Birchalls stay unbeaten after Hungary double

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Mansfield sidecars aces Ben and Tom Birchall continued their winning streak and remain unbeaten over the last year as they recorded pole position, two wins and the lap record in the FIM World Sidecar Championship at the Pannonia Ring in Hungary.

Ben said: “We are delighted to have taken the double win here this weekend.

“It’s been a long month with us having two World Championship rounds with the two TT races sandwiched in between.

“So we were thrilled to have come out on top after such a tiring month.

“It’s good that the rest of the competitors are now getting to grips with their 600cc outfits and the racing is a lot closer.

“We have to thank our team for their sterling work again this weekend plus our loyal sponsors for their continued support.

“With over a month before the next World Championship race we have time to contest a round of the British Championship and are looking forward to Snetterton at the end of the month.”

Following on from their double win at the Isle of Man TT races last week, where they set a new lap record of 117.119mph, the Mitchells of Mansfield-supported brothers headed straight to Hungary for a round of the World Championship to contest two races.

The pair secured pole position during qualifying with a lap of 1m 58.679s, which was a quicker time than the fastest lap time from last year during the race with the larger 1000cc engine.

As the lights went out for the start of the sprint race it was Paivarinta and Kainulainen who got the hole shot into the first corner, but they ran wide allowing the Birchall brothers to get ahead.

However, a fellow competitor suffered a crash further downfield and the red flag brought proceedings to a halt.

At the restart it was Paivarinta once again who got away in the lead, but by the end of lap one the Birchalls had taken the lead and continued to forge ahead, extending their lead to take the chequered flag a full nine seconds ahead of their rivals with Holden/Wilkes finishing in third place.

Ben and Tom were over the moon with their win plus the added bonus of setting a new lap record of 1m 59.532s.

After spending the evening preparing the LCR Honda for the Gold race on Sunday the teams took their grid positions for the start of the 15-lap affair. This time the brothers scorched away for another win over 18 seconds ahead of Paivarinta with Holden once again taking third place.

The Birchall brothers remain unbeaten in the world championship this year and are settled at the head of the rider standings on 125 points with the next round at Assen on August 6.

Meanwhile Ben and Tom will take in a round of the British 600cc Sidecar Championship at Snetterton over the weekend of June 30/July 2.

Pictures by Wally Walters.