SOLIHULL sidecar racer Simon Smith secured his place at the 2015 Isle Of Man TT by completing the two opening races of the season in poor weather at Brands Hatch.
And there was a second reason for celebration after his 12-year-old son Caleb took a class win in his race debut at the North Gloucester Road Racing championships on his Formula 125 motorcycle.
At the 2013 Isle Of Man TT Simon Smith made his debut at the iconic circuit with passenger Dave Gristwood, but the pair struggled and did not get a race finish.
After a development year in 2014, the pair are returning to the TT in 2015 with more experience, an improved sidecar and a race start number of 58.
And to support his TT campaign Smith is chasing the North Gloucester sidecar club championship with co-rider Anne Garnish, building on the experience the pair gained together in 2014.
“Anne and I had a very productive weekend of testing and racing at Brands Hatch.” said Smith.
“We’ve made a lot of changes to the sidecar over the winter, the most obvious being a new fairing made by multiple TT winner Dave Molyneux.
“It’s significantly lighter than last year’s fairing and allows both of us to move more freely and comfortably.
“The aim of the weekend was to achieve two race completion signatures so we can both obtain the Mountain Course Licence we need for the Isle Of Man TT. With a 7th and 4th place in the two championship races we have now cleared the last hurdle.”
Meanwhile, son Caleb took to the circuit for his first full race weekend on an Aprilia RS125 Formula 125 machine. He competed in the Formula 125 and Newcomers classes.
Dad Simon added: “To have Caleb racing at the same circuit with me was fantastic but nerve-wracking.
“He’s a very calm and mature rider for his age, and I was so proud and delighted when he took his class win. This is the first year he’s been allowed to race on full circuits and he’s learning every time he goes out.”
The Smith family’s next outing is at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire in April, and the TT takes place over two weeks in June 2015.