MOTORSPORT: Lovelock in the hunt for British title after World Champs wildcard

Roger Lovelock in action, with partner Aki Aalto (Picture: Julie Collins)

Roger Lovelock in action, with partner Aki Aalto (Picture: Julie Collins)

First published in Sport by

MARLBOROUGH sidecar veteran Roger Lovelock has his sights set on marking a quarter of a century at the wheel by clinching the British championship, despite a fourth-placed finish in a World Championship round last weekend.

The 50-year-old, who was British Champion in 2012 alongside passenger Rick Lawrence, is aiming to come top of the pile again this season and is currently second in the standings following the opening round at Brands Hatch last month.

Lovelock, who works a retained fireman and also runs a small business as a mechanic, is partnered by Finland-based Aki Aalto this season and, after qualifying fifth, the duo secured fourth-place at the UK-round of the World Championships at Donington Park on Sunday.

The Driverwolf Racing team were entered as wildcards but Lovelock says that their World Championship cameo will remain a one-off as he chases the British title.

“We got invited as wildcards because we were towards the top of the standings and because it was the British round, I decided we should give it a go,” said the Marlborough racer, who was fourth alongside Aalto in the 2013 British standings.

“I’ve done a few World Championship rounds in the past but they were probably about ten years ago. The gap was so big between the rounds in the British, so it was useful to do it and I wasn’t expecting to get such a good result.

“The competitors are stronger in the Worlds but the overall package isn’t up there with the British, with the TV coverage and everything like that.

“I first started racing sidecars in 1989 and it would be great to win the championship again this year. I was actually a bit surprised to finish fourth last year because we changed from a little Suzuki engine to a BMW one.

“Aki came in midway through last season but we’re working well together now and we’re used to the engine too.”

Round two of the British Sidecar Championship, which runs as a support series to the British Superbike Championship, takes place at Snetterton on June 13-15.

MORE SPORTS NEWS, PICTURES AND REPORTS IN THIS THURSDAY’S GAZETTE AND HERALD. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport

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