Winning double as Birchalls dominate sidecar round

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Mansfield brothers Ben and Tom Birchall continue to dominate the FIM Sidecar championship as they recorded pole position, a double win, and set a new lap record in round six of the FIM World Sidecar Championship at Oschersleben, Germany.

The Mitchells of Mansfield-supported brothers were the fastest team in free practice and both qualifying sessions to take pole position for Saturday’s 10-lap sprint race and led the field from lights to flag to take the win with an advantage of 2.273s from championship leaders Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni.

The feature race on Sunday began with spits of rain falling, but not enough to make a difference and the 21-lap Gold race got underway on schedule with Ben and Tom once again streaking away to lead.

By the time they had completed five laps they had pulled out an advantage of over nine seconds, but the threatened rain then began to fall and the race was red flagged. At the restart it was declared a wet race to be run over 14 laps, but by then the track had all but dried and everyone went out on slicks once again.

Ben and Tom once again pulled away to establish a comfortable lead until they encountered backmarkers which allowed Paivarinta/Hanni to close up. But Ben stepped up the pace, breaking the lap record for the fourth time in the race, to cross the finish line with a 3.3s advantage over the Flying Finn to take the second win of the weekend.

The double victory has narrowed the gap between Birchalls in third place and Steinhausen/Hawes who hold the runner up spot to just 13 points and also edged them to within 20 points of the series lead.

Ben said: “I think it was the right decision to stop the race as it was getting quite slippery out there. It has been a great weekend for us with two wins and we have picked up maximum points.

“We had a smooth run through both races with no problems at all and actually broke the lap record on four occasions during the Gold race which proves the Suzuki engine is mega fast and once again has done us proud.”

The next round is at Schleiz in Germany on Sunday.