Mellor pair race to third place in the world!

John Holden and Mark Wilkes
John Holden and Mark Wilkes
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Mellor-based sidecar pairing of John Holden and Mark Wilkes ended their World Championship campaign with a flourish, securing third place overall and topping off a great season.

The last round of the five event series took place in Grobnik, Croatia, with Holden and Wilkes taking a brace of second places, their best finishes of the season.

John Holden and Mark Wilkes in action

John Holden and Mark Wilkes in action

After a poor start to the season, with a crash taking them out of the first race at Le Mans back in April, the pairing found form from then on.

This run of good form meant they took podium finishes at every round, which took the team the length and breadth of Europe with races in France, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands and Croatia.

The field itself was comprised of three former world champions with a dozen championships between them, and provided close racing throughout the year.

The eventual honours went to Ben and Tom Birchall who sewed up the championship with a race to spare.

The championship moved from 1000cc to 600cc engines this year, meaning competitors had to adapt to the new machines, something some competitors found easier than others.

“It’s been a fantastic world championship this year, and putting the DNF at Le Mans aside, we would have been on the podium all season” spoke John after the success in Croatia. “We really couldn’t have done it without our fantastic backers, Barnes Racing and Silicone Engineering, as well as everyone else who has helped us on the way.

“Now the planning starts for next year!”

The season has also been a success for John at the Isle of Man TT races which were held back in June, with Holden taking two second place finishes with Manx passenger Lee Cain.

This road racing form also continued at the Southern 100 event, where Holden and Cain took a first and second place in the two races, also winning the championship as a whole.

Now that the world championship is over for another year, the pairing is racing at the remaining rounds of the British Sidecar championship, one of which is held at Assen, in The Netherlands.

The duo are also planning to race at the Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt, Ireland, a meeting where John found success last time he raced there, with first and third places back in 2009.