Bell Boys' ding dong at Croft

By Burning Rubber on Mar 31, 10 04:04 PM

SOMETIMES a piece of footage comes your way which really is priceless.

And this week, a diamond of a video has reached Burning Rubber, courtesy of Bedlington sidecar passenger Carl Bell.

For those who may be strangers to this fascinating and at times just crazy sport, Carl is one of the Bedlington Bell dynasty, a family which breeds sidecar racers like you wouldn't believe.

First came the late George Bell who entered his first TT race at the Isle of Man back in 1956 - you know, when men were men and all that.

Then there are his two sons, Geoff and Ian, who have both won several high profile titles each over the years.

In turn, Ian's son Carl has recently taken up being a passenger with his successful dad returning to the driving seat to allow them to compete together, and Geoff's oldest son Phil has been racing for several years, while his brother Michael has also started to give it a go too.

Anyway, history lesson over, this piece of footage involves just three of them - Ian and Carl in their F2 machine, and Phil and his passenger Ashley Hawes on the bigger F1 beast.

The pair were running at last weekend's Derby Phoenix event at Croft Circuit, and Carl, who has become pretty good at recording onboard footage of him and his dad's racing exploits, had set his camera up on their outfit as usual.

The video is brilliant for racing anoraks, as it gives you a real idea about what sidecar racing is all about, but, the best bit comes towards the end.

With Phil steaming ahead in his bigger outfit, Ian and Carl can be seen chasing him down, only for it to all go a bit wrong as they come out of Barcroft.

You see the outfit swerve slightly as they lose the back end, and a couple of seconds later they smash straight into the side of Phil.

Thankfully, all involved walked away unscathed, although Carl's diminutive frame walking dejectedly back towards the bike after he's skidded across the tarmac says it all.

And the best thing is, the pair have both laughed about it. Carl even posted the footage on his Facebook page for all to see.

"I think we just lost lost the back end, then we hit phil which sent us into a spin," he said. "It slowed us down before we hit the grass.

"It's lucky Phil was there because if he wasn't, we wouldn't have been able to slow it down and could've flown across the grass so fast and far that we'd have had to pay to get back into the circuit!"

Phil chuckled: "It wasn't my fault! In all seriousness though my bike was understeering everywhere so it allowed Dick Dastardly (Uncle Ian) to stay within a reasonable distance.

"Like Carl says though it was lucky i was there to slow things down!"

To see the footage, visit

The crash happens at around the five minutes mark.

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