Mitchells of Mansfield backed Birchall Racing have won the 2018 FIM Sidecar World Championship with victory at the final round of the season in Oschersleben, Germany.
With only one point separating the leading two teams coming into the seventh round, the championship fight ultimately came down to one race – a showdown between the Birchall brothers and their closest rivals Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes.
Ben and Tom had both worked incredibly hard to prepare their LCR Yamaha outfit and themselves for the race since the previous round in Croatia, and both knew that nothing less than a win would do.
Starting the weekend perfectly, Birchall Racing went on to top every single session on the 2.292-mile circuit, gradually improving their pace to ultimately claim pole position by well over half a second ahead of their nearest rivals.
Saturday’s evening race was held in beautiful conditions. Birchall Racing made a great start from the front of the grid and entered the first series of corners in the lead. Using his skill and experience, Ben steered the Yamaha-powered machine flawlessly all the way to the chequered flag – never headed by the chasing outfits behind.
The win granted the brothers a third world title – their second consecutive championship victory – and confirmed their place in history as the first team to win both back-to-back world and TT titles in the same two years.
Ben Birchall said: “To be honest, I can’t believe this has happened. We had a great year - the TT was incredible but a run of bad luck had put us a long way behind in the world championship chase.
“We fought hard every single mile right to that final flag in Germany. Tim suffered some bad luck in those final two rounds, but that only matched what we had to go through at the beginning of the season.
“I’m honoured to have three things that have come together to make our success this year possible – the best chassis from LCR, the best team behind me and without question the best passenger in the world. Tom has worked so hard and been outstanding at both the TT and world championship, it’s a pleasure to race with him and means so much to me.”