Birchall Brothers clinch silver at Isle of Man TT festival

The Birchall brothers take to the Isle of Man circuit.
The Birchall brothers take to the Isle of Man circuit.

MANSFIELD sidecar racers Ben and Tom Birchall collected a brace of silver trophies from their races at the Isle of Man TT festival when they completed race one in seventh position, before finishing fifth in the second three lap race around the 37.73-mile mountain road circuit.

Practice week ended disappointingly for the Mitchells of Mansfield brothers as they were forced to retire at Alpine after encountering a problem with the chain in the final session on Friday.

That lost them precious track time, but they had posted some respectable laps times during practice week to become the seventh fastest duo on the course with a lap time of 108.623mph and were looking forward to Saturday and the start of the first race.

In dry and sunny conditions the sidecars headed to the start line for the start of Saturday’s race where they were flagged off one at a time at 10 second intervals, with Ben and Tom beginning their campaign in fourth place.

They got away to a steady start and were running in ninth place on time at Glen Helen, but by the end of the first 37.73-mile lap around the mountain course they had moved up into seventh position.

The Mansfield brothers remained in seventh place throughout the two remaining laps to complete their first TT race and pick up a Silver replica TT Trophy.

The second race was due to take place on Wednesday, but had to be postponed because of rain and the outfits lined up on Thursday to begin their final race of the TT festival.

Once again Ben and Tom were the fourth riders away and at the end of the opening lap they had slotted into sixth position and improved their lap time to 110.044mph.

Ben and Tom were expecting to complete their race in sixth position but race leader Klaus Klaffenbock encountered a mechanical problem and although able to nurse the outfit home they slowed dramatically leaving Ben and Tom to romp home in a fantastic fifth position with another quick lap of 111.261mph.

“We only rode the outfit once prior to practice week so it was all new to us. But we put in a lot of preparation throughout the winter and that has paid dividends for us.”said Ben.

“We are really pleased with the second race result which saw us put in our personal best time on lap two. The LCR chassis is working really well and we are improving all the time.

“This is a learning year for us and I feel there is much more to come in the future. The Yamaha engine worked perfectly but due to limited resources this year it was in a very low state of tune and that reflected in our times through the speed traps.

“I would like to thank the TT organisers for their support throughout our time on the island, they have been most helpful. “Our aim was to go faster each time we completed a lap of the course and we did achieve that over the two weeks. We have a strong desire to win here and will return to the Island until we conquer the TT course – however long it takes!”