Louth sidecar racer lands historic British championship

Walmsley and Founds in action EMN-160609-092237002
Walmsley and Founds in action EMN-160609-092237002

Jevan Walmsley has become Louth’s first British sidecar champion in almost 60 years after clinching the title with a round to spare.

Winning the British F2 Championship capped a sensational debut season for passenger Walmsley with driver Pete Founds which also included a podium finish at the legendary Isle of Man TT.

Jackie Beeton and Eddie Bulgin were the last Louth sidecar racers to win a British title on their Norton 58 years ago EMN-160609-092211002

Jackie Beeton and Eddie Bulgin were the last Louth sidecar racers to win a British title on their Norton 58 years ago EMN-160609-092211002

They sealed the title with a dominant performance in round five at Croft as Walmsley became the town’s first British champion since Jackie Beeton and Eddie Bulgin, on their Norton, 58 years ago.

“It still hasn’t sunk in what we have achieved together this season in becoming British champions at the first attempt,” he said.

“I always dreamt about what if, but to actually achieve it was unbelievable.

“I have learnt so much this year and I’d like to thank Team Founds for all the support and advice they have given me, and also for making me and my family feel so welcome.”

Jev Walmsley (left) and Pete Founds celebrate the title EMN-160609-092225002

Jev Walmsley (left) and Pete Founds celebrate the title EMN-160609-092225002

With Walmsley making his first appearance at the Croft circuit and having missed the test day, the pair had to settle for third place in qualifying.

But a fabulous start took them past Crawford and Ramsden and into the lead at turn one.

A race-long battle with the fast chasing Crawford ensued with Walmsley and Founds recovering from a trip into the gravel trap to retake the lead on their way to victory.

They headed into race two, knowing a top two finish would give them an unassailable lead in the championship.

This time Ramsden got the hole shot into the first corner, but Founds and Walmsley soon made a move and pulled out a small lead on a chasing trio.

A red flag brought the race to a premature end and the result was declared, giving Founds and Walmsley their eighth win out of 10 in the series and with it the British title.

The championship concludes at Brands Hatch on October 8.

“This season’s been a dream, especially finishing in second place at the Isle of Man TT,” Walmsley added.

“I never imagined it was possible to finish in a podium position, let alone in second place on my debut year.”

Walmsley hopes to head back across to the island to pick up more course knowledge before next year’s festival.

“The TT experience was amazing and unforgettable; I’m very much looking forward to competing in the 2017 TT again with Pete,” he said.

“We believe we can finish in the top six or even another podium with engine reliability.

“We don’t have the funding to invest in new engines, so our challenge is to find more speed with our existing motors.

“This year’s Championship has been very competitive between the top three, and next year Pete’s brother returns, among others, so it will be very competitive.

“I would like to say a big thank-you to all of our sponsors and our race fans. Without their help and generosity.”

Sponsors: Trustland Construction, Morris Lubricants, RTX Leathers, A V Craine (Davey and Beryl), R and Y motors, TKR Graphics, Steve Taylor, Majestic Engineering, Motrac, HEL Performance, Manby Motors, Waldo Graphic Design, IHS Ltd, Fozzy Glazing, Aleo Plating, Louth Building Supplies, Suzuki GB, Avon Tyres, Cestrian Signs, JTE Plumbing, Woodthorpe Body Repairs, Concrete Drilling Services, CJF Associates.