Isle of Man TT sidecar stars Tom and Ben Birchall have at last been presented with the PokerStars Spirit of the TT award – more than a month after they won the accolade!
The Birchalls had to leave the Island straight after the second Sure Sidecar race in early June to contest the third round of the Sidecar World Championship.
That meant they were unable to receive the prestigious trophy at the TT.
However, the Cofain by Klaffi pair were finally handed the award last week, while racing at the Southern 100 in the south of the Isle of Man.
The brothers were selected for the award in recognition of their remarkable recovery from a practice crash, which wrecked their outfit and put both in hospital. Despite the set back, the Birchalls recorded top three finishes in both races, the first time they had stood on the podium at the TT.
Their Isle of Man form continued at the Southern 100, where they won the Sidecar Championship race on their Billown course debut.
PokerStars HR director Becs Cubbon, who presented the trophy, said:
“I am delighted for the Birchall brothers who have truly displayed the spirit required to be TT racers.”
“As a local company we understand how important the event is to the Isle of Man and we are delighted to be involved with it.”
Team boss Klaus Klaffenbock, a three-time TT winner and former World Champion, commented:
“The team has done better than anyone could have possibly expected even before the challenges that they faced. I certainly wasn’t expecting even a single podium so to achieve two is a remarkable achievement.”
Ben Birchall added:
“It is such a great honour to receive this award as it is not given out lightly which emphasises just what a fantastic event the TT is.”
“It is nice to be acknowledged in this way for our efforts.”