Duo confident for British event, despite ‘gremlins’

Whitby-based Dave Atkinson and his passenger Mike Aylott compete as Team AWR at Cadwell Park'picture: Derek Donsworth
Whitby-based Dave Atkinson and his passenger Mike Aylott compete as Team AWR at Cadwell Park'picture: Derek Donsworth

Up and coming sidecar duo, Team AWR, had their first outing at Cadwell Park last weekend on their new bike for a pre-season test.

Having missed the first round of the British championship, due to new bike gremlins, the aim of the weekend was to iron out any kinks and to have a race ready machine by the end.

Whitby-based driver Dave Atkinson freshly teamed up with Sowerby Bridge passenger Mike Aylott entered the East Midlands club sidecar race and qualified 7th for the first race.

The bike had some electrical issues buried deep within the engine control unit that meant the bike would not rev past 12,500 rpm.

After lots of tinkering between qualifying and race one, by the chief electrical engineer the problem was still not resolved.

The team chose to start from the back of the grid.

The electrical problem made the bike a mobile chicane on the straights, however through the corners the bike handled excellently and the boys were delighted with the performance of the new Nitron suspension.

Despite the problems, the boys finished a respectable 7th.

With a little more time between race one and race two the electrical problem was found and resolved.

The team once again started at the back of the grid and with the bike finally sounding sweet the idea was to slowly build up pace throughout the race, unfortunately though lap two saw a major engine issue end their race early.

It was a disappointing finish to the weekend, however the team came away quietly confident for the next British championship round.

Aylott said: “The bike feels brilliant, I am slightly disappointed we didn’t get any proper flying laps in but the promise in that bike is amazing. Every team has teething problems to begin with let’s just hope we can get them solved in time for the British round.

“We have an excellent team around us and I think we have really gelled well together; I think the bike is one of the best looking bikes out there.”

So a busy two weeks lie ahead of the team to ensure the bike is ready for the next outing at Oulton Park tomorrow for their first British Championship round.

The team would like to thank Nitron suspension, MSP auto paint, Whitby Cottages, HEL Performance and The Roman Bath Pub (York) for their continued support this year.

A special thank you to Richard at Sowerby Bridge Car Clinic for enabling the passenger to get to the circuit.