Brothers blitz past 120mph mark to secure emphatic result
Ben and Tom Birchall shattered the Sidecar TT lap record at over 120mph as they took an emphatic Sidecar Race 1 victory this evening (3 June).
The Mansfield duo's blistering performance couldn't be matched by rivals Pete Founds & Jevan Walmsley who settled for second after managing over 119mph on their best lap.
Meanwhile it was John Holden & Maxime Vasseur who went on to take the final podium place in third after the Crowe brothers retired towards the end of lap two.
The opening lap saw a series of retirements including Dave Molyneux & Dan Sayle; Conrad Harrison & Andrew Winkle as well as Tim Reeves & Mark Wilkes as the Birchall brothers set the early pace.
The first lap saw a two-machine shootout taking place at the front as the Birchalls led heading into lap two, but only 3.4 seconds ahead of Pete Founds & Jevan Walmsley, who in turn opened up a more significant gap of more than 23 seconds to Ryan & Callum Crowe in third.
The Birchalls then upped the ante to increase the gap to Founds & Walmsley during lap two, and the Mansfield duo's sheer speed paid big dividends as they shattered their own Sidecar TT lap record to register 120.357mph and stretch their considerable advantage from Founds & Walmsley to 16 seconds.
But lap two was the end of the day for the Crowe brothers as they, who'd been running in third, retired from the contest at Keppel Gate - promoting John Holden and Maxime Vasseur into the final podium position at that stage.
Having firmly established their lead, the Birchalls took the pace down a notch across the final run around the course to bring their LCR Honda machine home to take an historic chequered flag.
Following that, in a performance which was almost on par with previous lap record pace, a solid Founds & Walmsley display brought them across the line 24 seconds behind in second.
Meanwhile, Holden & Vasseur would hang in to take the final podium spot a full three minutes 15 seconds further back after holding off a spirited charge from Steve & Mathew Ramsden.
The next sidecar contest, the Sidecar TT Race 2, is due to be held on Wednesday, 7 June, at 2.15pm.