Walmsley and Founds battle back to race win

Team Founds take victory in race two using their spare engine EMN-170420-094803002
Team Founds take victory in race two using their spare engine EMN-170420-094803002

Louth sidecar racer Jev Walmsley endured an eventful weekend with an offical protest, engine inspection, torrential rain and an against-the-odds race win.

Walmsley made the short trip to Cadwell Park for round two of the British Formula 2 Championship with driver Pete Founds, but after opening the season with a clean sweep of wins, the defending champions were in for a surprise.

Walmsley and Founds struggle for grip in Saturday's rain-affected race one EMN-170420-094752002

Walmsley and Founds struggle for grip in Saturday's rain-affected race one EMN-170420-094752002

Team Founds were called to the official’s office and refused a start to Saturday’s schedule after a protest from a fellow team over the capacity of their machine.

With only minutes to spare before free practice, the officials allowed them to take part, but with a tamper-proof tag on the engine which would be stripped and inspected at the end of the day.

Despite missing a few laps, they got some much-needed track time to set up the bike for qualifying.

After changes to the suspension and gearing, they slowly raised their pace and posted a time of 1min 38.20secs to secure their second pole position of the season.

With rain in the air, the track remained damp, but not wet, making tyre choice a headache.

Team Founds decided to run full slick tyres, but this proved fatal when they headed to the start line and the heavens opened.

With teams refused time to change to full wet tyres, the race began in torrential rain and the slick tyre contenders struggled for grip.

Pete and Jev fell to fourth by the end of lap one and dropped another two places on the next lap, before slipping back to ninth as the rain continued to fall.

A battle ensued with Steve and Matty Ramsden, who had also opted for slicks, with Pete and Jev finally passing them on lap seven, and holding eighth spot until the finish.

The team then headed off to strip and remove the engine for inspection by three ACU officials who confirmed it to be 597cc and under the legal limit.

Despite proving the engine was within spec, it was impossible to rebuild it ready for Sunday, leaving Founds with the spare un-tuned engine, used in last year’s campaign.

Starting race two from pole again, Pete and Jev got away well and by the end of lap one led by a fraction from Team ARC.

By lap two their clutch began to slip at full throttle, forcing driver Founds to feed the power in gently, and causing them to lose out down the fast straights.

Despite this they maintained the lead with lap times only slightly down on their pole-setting time. Their burden was eased on lap five when Crawford and Farrance dropped out at Barn Corner.

Holding a 13-second lead, the pair nursed the clutch through the final nine laps to win by 20 seconds and retain their championship lead.

With the next British Championship round four weeks away, Pete and Jev first turn their attention to the British Superbikes meet at Oulton Park where they will compete in the televised Formula 1 championship.

They would like to thank Louth businesses Parkinsons Fish and Chips and Waldo Graphics for their support this season.