TIM REEVES AND KEVIN ROUSSEAU SIGNED OFF THEIR DIFFICULT 2021 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CAMPAIGN WITH VICTORY AT ESTORIL
After months on the road around Europe and a cancelled appearance in front of their home fans at Brands Hatch, World Sidecar pair Tim Reeves and Kevin Rousseau brought their season to a close on the Portuguese Algarve last weekend. Three races were to decide the destination of the 2022 World Championship, although still with a mathematical chance of retaining their title, the Anglo/French pairing were up against it at Estoril.
Qualifying set the bar for the weekend as the multiple British and World Champion took Pole Position for the first race and added a wry smile to the face of Reeves after a difficult World Championship season. It has been a season littered with unfortunate DNFs and lost points due to technical issues with their Adolf RS Yamaha 600, but the pair continued to dig in and use all their experience to make the very best of the situation and rescue vital points where necessary.
Race one for the RICH Energy-backed dynamic duo started in a positive way as the pair got a lightening start from the fellow Anglo/French outfit of Ellis and Clement. At the end of lap one it was Reeves and Ellis that had broken clear of the chasing pack around the damp but drying former MotoGP track. The Birchall brothers were on a mission behind the pair as the newly crowned British Champions took the fight to the leading outfits. Passing Ellis and Reeves, the Nottinghamshire pair didn't look back as they built on their lead lap by lap, but it was yet more frustrations for Reeves as a Fuel Pump issue meant the team had to park their outfit at the side of the circuit and no points once again; to add insult to injury, shortly after their exit, the race was red flagged and the result called...
Race two saw the pair hopeful of a points scoring finish to delay what seemed to be the inevitable passing of the World Championship crown to Markus Schlosser and Marcel Fries. Another brilliant start, this time in fully wet conditions, saw Reeves lead the pack out of turn one to build a commanding lead. As conditions worsened, everyone was struggling for grip and outfits were spinning off track at almost every corner, everyone but Harry Payne and Mark Wilkes as the British pair looked to be heading for
their maiden World Championship podium. Then disaster struck again for Reeves and Rousseau, this time it was the clutch's turn to give up the ghost with two laps remaining, slipping too much to carry on so the outfit was retired to the pits, handing Payne and Wilkes their maiden championship win as Schlosser and Fries took the World Championship.
The final race of the weekend and the final opportunity for Reeves and Rousseau to stand on the top step of the podium in 2021 was a hotly contested affair. Damp and humid conditions greeted the outfits on the grid and as the lights went out Reeves and Rousseau made it a hattrick of holeshots as they lead the opening lap ahead of Ellis and Clement and the impressive young duo of Payne and Wilkes. Having gapped the field by the end of the second lap it all looked rosy for Reeves as he powered his outfit around the historic circuit. Behind them the Birchalls were making some serious headway through the pack and set about chasing down their long-time rival, but it wasn't to be for the brothers as Reeves and Rousseau held on to take the final chequered flag of 2021 and fifty championship points.