Birchall brothers storm to victory at Darley Moor

DARLEY DARLINGS -- Mansfield brothers Ben and Tom Birchall on their way to victory in the sidecar race at the Stars At Darley meeting on the Darley Moor race circuit in Derbyshire. (PHOTO BY: Craig Harriman).
DARLEY DARLINGS -- Mansfield brothers Ben and Tom Birchall on their way to victory in the sidecar race at the Stars At Darley meeting on the Darley Moor race circuit in Derbyshire. (PHOTO BY: Craig Harriman).

Mansfield’s sidecar-racing brothers Ben and Tom Birchall lit up the Darley Moor race circuit in Derbyshire at the weekend when storming to victory in the Stars At Darley meeting.

Now they are in the perfect frame of mind for the final round of the British F1 Sidecar Championship, which takes place at Brands Hatch this coming Saturday.

The Birchalls, who are supported by the transport and distribution company, Mitchells of Mansfield, recorded the fastest lap during qualifying at Darley Moor and began the 15-lap race from pole position.

Using the F2 machine that recorded a double win at this year’s TT races, the pair didn’t get the best of starts, but made their way through the pack to take the lead on lap three, heading the field for the remainder of the race. They extended their lead with each passing lap and crossed the finish line for the victory with an advantage of 21.97 seconds over their closest rivals, Dan Knight and Sam Fishwick.

After the race, Ben said: “We like to support the Darley Moor circuit as it is local to us and they help us a lot with our TT testing.

“We were riding our TT-winning outfit, but transferred the Honda 600cc engine from our world championship F1 machine to the smaller F2 chassis for the Darley race. It proved to be extremely fast and reliable and we gave the engine a good workout prior to our race at Brands Hatch this weekend.”

The Birchalls will be contesting the tenth and last round of the British F1 Sidecar Championship on the F1 LCR, using the 600cc Honda that is being developed to contest the World Championship in 2016 when new rules will apply to engine capacity.

The final two races of the British championship take place on Saturday at the Kent circuit as one of the support classes to the British Superbike Championship.

Free practice takes place on Friday at 12.50 pm. Qualifying takes place later in the day at 5.15 pm and will set the grid positions for the start of the first ten-lap race on Saturday which is set to commence at 1.27 pm. The second race is scheduled to start at 5.05 pm later in the day.

The Mansfield brothers currently sit in 18th place of the 25 teams in the British Championship standings, having accumulated 50 points. Already crowned champions are Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood after 11 wins.

The two Brands Hatch races will conclude the Birchalls’ calendar of racing for the 2015 season and give Ben time to spend the winter months continuing the development of the World Championship F1 machine and preparing the F2 outfit for the TT races.