Sidecarcross World Championship

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Main article: Sidecarcross
Sidecarcross World Championship
Category Motocross
Country International
Inaugural season 1980
Drivers' champion Belgium Ben Adriaenssen
Netherlands Ben van den Bogaart
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The Sidecar Motocross World Championship is an annual event, first held in 1980. It is organised by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Before 1980, a European competition was held from 1971 onwards.

The current champions for the 2013 season are the Belgian-Dutch combination Ben Adriaenssen and Ben van den Bogaart, having won their first ever world championship.

The sport is predominantly amateur, with only a few top-riders, like Daniël Willemsen and the Belgian cousins Jan and Joris Hendrickx, with the later now retired from the World Championship, being professional riders.[1]

The Sidecarcross World Championship, first held in 1980 and organised by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, is an annual competition. All races, manufacturers and the vast majority of riders in the competition being in and from Europe.[2][3] Sidecarcross is similar to motocross except that the teams consist of two riders, a driver and a passenger. Races are held on the same tracks as solo motocross but the handling of the machines differs as sidecars don't lean. The majority of physical work in the sport is carried out by the passenger, who speeds up the sidecarcross in corners by leaning out. The coordination between the driver and the passenger are therefore of highest importance.[4] Record world champion Daniël Willemsen estimated that the passengers contribution to the success of a team is at least 50%, and that not enough credit is given to the passenger. The balance of a sidecar is reliant on the work of the passenger and passenger-driver coordination is vitale for success.[5]

The sport is especially popular in Eastern Europe.[4] Parallel to the riders competition, a manufacturers championship is also held.[6]

While usually a male-dominated sport the 2014 season sees the participation of a women driver in the competition. Belgian Sabrina van Calster was able to qualify for a back up spot in the first event of the season and took part in the second race at Oss, finishing 24th.[7]


The World Championship in sidecar motocross is held annually form the European spring to autumn. The eleven Grand Prix of the 2014 season will be held in nine countries, Switzerland, Germany (two GP's), Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium, France (three GP's), Estonia and Latvia. The competition started on 13 April and will finish on 21 September 2014.[2] In comparison to the 2013 edition,[8] no Grands Prix were dropped off the calendar while the Italian GP made a return. Germany, which held three events in 2013 had this number reduced to two.[2] A twelfth Grand Prix, scheduled to be held in the Ukraine on 18 May, was cancelled because of the ongoing political unrest in the country.[9]

Participants by country[edit]

In the 2013 season, 56 teams finished in the points in the competition, hailing from twelve Europen nations. Of these, the drivers for the Netherlands were the most popolus, having eleven drivers in the competition, followed by the United Kingdom with eight and Estonia and Belgium with six.[10] In the last four seasons, drivers from the following countries took part in the competition and earned points:

Country 2010 2011 2012 2013
Netherlands 10 9 9 11
United Kingdom 8 9 7 8
Belgium 9 7 6 6
Estonia 6 6 7 6
Germany 8 6 4 5
France 5 3 3 4
Latvia 3 3 3 4
Czech Republic 2 3 3 3
Sweden 3 3 3 3
Switzerland 2 1 2 3
Austria 1 2 0 2
Lituania 3 1 2 1
Russia 5 6 4 0
Ukraine 2 2 1 0
Finland 2 1 0 0
Belarus 0 1 0 0
Denmark 1 0 0 0
Moldova 1 0 0 0
Overall 72 63 54 56
  • Drivers who took part in the competition but did not win points not captured here as the FIM does not list them in the end-of-season pilots ranking.



The calendar for the 2014 season:[2]

Date Place Race winners GP winner Source
13 April Netherlands Oss Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Robbie Bax Netherlands Etienne Bax / Kaspars Stupelis Result
Netherlands Etienne Bax / Kaspars Stupelis
4 May France Plomion France Valentin Giraud / Nicholas Musset Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart Result
Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart
25 May Czech Republic Kramolín Netherlands Etienne Bax / Kaspars Stupelis Netherlands Etienne Bax / Kaspars Stupelis Result
Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart
9 June France Brou United Kingdom Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain United Kingdom Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain Result
France Valentin Giraud / Nicolas Musset
13 July Belgium Genk canceled
20 July Germany Strassbessenbach Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart Result
Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart
3 August Estonia Kiviõli Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart Result
Netherlands Etienne Bax / Kaspars Stupelis
10 August Latvia Ķegums Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart Result
Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Ben van den Bogaart
24 August Switzerland Roggenburg
14 September France Vesoul
21 September Germany Rudersberg
12 October Netherlands Markelo
  • The Sidecarcross des Nations is a non-championship event but part of the calendar and is denoted by a light blue background in the table above.
  • Passenger in italics. Flags for passengers not shown.



The history of international competition started with the FIM Cup in 1971, a form of an unofficial European championship, organised by the FIM. The first ever race was held on 25 April 1971 at Pernes-les-Fontaines, France.

From 1975, the competition was officially called European championship. From the 1980 season onwards, it carried the title World championship, even though, in practice, virtually all drivers and passengers are European, except for a small number of riders from the US and Australia, and all races are held in Europe. In its history, there has never been a race outside Europe and majority of the races are in central Europe. The appearance of strong Latvian drivers however has taken races to the Baltic region in the last few years. As of 2007, 24 European countries have hosted GPs, Germany holding number one spot there. Races have however also been staged at countries with no strong sidecarcross connections, like Greece, Norway and Northern Ireland.[11]

The competitors in the world championship are mostly amateurs. Apart from racing in the world championship they also compete in their countries' domestic championships. The current world champion Willemsen also won the Dutch national championship this year. Most national championships are actually "open" events; non-nationals are permitted to compete, too. Sergis / Rasmanis for example also won the German championship in 1998.[12]

The highest number of championships has been won by Daniël Willemsen with ten, with the last of those coming in 2012. The most successful team however is Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis with five titles together. The two missed out on a sixth title, when in 1999, they lost by only one point to Daniël Willemsen.

History of the world championship[edit]

The first edition of the world championship in 1980 saw the only German victory to date with the combination Reinhard Böhler / Siegfried Müller taking out the title. The year after, the championship went to the Netherlands with Ton van Heugten / Frits Kiggen. The next eight seasons, the Swiss riders triumphed. Emil Bollhalder / Karl Büsser won the championship in 1982 and 1983, both times with a narrow margin, 11 points in the first year and 28 in the second. Unlucky runner-up in the three seasons from 1981 to 1983 were the Germans Josef Brockhausen / Hubert Rebele, missing out quite narrowly and retiring in 1983 after the third attempt, as did Bollhalder, but as the world champion.

From 1984 to 1987, four titles went to Hansi Bächtold / Fritz Fuß. Again, there was no luck for the runner-up with the Dutch combination August Muller / Henk van Heek coming second in 1985, 1986 and 1987. In 1986, only 7 points separated winner from second place. Bächtold retired as the new record world champion in 1987.

Christoph Hüsser / Andreas Hüsser won the titles in 1988 and 1989 and continued to race after that until 1996, never coming close to another world championship again. Benny Janssen / Tiny Janssen became the last to win one championship only when the finished on top in 1990, beating the German team Michael Garhammer / Ralf Haas by only 13 points and ending eight years of Swiss domination.

Eimbert Timmermans / Eric Verhagen from the Netherlands beat the Belgian duo Eddy Ramon / Gino Strubbe for the next two titles in 1991 and 92. After this, the world championship returned to Switzerland with Andreas Fuhrer / Adrian Käser equaling the record of four titles in a row from 1993 to 1996 and then retiring from the competition.

The 1997 season marked the beginning of a new era with all previous World Champions having either retired before, or at the end of, the 1996 season. With Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis the 1997 championship went to Latvia for the first time. The tightest race for the championship so far saw them beat the German/Dutch team of Alois Wenninger / Henry van de Wiel by four points. The year after, they won again, this time with a twenty point gap to Daniël Willemsen / Marcel Willemsen.

1999, saw the tightest race ever when only one point at the end of the season separated the Willemsen brothers from the Latvian title holders. The final outcome of the season was not clear until the Willemsen brothers were cleared of having received outside assistance in the second-last race which clinched them the world title, since Artis Rasmanis had lodged a formal complaint.[13] In 2000, Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis came back, beating Daniël Willemsen / Sven Verbrugge by 20 points, the last tight race to date. The Latvians became the new record holder after title number four and five in 2001 and 2002, Willemsen coming second all three seasons.

From 2003 to 2008, Daniël Willemsen to made up for his lost titles and won six in a row, becoming the most successful driver so far. He won two each with passengers Kaspars Stupelis, Sven Verbrugge and Reto Grütter.

In 2009, the title went to a Belgian driver for the first time, Joris Hendrickx winning the championship, with his Latvian passenger Kaspars Liepins. In 2010, the title returned to the Netherlands with Daniël Willemsen taking out his eighth championship, together with Gertie Eggink as his passenger. In the following year, Willemsen took out another world championship, this time with Sven Verbrugge as his passenger once more, the third for the combination.

Willemsen won a historic tenth World Championship in 2012, finishing five points ahead of Etienne Bax, despite having to exchange his passenger twice. Willemsen used Haralds Kurpnieks as his passenger in the first Grand Prix of the season, Kenny van Gaalen in the following five Grand Prix and Lauris Daiders in the remaining. Kurpnieks suffered a broken wrist in the openeing GP while van Gaalen injured his knie in the second French GP, both being thereby sidelined for lengthy periods of time.[14]

The 2013 season marked, with Ben Adriaenssen, the second time that a Belgian driver won the title. Defending champion Daniël Willemsen missed most of the season with injury while 2012 runners-up Etienne Bax came second once more.


Every Grand Prix weekend is split into two races, both held on the same day. This means, the 2007 season with its eight Grand Prix had sixteen races. Each race lasts for 30 minutes plus two laps. The two races on a weekend actually get combined to determined an overall winner. In case of a tie the results of the second race are used to determined the winner. While this overall winners receives no extra WC points, they usually are awarded a special trophy. Race start times are set at 13:30 and 16:00.[6]

Teams consist of a driver and a passenger, however, the drivers can and do exchange passengers during the season, often due to injury. An exchange of passenger does not affect the points a team has won up till then. If a driver uses more than one passenger during his world championship winning season, only the passenger he competed in more than half the meetings with and/or earned more than 50% of his points with will be considered a world champion as well.

Events typically consist of a qualifying competition, held in multiple stages on Saturdays of a race weekend while the two race events are typically held on Sundays. One exception to this rule is Easter weekends, when the races are held on Easter Monday. Race weekends can consist of additional motocross or quart support races as well, but the FIM stipulates that the World Championship races have priority. Riders have to be provided with at least one 30 minute free practice season, which will be timed. A race can consist of up to 30 starters and the qualifying modus is dependend on the number of entries. Up to 32 entries, it will be held in one group split into two sesions of 30 minutes each. Above 32 entries, the starter field will be sub-divided into two groups through ballot and the current standings. Each qualifying group can consist of up to 30 racers. Should there be more than 60 entries, a pre-qualifying has to be held. Of the riders in the two groups, the top-twelve directly qualify for the races. The remaining teams then go to a second-chance qualifying, in which the best six advance. The riders placed seventh and eighth remain in reserve should one of the qualified teams not be able to participate.[6]

The FIM stipulates that all drivers must be of a minimum age of 18 while passengers have to be at least 16 years old to compete, but no older than 50. Riders older than 50 have to provide a certificate of medical fitness to be permitted to compete. The driver has the right to exchange his passenger under certain conditions.[6]

Starting numbers for the season are awarded according to the previous seasons overall finishing position of the driver. Current or former World Champions have however the right to pick any number they wish, except the number one which is reserved for the current World Champion. The top-six of the previous season are automatically qualified for the following season, while another 10 places are allocated to every national federation.[6]

The competition is open for motor cycles with two-stroke engines from between 350 and 750cc and four-stroke engines of up to 1,000cc. Each team is permitted the use of two motorcycles with the possibility of changing machines between races.[6]

The FIM does not permit radio communication between riders and their teams. Outside assistance during the race on the course is not permitted unless it is through race marshals in the interest of safety. Limited repairs in the designated repair zone during the race are permitted.[6]

Historically, the points system has varied and changed over time. In the first three seasons, 1971, 1972 and 1973, points were only awarded for the overall Grand Prix result, after that they were awarded for the individual races. The best ten teams were awarded points with the winner receiving 15 points. This was altered to 15 teams scoring points and the winner receiving 20 from 1984. The current system of 20 teams receiving points and the winner getting 25 was adopted in 2002. Until 1976, only a set number of best results were counted towards the overall standings, since 1977 all results count. Grand Prix were always held in two races except in 1992 and 1993 when three races were held in every Grand Prix. In those two years, races were 20 minutes plus two laps long, after this they reverted to 30 minutes plus two laps again.[15]

The following point systems were used throughout the history of the competition:


Price money and travel reimbursements in the sport are not large, sidecarcross still qualifying mostly as an amateur sport. In the 2009 season for example, every team received Euro 500 as a travel indemnity per race weekend qualified for. Additionally, price money was paid, with the winner earning € 300, the second placed team € 250, the third placed team € 200. With the prize money gradually dropping off from there, the teams placed twelfth to twentieth still received € 50 each.[16] All up, the best possible result would mean a team could take away € 1,100 from a race weekend.[6]



The champions since 1971:[17]

  • FIM Cup winners 1971 to 1974
Season Winners Engine-Chassis
1971 Netherlands Rikus Lubbers / Bart Notten Norton-Wasp
1972 Switzerland Robert Grogg / Gerhard Martinez Norton-Wasp
1973 Switzerland Lorenz Haller / Samuel Haller Honda-SPP
1974 Switzerland Robert Grogg / Andreas Grabner Norton-Wasp
  • European Champions 1975 to 1979
Season Winners Engine-Chassis
1975 Netherlands Ton van Heugten / Dick Steenbergen Yamaha-Hagon
1976 Switzerland Robert Grogg / Andreas Hüsser Norton-Wasp
1977 Switzerland Robert Grogg / Andreas Hüsser Norton-Wasp
1978 Switzerland Robert Grogg / Andreas Hüsser(3) Norton-Wasp(5)
1979 Switzerland Emil Bollhalder / Roland Bollhalder Yamaha-EML
  • World Champions 1980 to present
Season Winners Engine-Chassis
1980 Germany Reinhard Böhler / Siegfried Müller Yamaha-Wasp
1981 Netherlands Ton van Heugten / Frits Kiggen Yamaha-Wasp (2)
1982 Switzerland Emil Bollhalder / Karl Büsser Yamaha-EML
1983 Switzerland Emil Bollhalder / Karl Büsser(2) Yamaha-EML(3)
1984 Switzerland Hansi Bächtold / Fritz Fuß EML/Jumbo-EML
1985 Switzerland Hansi Bächtold / Fritz Fuß EML/Jumbo-EML
1986 Switzerland Hansi Bächtold / Fritz Fuß EML/Jumbo-EML
1987 Switzerland Hansi Bächtold / Fritz Fuß(4) EML/Jumbo-EML(4)
1988 Switzerland Christoph Hüsser / Andreas Hüsser KTM-VMC
1989 Switzerland Christoph Hüsser / Andreas Hüsser(2) KTM-VMC (2)
1990 Netherlands Benny Janssen / Tiny Janssen Honda-EML
1991 Netherlands Eimbert Timmermans / Eric Verhagen Kawasaki-EML
1992 Netherlands Eimbert Timmermans / Eric Verhagen(2) Kawasaki-EML (2)
1993 Switzerland Andreas Fuhrer / Adrian Käser Kawasaki-VMC
1994 Switzerland Andreas Fuhrer / Adrian Käser Kawasaki-VMC(2)
1995 Switzerland Andreas Fuhrer / Adrian Käser Kawasaki-JHR
1996 Switzerland Andreas Fuhrer / Adrian Käser(4) Kawasaki-JHR(2)
1997 Latvia Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis KTM-EML
1998 Latvia Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis Zabel-BSU
1999 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Marcel Willemsen Zabel-BSU(2)
2000 Latvia Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis MTH-BSU
2001 Latvia Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis MTH-BSU
2002 Latvia Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis(5) MTH-BSU(3)
2003 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Latvia Kaspars Stupelis Zabel-VMC
2004 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Latvia Kaspars Stupelis(2) Zabel-VMC
2005 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Belgium Sven Verbrugge Zabel-VMC
2006 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Belgium Sven Verbrugge Zabel-VMC
2007 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Switzerland Reto Grütter Zabel-VMC
2008 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Switzerland Reto Grütter(2) Zabel-VMC (5)
2009 Belgium Joris Hendrickx / Latvia Kaspars Liepins KTM-VMC
2010 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Gertie Eggink Zabel-WSP
2011 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Belgium Sven Verbrugge(3) Zabel-WSP
2012 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen (10)/ Kenny van Gaalen Zabel-WSP (3)
2013 Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Netherlands Ben van den Bogaart KTM-WSP
  • Passengers in italics.


The manufacturers champions since 2000:[18]

Season Manufacturer
2000 BSU
2001 BSU
2002 BSU
2003 BSU
2004 Vruwink MotorCycles
2005 Vruwink MotorCycles
2006 Vruwink MotorCycles
2007 Vruwink MotorCycles
2008 Vruwink MotorCycles
2009 Vruwink MotorCycles
2010 WSP
2011 Vruwink MotorCycles
2012 WSP(3)
2013 WSP

Recent seasons[edit]

The 2012 season[edit]

The top ten teams in the final overall standings were:[19]

Position Driver / Passenger Equipment Bike
1 Netherlands Daniël Willemsen / Kenny van Gaalen Zabel-WSP 1 452
2 Netherlands Etienne Bax / Latvia Kaspars Stupelis Zabel-WSP 5 447
3 Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Sven Verbrugge KTM-WSP 6 385
4 Belgium Joris Hendrickx / Latvia Kaspars Liepins KTM-VMC 222 369
5 Belgium Jan Hendrickx / Tim Smeuninx Zabel-VMC 3 369
6 France Valentin Giraud / Nicolas Musset KTM-WHT 138 334
7 Czech Republic Vaclav Rozehnal / Marek Rozehnal Zabel-VMC 11 240
8 Netherlands Marcel Willemsen / Gertie Eggink Zabel-MEFO 21 223
9 Latvia Maris Rupeiks / Elvijs Mucenieks Zabel-WSP 4 194
10 Switzerland Andy Bürgler / Germany Raphael Markert KTM-VMC 14 188

The 2013 season[edit]

The top ten teams in the final standings were:[3]

Position Driver / Passenger Equipment Bike
1 Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Netherlands Ben van den Bogaart KTM-WSP 3 610
2 Netherlands Etienne Bax / Latvia Kaspars Stupelis Zabel-VMC 2 513
3 Belgium Jan Hendrickx / Latvia Elvijs Mucenieks Zabel-WSP 5 442
4 Latvia Janis Daiders / Lauris Daiders Zabel-WSP 11 442
5 Czech Republic Václav Rozehnal / Marek Rozehnal Zabel-VMC 7 376
6 United Kingdom Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain Zabel-WSP 111 324
7 Latvia Maris Rupeiks / Haralds Kurpnieks Zabel-WSP 9 319
8 Switzerland Andy Bürgler / Martin Betschart KTM-VMC 10 316
9 Sweden Philip Stenborg / Christian Nilsson Zabel-VMC 19 257
10 Belgium Jason van Daele / Tim Smeuninx Zabel-VMC 12 256
  • The Sidecarcross World Championship standings remain provisional pending the decision of the FIM International Disciplinary Court in the case of passenger Lauris Daiders who has been provisionally suspended by the FIM following a failed doping test.[3]

The 2014 season[edit]

The top ten teams in the current standings are (as of 13 August 2014):[20]

Position Driver / Passenger Equipment Bike
1 Belgium Ben Adriaenssen / Netherlands Ben van den Bogaart Husqvarna-WSP 1 321
2 Netherlands Etienne Bax / Latvia Kaspars Stupelis Zabel-WSP 2 277
3 Belgium Jan Hendrickx / Latvia Elvijs Mucenieks KTM-WSP 3 254
4 United Kingdom Stuart Brown / United Kingdom Josh Chamberlain Zabel-WSP 6 243
5 France Valentin Giraud / France Nicholas Musset KTM-WHT 100 217
6 Belgium Jason van Daele / Belgium Tim Smeuninx Zabel-WHT 10 170
7 Netherlands Daniel Willemsen / Netherlands Robbie Bax Zabel-WSP 111 164
8 Sweden Philip Stenborg / Sweden Simon Stenborg Zabel-VMC 9 137
9 Czech Republic Vaclav Rozehnal / Jakub Vejchoda Zabel-VMC 5 131
10 United Kingdom Daniel Millard / United Kingdom Joe Millard KTM-WHT 32 122

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Starke Notgemeinschaft (German), published: 24 November 2009, accessed: 3 April 2011
  2. ^ a b c d 2014 calendar FIM website, accessed: 17 October 2013
  3. ^ a b c FIM SIDECAR MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Classification 2013 FIM website, accessed: 8 October 2013
  4. ^ a b The World Championship - Other: What is, accessed: 27 July 2011
  5. ^ Sidecar motocross – A team sport FIM website, published: 15 December 2012, accessed: 21 September 2012
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h FIM SIDECAR MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP APPENDIX FIM website, accessed: 27 July 2011
  7. ^ Gespann-WM: Rennen der Überraschungen (German) Speedweek", published: 14 April 2014, accessed: 24 April 2014
  8. ^ FIM Sidecarcross World Championship – 2013 Calendar FIM website, accessed: 17 October 2013
  9. ^ Gespann-WM-Lauf in Chernivtsi abgesagt (German) Speedweek, published: 13 April 2014, accessed: 24 April 2014
  10. ^ Pilots ranking 2013 FIM website, accessed: 3 November 2013
  12. ^ Statistik/Hall Of Fame
  14. ^ Tiende wereldtitel zijspancrosser Willemsen (Dutch) De Telegraaf, published: 16 September 2012, accessed: 17 September 2012
  15. ^ S/C GP DESTINATIONS The John Davey pages, accessed: 23 October 2013
  17. ^ FIM Yearbook 2011 FIM website - List of World Champions, page 96-118, accessed: 27 July 2011
  18. ^ FIM Sidecar Motocross World Championship World champions FIM website, accessed: 8 August 2011
  19. ^ FIM SIDECAR MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Classification 2012 FIM website, accessed: 20 July 2012
  20. ^ 2014 Classification FIM website, accessed: 10 June 2014

External links[edit]