Birchalls join forces with Klaus for new TT race team

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MANSFIELD’s Ben and Tom Birchall are to join forces with fellow former world sidecar champion and three-times Isle of Man TT winner Klaus Klaffenbock to contest the 2012 TT races in a brand new team to be known as Cofain Racing by Klaffi.

Having won both sidecar races in 2010 and one in 2011, Klaffi retired from competitive racing but still wanted to be involved with the Isle of Man TT.

He said: “The best teams in the world compete at the Isle of Man TT and for this reason I just had to remain involved with it.

“After we stopped racing in 2011, my friend Andy Faragher and I decided to start a competitive sidecar team at the TT and before long had everything organised – sponsors and a team that is capable of winning.”

The team was launched at the Isle of Man Creg-Ny-Baa on Friday when 2009 world champions Ben and Tom Birchall were unveiled as the riders to represent this exciting new team at the TT festival.

Twice world champion sidecar passenger Adolf Hanni will also be involved in the running of the team and his input will be invaluable.

A brand new LCR chassis has been especially made for Ben and Tom in Switzerland by sidecar engineer Louis Christen, and with Honda engines from Honda specialist UK tuner Chris Mehew to complete the package, the Birchall brothers are anticipating some top results at this year’s event.

Ben Birchall said: “Both Tom and I are honoured to have been asked to join Klaus in his new venture.

“Klaus and his team’s reputation for professionalism and determination to win, along with Adolf Hanni’s unrivalled commitment and experience in sidecar racing, made the decision to join the team very easy for us.

“And, with the continued support of our existing team and sponsors, in my opinion Cofain Racing by Klaffi will become one of the strongest sidecar teams in the history of the TT.

“Ever since Tom and I decided to compete at the TT in 2009 it has been our desire to be successful and our ultimate aim is to win there.

“Joining this team will give us the best opportunity to achieve our goal, and with the bike preparation now nearing completion we can’t wait to begin our pre-season testing.”

Practice for the 2012 TT takes place on the 37.73-mile mountain road course from Saturday, 26th May 26 to Friday, 1st June prior to the two three lap sidecar races, the first being on Saturday, 2nd June and race two on Wednesday, 6th June.

This venture is additional to Ben and Tom’s usual F1 sidecar challenge, and they intend to continue to contest both the British and World F1 Sidecar Championships in 2012, the dates of which are set to be finalised in the next few weeks.

Ben and Tom are busy preparing the F1 outfit ahead of a very busy season of racing.