PREPARATIONS for the 2013 sidecar racing season are well in hand for Mansfield’s Ben and Tom Birchall as they plan their assault on the World and British F1 championships plus the Isle of Man TT and the Southern 100 races on the F2 machine.
Ben said: “We knew we had to make some very big changes this year as we were well down on power in last year’s World Championship rounds due to the age of the engines, which fell short on top speed.
“With continued input from our loyal sponsors, in particular Andy Mitchell of Mitchells of Mansfield, who has dug deep to help us update our machinery, we are pleased to say that we have been able to purchase some new 2012 Suzuki engines and we have been over to Switzerland to work alongside Louis Christen to install the engines in the new LCR chassis.
“We are grateful to Paul Denning of Crescent Suzuki for his support this year as this, linked with the experience of engine builder John Baker of JEBS, means our pre-season testing on the dyno is already showing promise and we are all happy with the progress made to date.
“We are really looking forward to February when we will put the F1 machine through its paces in the first shakedown test which will allow us to iron out any issues prior to our full test programme, which is due to begin later in the month.”
He added: “Our TT plans are also well underway and bike preparation is now complete. Once again we will be riding for Klaffi.
“Last year we notched up a couple of podium finishes with a second and third place in the two races and we are looking for further improvement this time around.
“We also plan to contest the Southern 100 for a second time. On our inaugural visit last season we rewrote the history books by taking the victory in the championship race on our first attempt and our aim is to retain the trophy in 2013.”
With less date clashes between the World and British Championship rounds, this will enable Ben and Tom to make a serious challenge on home soil as well as going all out for their second world title and they begin their championship challenge at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 5th-7th April when they will take in the first two rounds of the Eastern Airways British F1 Championship.
That will be followed by round one of the FIM World Championship which will take place at Motorland Aragon in Spain on 14th April.