Disaster on Manx return for Birchall brothers

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Following their double victory at the Isle of Man TT races earlier this year Ben and Tom Birchall were feeling positive they could do well at the Diamond Jubilee Southern 100 races last week.

But what looked like a promising week for the Mitchell’s of Mansfield-supported riders turned out to be a disaster.

A dejected Ben Birchall said: “We had a coming together with another outfit during practice which left us on the back foot as we had a tremendous amount of work to do in less than 24 hours to repair the damage and prepare the outfit for the first of two races.

“As it turned out we just ran out of time and had to forego our place on the grid for the race to concentrate on getting the outfit up and running for the big race of the week.”

But, despite all their efforts, when the boys lined up for the eight lap Manx Gas Sidecar championship race it became apparent that not all was well with the LCR Honda and they struggled throughout the eight laps.

They managed to get up into eighth place and held on to cross the finish line in that position.

Ben Birchall added: “Naturally we are disappointed with our performance which we subsequently discovered was down to a technical issue and we could not find the speed that was necessary to be competitive. I would like to convey my thanks to the organisers of the Southern 100 and also for the continued support of our sponsors.

“We hope to be back next year to mount a full challenge in the Sidecar championship race.”

Ben and Tom now turn their attention to the FIM Sidecar F2 Trophy race at Oschersleben in Germany on August 22 and are busy preparing the LCR Honda for the event.

Picture by Peter Bull.