Ben and Tom Birchall have won the first Sidecar race at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
The brothers, who took their first TT win in 2013, were the third duo away and were leading by the end of the first lap. The partnership of John Holden and Dan Sayle had taken the early race lead before losing it to Dave Molyneux and his new passenger Benjamin Binns. The latter pair became an early retirement – pulling off at Brandish – on the first lap joining Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance, who retired at Barregow, on the sidelines.
Holden and Sayle were second behind the Birchalls at the end of lap one, with last year’s winners Conrad Harrison and Mike Aylott in third. After the race Harrison reported having a “bit of a moment” but he soon settled into a rhythm. The second lap for the Birchalls was a 116.060mph one – the second fastest Sidecar lap in TT history – and this only cemented their position at the top of the leaderboard.
They eventually finished over twenty seconds clear of Holden and Sayle, with Harrison and Aylott also featuring on the podium. Ian and Carl Bell finished in fourth place with Alan Founds and Tom Peters fifth. Mere thousandths of a second separated fifth and sixth position with Gary Bryan and Jamie Winn having to settle for the latter spot. Gary Knight and Jason Crowe, Matt Dix and Shaun Parker, Robert Handcock and Aki Aalto, and Wayne Lockey and Mark Sayers rounded out the top ten.
It was a triumphant return for the Birchall brothers to the island following their accident last year. Not only did they complete the second fastest Sidecar TT lap in history, they also broke the race time record.