Felixstowe’s Sean Hegarty delighted to be British F1 Sidecar champion
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Sidecar star Sean Hegarty has been crowned British champion for a third time – and wants to go on to defend his title next season.
The 40-year-old from Felixstowe won the Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship with race partner James Neave, the duo lifting the title with a final 60-point cushion.
Hegarty won the British title in 1999 and 2005 but extra significance was attached to this season’s victory as the sidecar series was held as a support competition to the BSP British Superbikes.
A civil engineer by day, Hegarty was backed up by his passenger, Neave, to ensure a third-placed finish in the first race at the Brands Hatch finale, which was enough to seal the title.
The pair did not finish the second race, due to a wrong tyre choice, but it did not matter with their nearest rivals Roger Lovelock and Aki Alto, of Laxton Team Sport BMW, only being able to manage fourth and 10th-placed finishes respectively.
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“I would like to try and defend the title next season,” said Hegarty.
“It’s the best sidecar championship in the world, there is no other championship like it, and there is the bonus that it is shown on TV as part of the British Superbikes series and we receive some excellent coverage.
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“We won the title by 60 points in the end but it was never a foregone conclusion, I think we won 13 out of 18 races, and there were only ever a few teams on the podium.”
Hegarty has been involved in various forms of racing since the age of 16 and followed in the footsteps of his dad, also called Sean.
He has clearly learned a lot from his father but is sharing the credit for this season’s glory with sidecar passenger, Neave.
“He makes sure everything is prepared and it is important to have a good passenger,” added Hegarty.
“I sit and ride and drive the machine but I wouldn’t be able to go round corners if it wasn’t for James.
“I trust him and I wouldn’t be able to do it without him.”