Mixed fortunes for Mansfield’s Birchall brothers in their latest big sidecar races resulted in a resounding victory but also a controversial collision.
Ben and Tom contested two events in the Isle Of Man Southern 100 F2 Sidecar Class, and all went to plan in the opener as they pulled six seconds clear of runners-up John Holden and Lee Cain.
The riders, who are supported by Mitchells of Mansfield, made a good start from the second row of the grid and although there was less than a second separating the first four outfits at one stage, the Birchalls took command after two of their rivals withdrew because of machine problems.
However, it was the second race that got most people talking as it ended with the Mansfield duo off the track and excluded from the results.
Again, they made a clean start and were soon engaged in a neck-and-neck duel for the lead with Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes. But on lap six, they clashed, resulting in the red flag bringing the race to an early end. Neither crew was badly injured, but the incident led to an investigation by the organisers.
Ben commented: “We wish Tom and Mark a speedy recovery and are thankful that no-one was seriously injured after the unfortunate incident. We had a great battle, but our machines made unavoidable contact as we moved alongside.”
The Birchalls are now focusing on the penultimate round of the world championships in the Netherlands on August 6.