott 23x15px Jamie Biggs Windle-Yamaha EXUP
2003 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px Paul Woodhead LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000

Superside World Cup

Season Driver Passenger Bike
2004 23x15px Steve Webster 23x15px Paul Woodhead LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000

Superside

Season Driver Passenger Bike
2005 23x15px Tim Reeves 23x15px Tristan Reeves LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000
2006 23x15px Tim Reeves 23x15px Tristan Reeves LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000
2007 23x15px Tim Reeves 23x15px Patrick Farrance** LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000
2008 23x15px Pekka Päivärinta 23x15px Timo Karttiala LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000
2009 23x15px Ben Birchall 23x15px Tom Birchall LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000

Superside Sidecar World Championship

Season Driver Passenger Bike
2010 23x15px Pekka Päivärinta 23x16px Adolf Hänni LCR-Suzuki GSX-R1000
2011 23x15px Pekka Päivärinta 23x16px Adolf Hänni LCR-Suzuki GSX-R1000
2012 23x15px Tim Reeves 23x15px Ashley Hawes LCR-Suzuki GSX-R1000
2013 23x15px Pekka Päivärinta 23x16px Adolf Hänni LCR-Suzuki GSX-R1000
2014 23x15px Tim Reeves 23x15px Gregory Cluze LCR-Kawasaki ZX-10

Sidecar F2 World Trophy

Season Driver Passenger Bike
2014 23x15px Tim Reeves 23x15px Gregory Cluze DMR

Notes

* 23x15px Barry Dungsworth was a substitute for the injured Emil Hörner in the Isle of Man round. The team finished eighth and received no points.
** 23x15px Stuart Graham was injured during the practice session of the first round in Schleiz. Patrick Farrance substituted for the race and for the rest of the season.

Trivia

Werner Schwärzel and Karl Heinz Kleis was the first team to win a race (1974 German GP) using a 2-stroke engine (König), Steve Abbott and Jamie Biggs was the last team to win a race (1999 World Superbike Championship round 8 Brands Hatch) using a 2-stroke engine (Honda).

Jock Taylor and Benga Johansson was the last team to use a traditional sidecar to win the championship (1980) and a race (1981 Austrian GP).

References

  1. ^ Motor Cycle News 5 May 1982, p.7 Jock Taylor in the chair. Worms all the way. "The nickname 'worm' stems from last year's Austrian GP when Biland's first 'worm' wriggled all over the track". Accessed and added 2015-03-03

External links