Welcome to one of our regular features, Motorsports Hipster. Born out of a long running, tongue in cheek joke between Porsche 914, Nobody, Bakkster and I, we decided to make it a regular feature. The Motorsport Hipster complains about pay driver's in F1, while on the phone with his accountant to see if he can compete in BES. MH also has problems like not being able to watch his favorite series on tv, because it's That Exclusive! Or, more likely, is so obscure, it currently doesn't have much coverage on the telly or online. We're here to change that. This feature will introduce you to races, events, and series we think you should know about. Either for the sheer spectacle, or that it's deserving of more world wide fans and coverage.
First up, Sidecarcross.
Shit just got real.
Invented by an eccentric group of Brits while working on the UK's space program in the 1930's, (probably, look at the height in that photo), sidecarcross combines motocross with sidecar racing. That's right. Someone took the insanity and inherent risk of sidecar racing and added the element of MX. I'm pretty sure the first race involved a "hey, hold my beer," conversation.
Allegedly, this sport is popular in parts of Europe. If anyone has seen this circus in action, let us know. Hitting the Googs shows that there's a small scene in Australia, (of course there is), and the US. I'm one series away from being a motorsports junkie, and I've never heard of it. I'm a grown woman. I've seen things. I've never seen this. It's almost as if sidecarcross has been hidden away in the darker parts of the interwebs. I like it. A lot. Looking for fresh articles, I found this one from Popular Mechanics, January 1935. "Pilot and side car passenger hang on for their lives as the three-wheelers roar around the turns on two wheels and bound along the straight away." I'm pretty sure when the author says "bound," they mean, "feels like being in a kayak at high seas."
Technical specs. Who gives a squashed rat's ass about the tech? The event itself is geared toward the heights of insanity. That's what makes it spectacular, not some innovative tech mumbo jumbo. If you must know, there are a few side car manufacturers who make a special chassis for this style of racing. Other components, like the engine, come from motocross bikes like Honda's CR500and larger KTMs. The only tech question I have, is how driver and passenger fit their balls into their leathers?
I have trust issues. I admit it. I'm working on it. I will never, ever get to the point of the monkey, (side car passenger), in sidecar racing, and certainly not sidecarcross. There are some truly spectacular videos out there of various events, mostly in Europe. It's exactly as insane as you think it is. Your Mother would not approve. I found one from France, but if you look at You Tube, you'll fall down a rabbit hole of videos and clips. I'm pretty sure when the gentleman holds up a sign a little ways into this clip that says "8 seconds," he's referring to the length of time until the sidecar hits the ground.
We hope you've enjoyed your first Motorsport Hipster article. Look for more, as well as MH lists. Hipsters love lists, and we love motorsports.