Mansfield’s Birchalls brothers keep FIM World Sidecar Championship title bid alive

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A WIN and a fourth place finish at Oschersleben in Germany in the penultimate round of the FIM World Sidecar championship were sufficient to ensure Ben and Tom Birchall stay in the mix for a final round showdown at Le Mans in September when the top four teams will battle it out for the 2012 world title.

Race one on Saturday afternoon saw a fast race, leading to the Birchalls dropping into fifth place.

But there was a twist in the tale as the fourth placed team of Schlosser/Hofer were disqualified after they refused to accept a parc ferme penalty imposed on them by the International Jury and the Birchalls were elevated to fourth place.

In the second race, it was a different story for the Birchalls.

As the lights went out at the start of the 22-lap gold race it was Steinhausen who got the hole shot with the Birchalls right in his tyre tracks.

But Ben bided his time before he took the opportunity to take the lead and pulled away to establish a four second advantage and take the chequered flag for the win.

The championship will go down to the wire at Le Mans in three week’s time as there are only five points separating the top four teams.

Reeves is on 156 with Steinhausen 155, Birchall 152 and Paivarinta 151.