A who’s who of Sidecar roads scene members, will embark upon Mountain Course competition next week, including the all-conquering TT team of recent years the Birchall brothers, Ben and Tom.
Having won eleven of the last twelve Sidecar TT races, they’ve already established themselves as unquestionably true three wheeling TT legends.
Will they reign supreme again this year? There’s no doubt that they have the undoubted talent plus the machinery in the form of their own teams, Haith, Hager, Steadplan Sales supported Honda powered outfit, to further bulk up their already majestic TT CV.
Anticipated leading challengers to the Mansfield pairing include FHO Racing’s Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley.
The second quickest driver/passenger partnership in TT history, they weren’t far off P1 last year and with added determination, increased confidence, strong pre-event preparation, expectations are high.
You can apply a similar notion to the Crowe brothers Ryan & Callum (Haven Homes).
Southern 100 lap record holders, the claimed in 2022 emotional podium finishes, emulating their dad, Nick Crowe.
Widely tipped to clinch within the near future TT wins, could this arise next month?
Added crews with designs on race winning, podium finishing challenges include eight times World Champion Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes (Bonovo Action-Carl Cox Motorsport), welcome Mountain Course racing returnee Alan Founds/Jake Lowther and Manx road racing titans, 890cc KTM powered Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle.
Former winners Conrad Harrison/Andy Winkle (Town Garage), John Holden (Barnes Racing-Carl Cox Motorsport) joined by Frenchman Maxime Vasseur additionally have the racing acumen, pure road racing craft to score top results.
The 100th Anniversary Sidecar TT entry also features to name but a few, Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde (SWC Groundworks/TTS Support), prospective history maker Michael Russell/Vicky Cooke (RAM Safety Solutions), Steve Ramsden/Matty Ramsden, Darren Hope/Lenny Bumfrey.
Dan Knight/Ben Hughes (Green Ant Racing), Craig Melvin/Stuart Christian (IOM Trike Tours), Wayne Lockey/Matty Rostron.
First time driver, previous top five finishing passenger Daryl Gibson/Tom Christie, Craig Currie/Justin Sharp, Alun Thomas/Kenny Cole (Psycho Motorcycle Customs).
Maria Costello MBE/Colin Smyth (FHO Racing), newcomers Chris Schofield/Dave Ryder (SSR) and Derek Lynch/Anthony McDonnell (Eclipse Racing).
Overall, a pretty high-quality field for the 3Wheeling.Media Sidecar races of TT 2023.
It’s just a shame to report again that entry numbers have dipped below thirty-five and are down on the number of entries received in 2022.
Sidecar racing around the unparalleled Mountain Course, provides something different from the norm, mixing specialist engineering, proper old school racing with moments of absolute motorsport brilliance.
Long may it continue, 120 mph laps soon? Not long till we find out.
Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou