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Apr 4, 2012

SRA-West Formula Sidecar Series Kicks Off This Coming Weekend In Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada: The Formula Sidecar series by the SRA-West gets an unusually late start for 2012. With the shuttering of WSMC, the usual March start date has been pushed back to this coming weekend with the Pirelli/WERA West Presented By Lucas Oil event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Classic Course. This allows the SRA-West to start off with a double-header format where teams can show off what work they've done in the extended off season. Defending champions Team Becker Moto Works (William Becker/ Eric Becker) will again field their 2008-spec Becker/Suzuki Formula 1 machine, but are also continuing a separate project to create a host of rent-and-race vintage sidecar racers with both BMW and Yamaha XS650 power. The challenge, styling, and the major influence the passenger has over balance have assured that vintage sidecar racing maintains a huge appeal among both racers and fans. Look for the first of these machines to be on display at the SRA-West's second event, April 27-29 with AHRMA at Willow Springs Raceway.

Second overall Team Johnny Killmore (John Wood/ Giorgina Gottlieb), in a twist of irony, has had a major redesign of their Windle/ Suzuki Formula 2 machine done by none other than William Becker of Becker Moto Works. The entire rear suspension was redesigned as well as braking upgrades in an attempt to close the gap to their rivals. Another team to look for will be Wood Brothers Racing (Chris Wood/ Aaron McEwen), who showed front-running speed last year but couldn't find the consistency needed for a top finish in the overall standings. Expect Team Roadkill Racers (Sean Bakken/ Gary McEwen) to have something to say about that though, as the veteran team has gained serious speed since making geometry changes to their Spike Taylor/ Yamaha machine. Rumors also abound about two more teams entering the fray later in the season, so the usual order of things will likely be shaken up throughout the grid.

This event will also mark the introduction of a sidecar class to the California State Championship. All SRA-West points-paying events will also earn points in the CSC, with overall team trophies being awarded at the CSC's final round in Las Vegas this November. Also exciting to note this year will be the first sidecar event at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. The CVMA will add a sidecar double-header event to their May 26-27 round, with a likely second round to their October 20-21 event as well. This will be the first time Formula Sidecars have taken to the new course, and long-time fans of the series have commented that it is always interesting to see which driver/ passenger combination can figure out the timing and balance needed for a course they've never raced. Look for this event to really show which teams have mastered the telepathy needed to control a vehicle that has two people responsible for its balance.

Yet another added feature to the SRA-West is the rebirth of the Pacific Northwest Division. For the last few years the summer months have been devoid of sidecar road-racing on the west coast. Due to much hard work by SRA-West rookie Donn Sayre, host clubs OMRRA and WMRRA will bring a total of three events to Oregon and Washington. Not only will sidecars again return to Portland International Raceway, but they will also battle at The Ridge Motorsports Park, yet another new venue for road racing fans, and another first for the SRA-West.

The 2012 SRA-West season has a lot to offer, with new tracks, new teams, new partners, and the same great three-wheeled action. For more information on the SRA-West and a full schedule, visit www.sra-west.us.