Louth sidecar racer Jevan Walmsley targets British title

Jevan Walmsley and Pete Founds EMN-160421-153835002
Jevan Walmsley and Pete Founds EMN-160421-153835002

He may have got into the sport by chance, but Louth sidecar racer Jevan Walmsley has his sights set on a British title in only his third season.

The 26-year-old has teamed up as passenger to experienced driver Pete Founds for a crack at the British F2 Sidecar Championships and the Isle of Man TT.

Walmsley had no experience of the high octane world of sidecar racing, and no serious ambitions of joining it until he went along to the track with dad Mick to spectate.

He said: “I went along to a race meeting with dad, who was helping someone out, and the bloke said ‘you would be the perfect size for a sidecar passenger’.

“So he gave me a ride out and then I joined Matt Williams for two seasons.

“It was purely by chance. I have always liked sidecars, but never really thought about it.”

Walmsley, who works at Woodthorpe Bodyworks in the town, was given a reminder of the ever-present dangers of the sport when a crash at the end of his second season left Williams with broken ribs and a broken neck.

He escaped unscathed and thankfully his driver made a full recovery, but it did prompt the Louth racer to take a year away from the track.

That was until fate intervened once more for one late-season meet with Founds at Cadwell.

“It came about when someone I know in the paddock mentioned me to Pete,” he added. “He gave me a ring and that was that.

“It was just pure chance again and knowing the right people. I’m over the moon that he asked me.”

Cadwell proved a mixed affair, ending with a broken wrist for Walmsley when he was thrown from the machine as his driver looked to take a little extra out of one particular corner.

But just prior to the accident the pair had scorched to a new lap record, cementing their partnership for the 2016 season.

And barring mechanical issues, the results of early season testing bodes well for the upcoming campaign.

Engine problems and a back-of-the-grid starting slot set up some barnstorming rides at Donington.

They came through the pack to finish fifth and were up to second in the following race before their engine cut out, relegating them to seventh.

They finished the day with the runners-up spot in the final race, and a week later recorded second and third-place finishes at Cadwell.

The pair will be frontrunners to take the F2 championship with Cheshire-based Founds having finished second in the final standings last season despite missing a couple of rounds.

Walmsley said: “This is my first time in the British Championship so it’s a big step-up for me, but we are hoping to win it.”

There will be slightly more modest ambitions at the end of May when he joins the motorcycling world at the Isle of Man for a first taste of the world-famous TT.

“As it’s my debut at the TT, this year will just be about learning the track with him,” Walmsley added.

“I went over in February and March for two newcomer meetings and now I’m watching onboard laps of the circuit as much as I can.

“If you’re into motorsport, it’s a massive thing.”