Birchalls’ brace of sidecar runners-up spots at Brands Hatch

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Mansfield sidecar racers Ben and Tom Birchall rode to a brace of second places in round six of the Easton Airways British Sidecar championship at Brands Hatch

It was a hectic weekend for the Mitchells of Mansfield supported brothers who began their weekend racing on the short Indy circuit where they completed free practice in second place going on to secure pole in qualifying for the start of the first race later in the afternoon.

The 15-lap race was a closely-contested affair between the Birchalls and Reeves brothers with just a 10th of a second separating the two outfits, the current world champion taking the win over the former champions.

The remainder of the weekend’s racing was to take place over the longer GP circuit and, as they had not raced on the GP track since the layout was altered, Ben and Tom took full advantage of the short free practice session on Saturday afternoon to familiarise themselves, completing the session in second place.

Ben and Tom began the 10 lap race on Sunday from a front row grid position and shot away to a fine start getting the hole shot into Paddock Hill Bend.

But their lead was short lived as the Reeves brothers passed them on the run towards Druids.

With three outfits fighting for the same stretch of tarmac at Surtees there was contactwhich allowed Reeves to make a break.

But Ben held his line and completed the race in second.

“I am relived that we were able to complete the second race,” he said.

“The back end was moving around so I was a bit cautious and on inspection after the race we discovered we had a slow puncture in the rear tyre.

“If the race had gone much longer we would have perhaps had to pull in.”

The Birchall brothers now turn their attentions back to the World Championship and head off to Assen in Holland for the next round on 4th August,looking to make it three in a row at Assen and add to their points tally to maintain their third place in the rider standings and edge closer to the second place spot.