THE final round of the British Sidecar Championship took place during the Superbike meeting at Brands Hatch last weekend and it proved to be successful for High Wycombe-based Brian Gray Powerbiking Race Team.

Gray and Jason Pitt, from Portsmouth, were out to consolidate their overall ninth position and maybe grab eighth place.

Windsor-based Tommy Philp, with Tom Bryant of Shrewsbury in the chair, were having their final wildcard race of the year before looking at a full assault on the championship next season. The pair had a point to prove after spinning out in the last round while in the lead.

Qualifying on Friday saw Gray and Pitt in 13th spot on the grid, whilst Philp and Bryant managed ninth position but were suffering from handling problems and felt they could have done better.

Race one on Saturday was run in perfect conditions and both crews were on the pace from the start. Gray and Pitt were soon caught up in a battle with Gary Bryan and Philp and eventually had to concede defeat, but would reverse this in race two. The pair finished in ninth place and, with a reverse grid for the top 10 on Sunday, would start race two on the front row.

Philp and Bryant were having a little bit of a lonely race but have moved up to eighth spot when Ben Holland and Lee Watson retired, gifting them a position.

The duo were slowly starting to make up time on Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood when they also retired, allowing them to come home in sixth place which put them on the third row of the grid for the race on Sunday.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: The High Wycombe-based Brian Gray Powerbiking Race Team.

Race two saw the Manchester brothers, Ryan and Callum Crowe, on pole position but, when the lights went out, it was Bryan and Hyde who took the lead with Gray and Pitt holding on to second.

Philp and Bryant swept round the outside of their teammates at the top of Paddock Hill Bend and took the lead at Surtees, making good use of the time the top teams from race one would take working their way through the traffic.

As the pair came into Clearways to end the first lap, the had pulled out comfortable lead and held off Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark for three laps, finally having to give way coming out of Druids on lap four.

The next to set their eyes on them was Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, who took them on lap five.

Going into the last lap, Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney were trying all they could to grab the final podium place. As they swept into Clearways it looked like they might just grab it, but Philp found an extra edge to out-accelerate them to to the line and claim their first podium finish in the championship.

Philp said afterwards that it was the hardest lap as he tried to keep his concentration.

Meanwhile, Gray and Pitt had their hands full as they battled Bryan and Hyde plus Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz. The duo went round the outside of Bryan and Hyde at Surtees and crossed the line to take eighth position, securing ninth place in the championship overall.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: A jubilant Tommy Philp (front) and Tom Bryant (rear) after they finished in third position during race two.

The Brian Gray Powerbiking Race Team-supported Sam and Adam Christie were taking part in the final round of the Sidecar World Championships at Estoril in Portugal.

In far from ideal conditions, the pair managed to finish in fourth spot in the sprint race on Saturday but a problem on Sunday meant they had to start from the pit lane.

A red flag meant they could take their grid position for the restart but this time they spun out and rejoined in last place. The brothers worked there way back to finish in third spot and take fifth position in the final standings.