John equals record with latest victory at Brands Hatch

ON TRACK: John Holden and Andy Winkle in action at Brands Hatch
ON TRACK: John Holden and Andy Winkle in action at Brands Hatch

Mellorbrook’s John Holden and passenger Andy Winkle retained their leadership of the British Formula 2 Sidecar Championship after round two at Brands Hatch.

At the 1.2 mile Indy circuit in Kent. Holden and his Stoke on Trent passenger Winkle earned one win from two races - taking Holden level on wins with Ian Bell in the Formula 2 championship all time records with 32 wins each.

With a grid of 20 sidecars, the team qualified on pole position, averaging a speed of 82 mph for the Saturday afternoon race.

With less than 1.3 seconds separating the top seven teams, it promised to be an exciting race.

As the day went on, the heavens opened and torrential rain fell making the track a river in some parts.

John and Andy got off to a superb start and took the lead from the start. The 12-lap race took place with virtually no visability for the teams following the leaders, due to the vast amount of spray.

With some exceptional driving and passengering from the team, they finished first, 3.7 seconds in front of his nearest championship rivals, defending champions Ian and Carl Bell.

After the race, John paid tribute to his passenger Andy, saying that he was so smooth that it was like riding a solo motorcycle. John also explained that he had been using his rear brake to keep the power on the rear wheel smooth in what were appalling conditions. In totally different dry and sunny conditions, the 16-lap Sunday race was watched by a large crowd. John made what in his words was a poor start. The race was led from start to finish by Gary Bryan and his passenger Jamie Winn. John and Andy finished in second, 5.8 seconds behind the winners.

A disappointed John knew he needed a good start but didn’t get one. He said that his outfit was also clipped at the rear on the first bend by another machine. John and Andy still lead the championship by 26 points. The next round is at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire over the May day bank holiday.