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Sidecar ace Ian Bell set for TT return

 

Former TT sidecar race winner Ian Bell is set to make a return to the Mountain Course next year, after a decade away.

He last raced at the TT in 2004, a year after he won the opening three-lap race with passenger Neil Carpenter.

A heavy practice spill at Hillberry in 2004 left him with arm and hand injuries and led to him retiring from all competition.

However, he was soon back in the driving seat, this time with son Carl in the chair and they will now contest the two races to be held next June, with Carl making his debut here.

Two years after Bell senior's 1995 debut, he and Carpenter took their first podium finish with third in the second race of 1997 and they went one place better in 1999 with second behind Rob Fisher.

Over the next four years, Bell and Carpenter regularly challenged the likes of Dave Molyneux and Fisher for the race wins and they finally got to stand on the top step of the podium in the first race of 2003.

Although its 11 years since he last contested the TT, Bell’s best lap of 110.81mph still makes him the 16th fastest driver of all time.

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