Finishing third in Road Racing News top three Sidecar roads teams of 2018 is, the experienced, youthful duo of John Holden/Lee Cain.
Established amongst the highest echelon of driver/passenger partnerships, Holden and Cain as in 2017 enjoyed this year another highly productive Manx roads tenure.
Piloting the slick, well turned out Honda powered Silicone Engineering/Barnes Racing backed outfit, an ultra warm, humid practice week at TT 2018 saw the duo show consistent, accomplished pace, matching and some the pace set by pre race favourites Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall.
Photo by Mark Corlett
Race week began with Holden/Cain putting up a spirited fight to the blistering Birchall brothers, in the opening Locate.im Sidecar race.
Ultimately over forty seconds behind the on top form Mansfield pair, the Silicone Engineering Racing duo were philosophical in defeat, plus heaped praise a plenty upon the race winners.
‘Championship day’ for the second successive year, opened by the three wheeling magicians, treated the large crowd around the Mountain Course to more enterprising, compelling, record breaking race action.
Unable to match the pace of the on another planet Birchall brothers, Holden/Cain had to settle for another runner up spot to their fellow Honda powered competitors in the second Locate.im Sidecar encounter.
Magnanimous again in defeat, their impressive Mountain Course endeavours didn’t go not noticed from astute roads aficionados, who via social media heaped plaudits a plenty onto them.
Following another ultra productive TT 2018 tenure, attentions roads wise for Holden/Cain moved towards the hugely popular Southern 100.
Non starters for the Ace Hire & Sales Sidecar race, the feature championship race saw them put up a tenacious, gritty defence of the prestigious crown that they won in drama filled circumstances in 2017.
Second place finishers behind Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes, they set the quickest lap speed of the eight lap race, lapping the technical, fast flowing, historic Billown course at 101.286 mph.
Additionally in July, back to back second place finishers in the BeNeCup races at Belgium’s most famous roads course Circuit De Chimay, Holden/Cain rank unquestionably alongside the most competitive, respected, successful driver/passenger partnerships of recent times.
It remains to be seen as to whether they will be joining forces again next year for TT 2019, which marks 31 years since veteran driver Holden first sampled the fabled Mountain Course.
Words by Stevie Rial