TT 2017: Preview Part 5 – Sure Sidecar Races

TT 2017: Preview Part 5 – Sure Sidecar Races

It’s fair to say that since winning their first TT race in 2013, the Birchall brothers Ben and Tom, have gone onto become the team to beat since around the Mountain Course.

Already three times TT winners, plus the outright lap record holders, what will TT 2017 bring, for the Mansfield based duo.

Obviously the target for them, will be back to back victories, but can they hold off a determined Dave Molyneux joined by Dan Sayle, in his new Yamaha powered, retro yellow and black liveried outfit.

After a positive then challenging start to the season, via success at Jurby, then mechanical problems at Scarborough, the Manx legends are quietly confident of adding to their already impressive haul of TT trophies, next month.

Same applies to twice TT winner John Holden, joined this year in the Silicone Engineering Racing steed, by Manxman Lee Cain.

Consistently a front runner, the veteran driver is hugely looking forward to his annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Man, which this year marks 29 years since he first competed at the TT Races.

Additional anticipated leading challengers include TT winning duo Conrad Harrison/Andy Winkle in the Printing Roller Services backed outfit, plus Tim Reeves competing again for Klaus Klaffenbock’s, Klaffi Racing team, joined by Mountain Course newcomer Mark Wilkes.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

The Founds brothers Peter and Alan, starred last year, with a memorable double podium finish, in the opening Sidecar encounter.

Partnered respectively by Jevan Walmsley and Jake Lowther, they both have the talent and experience now of finishing on the podium, to contend for more rostrum finishes.

Photo by Jim Gibson

Don’t discount either father and son duo Steve Ramsden/Matty Ramsden, already race winners in 2017 on the roads, via series of wins at the Spring Cup National Road Races, at Oliver’s Mount.

Added teams to keep an eye on include the all French female team of Estelle Leblond/Melanie Farnier, Karl Bennett and new passenger Maxime Vasseur, Gary Knight/Daniel Evanson and Germany’s Mike Roscher/Ben Hughes.

Plus Wayne Lockey/Mark Sayers, Tony Baker/Fiona Baker Milligan, Michael Grabmuller/Manfred Wechselberger, Rob Handcock/Ken Edwards, Greg Lambert/Julie Canipa, Allan Schofield/Steve Thomas, former TT winner Darren Hope/Shaun Parker and New Zealand’s Chris Lawrance/Richard Lawrance.

Newcomers entered include Beverley based father and son team, Gary Gibson/Daryl Gibson, plus Norway’s Geir Johnsen.

Although the complete entry for the Sure Sidecar races, standing at just 49 is low, the quality within it, is of sheer world class.

Photo by Rod Neill

Expect first class competition in abundance, in what are set to be two thrilling three lap Sidecar encounters, at TT 2017.

Words by Stevie Rial

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