Proud Trustland Sponsors – 2018 Team Founds Review
Trustland have been sponsoring Team Founds sidecar racing for 20+ years. We’ve seen them develop from strength and strength and it goes without saying that we’re incredibly proud to see them win their 3rd consecutive championship title this season! So much so, that we thought we would share their 2018 season review with you all…
Season Review 2018
Following their 2nd FSRA ACU British Championship win in 2017, Team Founds 72 engaged into a new venture for 2018 were they teamed up with Dave DeMott from DDM Sidecars and agreed to ride his own designed and built DDM chassis, which would be built especially for the 2018 Season. The chassis would be powered by Team Founds’ own Motrac tuned 2007 Suzuki GB Engines.
The team knew this was a going to be a challenge, but with the support also from Rowtec, Suzuki GB, Morris Lubricants, and their other fantastic sponsors, they knew that they had the right formula for success.
The season started slowly though, as the team were trying to understand how the bike was handling and were perhaps a little bit distracted by the forthcoming TT, meaning some of the set ups that were being tried would not necessarily suit both road racing and short circuit racing. But with the TT being such an important part of the calendar for the Team, and with limited time before the Team headed to the Isle of Man, it was a necessary evil to attempt to try both set ups.
The first outing for the team was at Cadwell Park in March, and unfortunately the weather was to play havoc with the weekend’s proceedings, and eventually after monsoon conditions, high winds and flooded parts of the circuit, the weekend meeting was cancelled, not a great start to the season.
The first round of the British Championship saw the team head to Croft and with a free test day on the Friday to give the team time to set the new bike up. Unfortunately, teething problems throughout the day, the team did not get out and benefit from any valuable data on the new bike.
When Saturday arrived, and most teething issues now sorted, the team finally rolled out onto track on their new machine and incredibly after the morning warm up and the qualifying session had put the new TF72 on Pole Position, albeit in damp conditions, a brilliant achievement.
With two races for the lads to compete in, it was going to be a stern test to see how the bike would perform against the competition, but amazingly, and still with work to do, the team would finish 2nd position in both races and had showed that they were again going to be title contenders.
So, reflecting on the first 2 races, it was clear that the 2018 opposition had also upped their game, and it was definitely tougher than the previous two seasons as the team found themselves on the back foot for the first half of the campaign.
Heading to Brands Hatch next, and in a bid to maximise their track time, the team would contest the RKB F1 Championship, which runs alongside the hugely popular British Superbikes (BSB). The team on the only F2 machine, with a grid of over 30 bikes, would qualify 19th fastest, and then follow this up with a respectable 14th position in Race 1. But then remarkably in Race 2, and perhaps aided somewhat by a sharp downfall just before the race, they went from 14th on the grid to an amazing 1st position, winning outright on their F2 Machine and all in front of the TV Cameras as the race went out live on Eurosport.
The next British F2 Championship Round was held at the iconic mountain circuit of Cadwell Park and with a bit more data to work with, the team were hoping to better their two second places at the previous round. Qualifying was wet and saw the team again on the first row of the grid, but this time in P2. Race 1 was again wet, and marred by a poor start the boys found themselves well back on lap 1, and they worked hard to recover a 2nd Place finish. Race 2 would be a different story, and Pete and Jev piloted the DDM Suzuki to its first ever Championship win.
Round 3 would see the team head south to the picturesque Mallory Park over a glorious bank holiday weekend. With temperatures nearing the 80’s it was going to be a hot one.
During the first practice session TF72 spluttered to a halt with an electrical fault, but fortunately this was quickly remedied and changed before the next session, and with the bike sorted, the lads secured their 2nd pole position of the season, with a blistering quick time which was nearly a second quicker than their nearest rival, again showing they were well in the title fight. During Race 1 the lads would again show their title credentials and they took their second win of the season in a battle where the rest of the field could not live with them. Race 2 started off with a similar story with Pete and Jev hitting the front and pulling a gap from the rest of the field. But a mid race issue with the bike saw them reeled in by the pack, and a hard charging Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie took the lead after coming from the back of the grid. There followed what could only be described as a magnificent race, with a procession of sidecars battling from 1st through to 4th, and Team Founds finishing a very credible 2nd position.
With a few rounds now behind them and good progress being made on the bike, it was time to head to the Isle of Man for the iconic TT Races. It was a fantastic two weeks and Practice week would see them post the 4th fastest time of the week. Race 1 did not disappoint either, and after a 3-way battle with Brother Alan and multiple TT winner Dave Molyneux in Race 1, Pete and Jev eventually piloted the DDM to a very credible 4th Position. Race 2 would not see the same action however, and a technical fault saw them retire from the race at the end of Lap 1. To better their personal best, and to lap at over 114mph on a brand-new bike though was testament to the Chassis and the hard work of the Team.
The next meeting was again a round of the RKB F1 Championship, and after a weekend filled with incidents throughout the field, and starting from the rear of the grid following a DNF in Race 1, the Boys managed an impressive 5th position overall, but 1st in class for the F600 Championship.
Next up was the formidable Southern 100, a real eye opener for the team racing on open roads. After an epic battle with world championship contender and Brother Alan with his passenger Jake Lowther, they scored a solid 4th Place finish in race 1. Race 2 was no different, and a race long battle between the Founds Brothers with overtaking happening several times per lap with Pete and Jev eventually coming out on top clinching 3rd position, and lapping just shy of the 100mph mark, a remarkable performance by both Founds Teams, and in front of the ITV4 cameras just to top it off.
So, with great progress made with the handling of the machine, this reflected in the dry races following, Round 4 of the British F2 Championship again saw some close racing, and a 2nd position in Race 1, followed by a win in Race 2, was another solid weekend for the Team.
Then an epic battle at Round 5 of the British F2 Championship, resulted in double wins at Donnington Park, and also claiming the coveted Bill Boddice Trophy for the 3rd year on the run, and just 2/10th off their existing lap record.
Round 6 was at a very soggy Croft and not so spectacular, but with 2nd and 4th place finishes to strengthen their title chase, it stood them in good stead, and a strong championship position heading next to the fast Castle Combe circuit.
So Round 7 following what can only be described as the closest and most exhilarating racing, saw a 3-way battle between Team Founds, their closest Rivals Crawford/Hardie, and multiple TT Winners and World Championship Contenders John Holden/Lee Cain. But it was again Team Founds who came up trumps, and with a double win and a new lap record to boot, Pete and Jev demonstrated their dominance in the Formula 2 Championship, sealing their 3rd Consecutive British Title, and with still one round remaining, a truly amazing feat, again testament to the machine, the engine, and the fantastic support that they have been given.
The significance of clinching the title one round early was only too apparent at the final round at Oulton Park, when an engine problem saw them out of Race 1, and the weather saw the cancellation of Race 2.
So, in summary then, the team are massively pleased with their 3rd Consecutive Title, and they fully acknowledge that without the reliability and performance of the Motrac Suzuki Engines housed in the DDM chassis, and lubricated by the amazing Morris Lubricants, and not to mention the support from other key sponsors and supporters, they would not have been able to achieve such success this season.
So, from all at Team Founds, we thank you gratefully, and we look forward to speaking to you all in the next few months with details of our 2019 campaign.
Thanks again to ; DDM Sidecars, Trustland Construction, Morris Lubricants, Rowtec, Suzuki GB, Gleave Lift Engineers, Ghostbikes, CJF Associates, PipeWerx Exhausts, AV Craine and Sons, Majestic Engineering, EPS, Motrac Racing, Aleo Plating, RTX leathers, RandY Autos, Reflex Engineering, TKR Graphics, PSRG, Parkinson’s Fish & Chips, Waldo Designs, Industrial Hydraulics Ltd, Bibby Engineering, Fozzy Glazing, Louth Building Supplies, AKA Plant, Branchloose Creative, HEL Performance, Colas, Woodthorpe Bodywork Ltd and Colossal Comps.
Words by Ste McNorton/Pete Founds, pictures by Ste McNorton. Instagram @mcmotorsphoto.