Birchalls Equal Hailwood, Bank 14th TT Success

Birchalls Equal Hailwood, Bank 14th TT Success
Off the back of history, history and more history been made in last Saturday’s Sidecars opener, what would arise in today’s three wheeling encounter held in cooler, touch windier conditions.

Another outright lap record, first time podium finishers, various PB laps by driver/passenger crews?

Race action officially opened on schedule at 11:45 AM, as highly fancied pre-race favourites Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall blasted down Glencrutchery Road, Bray Hill.

Lap 1:

First on the road, first on the time screens for the Birchall brothers at Glen Helen, 2.856 to the good over FHO Racing’s Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley.

The Crowes Ryan & Callum held third, 4.25 down on Founds/Walmsley.

Just under ten seconds covered the top three at Ballaugh Bridge, with all three at this point averaging in excess of 123 mph.

First race retirement was Craig Melvin/Stuart Christian, coming to a halt at Braddan.

Soon following them on the side-lines were former TT Champions Conrad Harrison/Andy Winkle.

Founds/Walmsley were keeping the Birchalls honest and by Ramsey Hairpin, the gap between them stood at still sub four seconds.

Post the Bungalow timing point, 13 times TT winners the Birchalls stretched the race-lead to over six seconds.

Once lap one ended Founds/Walmsley had reduced their advantage to 4.512 seconds.

15.697 behind Founds/Walmsley, the Crowes solidly occupied third with John Holden competing in his last ever TT encounter alongside Maxime Vasseur, Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes, Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle fourth, fifth, sixth respectively.

Lap 2:

At Glen Helen, the Birchalls threw the gauntlet down to plucky top chasers Founds/Walmsley, adding just under 3.7 seconds to their race-lead.

By Ballaugh Bridge, the gap between P1, P2 holders grew to 10.358 seconds.

Could the race leaders surpass their own outright lap record, set on Saturday.

Previous lap record holder, 17 times TT winner Dave Molyneux & Dan Sayle’s TT 2023 campaign ended with another race retirement.

All eyes were placed upon the Birchalls, with more Sidecar TT history beckoning.

Another three wheeling Mountain Course record speed was chalked up, 120.645 mph – 18 minutes 45.850 seconds.

Second place carriers Founds/Walmsley 11.629 in arrears to the Birchalls, also set their fastest ever TT lap, 119.887 mph – 18 minutes 52.967 seconds.

Lap 3:

As they have on thirteen occasions previously, Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall kept an ice cool frame of mind, banking TT victory number fourteen, equalling the legendary Mike Hailwood.

Second place finishers Founds/Walmsley, whilst runners-up again, had the consolation of joining the 120 Mph Sidecars Club, lapping at 120.079 mph.

Two crews over the 120-mph mark on the 100th Anniversary of Sidecar racing around the Mountain Course, superb!

In the end, all that covered the first and second place finishers was 9.147 seconds.

Third place finishers, Ryan Crowe/Callum Crowe trebled their TT top three finishes tally.

Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes had more prosperous fortunes in comparison to on Saturday, taking fourth.

Steve Ramsden/Matty Ramsden placed fifth with sixth going to TT stalwarts Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde.

Holden/Vasseur, Greg Lambert/Andrew Haynes, Wayne Lockey/Matty Rostron, John Saunders/James Saunders completed the top ten.

TT 2023 – Sidecar Race 2 Result:

1st – Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall

2nd – Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley

3rd – Ryan Crowe/Callum Crowe

4th – Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes

5th – Steve Ramsden/Matty Ramsden

6th – Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde

7th – John Holden/Maxime Vasseur

8th – Greg Lambert/Andrew Haynes

9th – Wayne Lockey/Matty Rostron

10th – John Saunders/James Saunders

11th – Alan Founds/Colin Smyth

12th – Shaun Chandler/Ben Chandler

13th – Mike Jackson/Jake Roberts

14th – Derek Lynch/Anthony McDonnell

15th – Andy King/Andrew Sigsworth

16th – Bruce Moore/Mark Gash

Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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