THE High Wycombe-based Brian Gray Powerbiking Racing Team had a lot to look forward to when Thruxton played host to the British Superbikes.

Windsor-based Tommy Philp and Jonny Allum from Portsmouth were handed a wildcard entry in the Molson Group British Sidecar Championship after their staggering performance in the Bemsee F1 Sidecar Championship this year.

Things did not get off to the best of starts as the pair suffered their first engine problems of the year when the cylinder head gasket blew in free practice, resulting in an engine change before qualifying.

The sidecar was ready to go against all odds and Philp and Allum astounded everyone by putting it on the fourth row in eighth position for race. This was despite only one flying lap against a strong field that included triple world champions Ben and Tom Birchall, who took pole.

Team owner Brian Gray and Portsmouth-based Jason Pitt were not too happy to have to settle for 14th on the grid but knew they could make up places in the race.

When the lights went out for race one, Philp and Allum made a good start, but regular Championship crews were out to show they took no prisoners.

Andy Peach and Ken Edwards swept round the left-hand side just as Gary Horspole and James Connell did the same on the right going into the Club Chicane, but Philp was having none of it and came back to regain the position.

With only a couple of laps to go, the pair were exiting the Club Chicane, when Allum's back went causing him to miss a handhold and he went tumbling across the track into a barrier. Luckily he got away with bruising only but he was banned on medical grounds from taking further part in the event.

Gray and Pitt were already making up ground and they came home in eighth place and still holding onto seventh in the title chase.

The next two races were reversed grids for the top 10. Gray and Pitt started from third place and make good use of it, only for the red flag to come out when another passenger had taken a tumble.

The duo made another good start in the re-start but Championship leaders Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson, along with the Birchalls, plus a regenerated Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood wasted no time in getting past.

It was however another eighth-placed finish and more points as both sidecars on the front row failed to finish after a coming together.

The final race on Sunday produced more of the same for Gray and Pitt as they held on to second for three laps before finally succumbing to the attack from behind and a hard-charging pack to take their third eighth-place finish of the weekend.

Despite Stevens and Charlwood leaping to to sixth in the Championship, the High Wycombe-based pair have held on to seventh place as John Holden and Lee Cain dropped to eighth following an engine blow in the first race that ended their weekend.

The Brian Gray Powerbiking Racing Team-supported Caleb Smith was in action in the junior supersport class on his 300cc Yamaha.

With the bike giving away 80cc to the Kawasaki most use, he did well to finish 19th in the first race with the second cancelled after rain delayed the re-running of the second superbike race.