Birchall brothers just miss out on British sidecar title
Mansfield's Birchall brothers have narrowly missed out on adding the British 600 Cup to their sidecar-racing world championship.
Although Ben and Tom won both of their races in their class in the season’s finale at Brands Hatch, they were still two points behind the series leaders in the overall standings, paying the price for having to miss some of the rounds because they clashed with the world event.
After the free practice session on Friday, the brothers, who are supported by Mitchells of Mansfield, qualified on the second row of the mixed grid for Saturday’s opening race.
They were running in fourth place on the first lap when three outfits ahead of them crashed and the Birchalls were fortunate not to be involved themselves. They had to act quickly to avoid the stricken outfits and dropped down the field to cross the line at the end of the lap in seventh place.
However, they overtook rivals on the second lap and chased after a Formula One pair, whom they passed on lap four. They then dispatched a wildcard entry on lap seven to take up fourth position overall, but although they had a substantial lead in the 600 Cup class and a clear track ahead of them, the race leaders were long gone and they had to be content with that fourth at the flag.
With the first ten grid positions reversed for the final race of the championship, the Birchalls set off from the fourth row but were soon up into fourth place overall again. Again this is where they finished, crossing the finish line just 0.4 seconds adrift of their main opponents. But they still took their second victory in the 600 Cup class before learning it wasn’t quite enough to grab the title.
Ben said: “Once again, it was a great weekend for us. We want to congratulate Todd Ellis and and Charlie Richardson on their title. They have been great all season. It was just unfortunate for us that so many of the rounds clashed with the world championship, which was our priority this year. But we are now the world champions.
“Thanks go to all our sponsors, family and friends for their support in what has been a fantastic year for us as we have won every race we have finished. We couldn’t have done this without your help.”
The final outing of the 2017 season for the Birchall brothers is the Race of the Year, which is taking place at Mallory Park this coming weekend.