European Sidecar Championship: the Final
Photo Credit Jesper Veldhuizen
Winner’s podium – from left to right
Markus Venus and Markus Heiss, 2019 European Sidecar champion William Matthijssen and Sandra Mollema together with runner up Mitch Godden and Paul Smith
Final round of the European Sidecar Championship in Eenrum, in the Netherlands.
The Eenrum club worked hard during Saturday evening to ensure that despite the wet weather in the North of Holland, they would have a track ready for racing the following day.
With the morning practice sessions duly completed, everyone was focused on a mouth-watering event during the afternoon.
With the tapes rising in heat 1, Aron Vale flipped in the first corner and Raphael San Millan collided with Oliver Möller,so the race was red flagged and the riders needing medical attention.
The meeting was delayed about 20 minutes whilst the injured riders were treated on the track, and naturally there was concern by the other competitors, regarding the suitability of the very grippy conditions of the track. In order to and create a race able surface, the Clerk of the Course arranged for support riders from the Enduro class to compete a few heats, with the outcome being that the track became a little ‘ripped up’, and less grippy.
With conditions improving, racing resumed and it soon became clear that reigning champion William Matthijssen, Dutch Wilfred Detz and Sven Holstein and Englishman Mitch Godden were ‘setting the bar’ with regards to consistent high scores during the heats.
Following the intermediate classification of points scored throughout the qualifying stages, the riders were then selected for the all important B and A Finals.
With the race winner and second placed rider progressing from the B Final to the A Final, as a last chance opportunity, both former European champion Josh Goodwin and close rival Sven Holstein diced with one another during this race managing to keep the opposition behind them for the four laps, with the outcome being that they joined Matthijssen, Godden, Detz, and German Markus Venus in the winner takes all A Final.
Despite the pressure being on Matthijssen to win yet another back to back European title, he flew from the starting tapes closely followed by Venus and Godden.
Matthijssen raced hard and fast for the four laps with neither of his two closest rivals managing to catch him. Godden worked hard to try to improve on his third place, and had the race had another lap to go, there was a possibility that he might have caught Venus.
The partisan Dutch crowd cheered their national hero over the winning line as Matthijssen set a new record within the sport of five European titles in succession
- William Matthijssen and Sandra Mollema, the Netherlands
- Markus Venus and Markus Heiss, Germany
- Mitch Godden and Paul Smith, Great Britain
- Wilfred Detz and Wedy Arling, the Netherlands
- Sven Holstein and Bonita Van Dijk, the Netherlands
- Josh Goodwin and Liam Brown, Great Britain