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Sand test at Heerde looms for 2024 FIM Sidecarcross Championship Round 2 – Preview

Sand test at Heerde looms for 2024 FIM Sidecarcross Championship Round 2 – Preview

A little under twelve months ago, Koen Hermans and Ben van den Bogaart cleaned up at the Heerde round of the FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, scoring two victories and the overall GP win.

Words by Barry Nutley – Images by WSC

Their prowess in the sand will make them formidable opponents over the weekend of the second GP in 2024. On the podium in Portugal against all the odds, they sit third in the world as they head for home ground.

Marvin Vanluchene’s defence of his title faltered with a rare mechanical breakdown, and zero points in the second race in Alquiedao. They now have work to do to make amends.

If Brett Wilkinson and Joe Millard were happy with their start to last season, they will be elated and inspired with second spot in the standings going into the challenge of Heerde. They are at home in the Netherlands, having had many races in sand, and additional training trips to master the special conditions it offers.

Meanwhile, the young Latvian identical twin brothers, who head the standings with the overall win in Portugal, will have to dig deep to protect that lead. They carry the red plate for the first time going to Holland knowing full well they will be targets. Their legions of loyal fans showed huge support bordering on the fanatical at several rounds last year, and in Portugal it was even stronger as the Lielbardis brothers stood atop the podium.

Vanluchene and Glenn Janssens are vastly experienced in the sandy conditions, although Marvin confesses to it not being his favourite going.

Throw into the mix the Prunier brothers, currently fourth, and young British driver Dan Foden, who with Ryan Humphrey is flying too, and we have a thrilling prospect ahead of us.

Since we were in Portugal, the Dutch ONK Championship has been underway, and the third round saw a dominant display by Tim and Sem Leferink in heavy sandy going as they did the double. Koen Hermans/Ben van den Bogaart ran them close but came out second best on the day. Is this a sign for Heerde, and can the Leferink brothers repeat that form?

The newly introduced Live Stream will run across the entire Heerde weekend, including the EMX Quad qualifying and races, with the traditional highlights TV show following soon after, so it will be a weekend to remember.