Ben Birchall / Tom Birchall reigned supreme in an enthralling second Sure sidecar race, at TT 2016.
Pace setters on lap one where Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle, in their Honda powered A&J Groundworks backed outfit, the Birchall brothers occupied second place 0.95 behind, John Holden/Andrew Winkle where third 3.7 back, followed by Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance.
Lap two saw the Birchall’s take control moving into the lead at Glen Helen, then by the end of lap two, pulling out a 6.2 second lead over Molyneux/Sayle, following a lap speed of 116.615 mph, not far off their new outright sidecar TT lap record.
The final and third lap, began with drama a plenty as Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle where a confirmed retirement at Ballig Bridge, this elevated John Holden/Andrew Winkle into second place, but almost 22 seconds behind the flying Birchall brothers.
Through Ballaugh Bridge, Ramsey Hairpin and Cronk Ny Mona, the Birchall’s in their IEG (International Energy Group) backed outfit, kept up a top class high quality pace, to move 28.8 clear at the front.
Over Glenclutchery Road, they crossed the line at the end of the third and final lap, to record their fourth TT Races victory.
Ben Birchall / Tom Birchall, are no doubt about it, at this moment in time, the prominent sidecar duo on the roads and the Mountain Course.
John Holden/Andrew Winkle finished second, to win the sidecar championship title for the first time, a momentous achievement for the Silicone Engineering Racing backed duo.
Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance, finalised the top three finishers.
Karl Bennett/Lee Cain, fourth place finishers, showcased again why many believe it won’t be long till the Manxmen finish on the podium, at the most famous road race in the world.
Matt Dix/Shaun Parker fifth, impressed hugely in their Dixie Racing outfit, same notion applied to the Ramdsen’s Steve and Matty, who completed the top six finishers.
Alan Founds/Aki Aalto third place finishers in the opening Sure sidecar race, finished a highly creditable seventh, Gary Bryan/Jamie Winn in the GBM Demolition backed outfit, sealed eighth place finish.
The top ten was rounded out by Tony Baker/Fiona Baker Milligan and Gordon Shand/Phil Hyde.
Roy Hanks joined by Kevin Perry, in competing for the 50th time at the Isle of Man TT, finished 16th, leading newcomers Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney, underlined their future potential as sidecar TT front runners, with a more than creditable 14th place finish.
Fellow newcomers Mick Alton/Chrissie Clancy, Simon Gilbert/Marc Maier and Canada’s Peter Essaff/Jeff Gillard, all enjoyed productive races in finishing 20th, 26th and 28th.
Photo by Louis Porter
Where in a golden age of sidecar racing on the Mountain Course, at the forefront of it, is Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall.
The Mansfield based brothers have been pretty much faultless in recent years, securing now to date in total four TT victories, a new outright sidecar TT lap record, close to setting the first 117 mph lap by a sidecar in the process.
John Holden/Andrew Winkle, Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle, Conrad Harrison, Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance are all battling to get ahead of the Birchall’s.
They are though at present, the yardstick at the TT Races.
TT 2016 – Sure Sidecar Race Two Results:
1 Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall
2 John Holden/Andrew Winkle
3 Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance
4 Karl Bennett/Lee Cain
5 Matt Dix/Shaun Parker
6 Steve Ramsden/Matty Ramsden
7 Alan Founds/Aki Aalto
8 Gary Bryan/Jamie Winn
9 Tony Baker/Fiona Baker Milligan
10 Gordon Shand/Phil Hyde
11 Colin Buckley/Robbie Shorter
12 Gary Knight/Daniel Evanson
13 Michael Grabmuller/Manfred Wechselberger
14 Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney
15 John Saunders/Frank Claeys
16 Roy Hanks/Kevin Perry
17 Estelle Leblond/Freddy Lelubez
18 Mike Cookson/Alun Thomas
19 Pete Alton/Keith Brotherton
20 Mick Alton/Chrissie Clancy
21 Francois Leblond/Bruno Picquoin
22 Kenny Howles/Dave Mahon
23 Lionel Mansuy/Melanie Farnier
24 Craig Melvin/Stuart Christian
25 Howard Baker/Mike Killingsworth
26 Simon Gilbert/Marc Maier
27 Nigel Smith/Chris McGahan
28 Peter Essaff/Jeff Gillard
29 Kevin Thornton/Dave Dean
30 Thierry Laforest/Francky Fouet
31 Claude Montagnier/Maxime Vasseur
32 Deborah Baron/Dicky Gale
33 James Noble/Shaun Chandler
Words by Stevie Rial