Mansfield sidecar racers Ben and Tom Birchall ready for new season

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Mansfield sidecar racing brothers Ben and Tom Birchall have recently returned from France where they have been putting the LCR 1000cc Yamaha outfit through its paces in preparation for the forthcoming new season of racing.

Ben said: “We have concluded our pre-season build-up and testing which has all gone like clockwork this year.

“We have managed to not only find sufficient time to work on our fitness, but have also built the TT bike and been to two different venues for testing.

“The new outfit is very smooth and we have never felt as confident on an F2 machine as this. We have also tested the F1 outfit in France and managed to shave a further second from our lap times from last year at the same circuit.

“Both driver and passenger have never felt so prepared and we are looking forward to the start of the season.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the continued support of our loyal sponsors and also to Klaus Klaffenbock and the team for their support at the 2012 TT races.”

First on the agenda is a trip to Brands Hatch where the Mitchells of Mansfield-supported brothers will contest the opening two races of the Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar championship over the Easter weekend.

All nine double header rounds in this year’s championship will be run as a support class to the MCE British Superbike championship and the Birchall team intend to compete in as many rounds as possible.

The first round of the British Championship kicks-off at Brands Hatch at Easter with a test session on Good Friday followed by free practice and qualifying on Saturday.

The first 18-lap race is scheduled for 5.05pm on Sunday and the weekend is rounded off with a second 18-lapper on Easter Monday at 5.40pm.

The first round of the FIM World Sidecar championship takes place at Magny Cours in France on 14th April as part of the support package to the Bol d’Or 24-hour race.

The Isle of Man TT races take place from 26th May to 8th June.

Birchall Racing Provisional Schedule for 2012

April 7/8/9 Rd 1 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Brands Hatch Indy; April 13/14/15 - Round 2 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Thruxton; April 15 Round 1- FIM Sidecar World Championship, Magny Cours, France; May 25/26/27 - Round 3 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Snetterton 300; May 26 May to June 8, Isle of Man TT; June 10 - Round 2 - FIM Sidecar World Championship, Hungaroring, Hungary; June 17 - Round 3 - FIM Sidecar World Championship, Rijeka, Croatia; 22/23/24 - June, Round 4 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Knockhill; July 8 - Round 4 - FIM Sidecar World Championship, Sachsenring, Germany; July 20/21/22 - Round 5 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Brands Hatch Indy and GP; July 22 - Round 5 - FIM Sidecar World Championship, Schleiz, Germany; August 12 Round 6 - FIM Sidecar World Championship, Oschersleben, Germany; September 7/8/9 Round 6 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Donington Park; September 9 Round 7 - FIM Sidecar World Championship, Le Mans, France; September 21/22/23 - Round 7 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Assen, Holland; September 28/29/30 - Round 8 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Silverstone Arena GP; October 12/13/14 Round 9 - Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship, Brands Hatch GP – season finale.