Birchalls secure ninth sidecar TT win
The three lap Locate.im Sidecar TT race 1 saw two big retirements before the field had passed Glen Helen on lap 1.
Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes only made it as far as the bottom of Bray Hill David Molyneux and Harry Payne were reported as retired at Braddan Church.
In contrast to qualifying the Birchall brothers seemed to be straight on the pace and had a 4.138 second lead over John Holden and Lee Cain by Glen Helen which they extended to 5.646 seconds at Ballaugh.
The two Team Founds outfits made up the next two places with Peter Founds and passenger Jevan Walmsley leading brother Alan Founds and Jake Lowther.
Another set of brothers were setting the leaderboard on fire: Ryan and Callum Crowe were up to sixth place at Ballaugh Bridge, an incredible opener to their first ever TT race.
By Ramsey Ben and Tom Birchall had pulled out their lead over Holden & Cain to 8.739 seconds and after the climb up the mountain that gap was 11.282 seconds.
Crowe & Crowe continued making impressive progress, catching Lewis Blackstock and Patrick Rosney on time by the Bungalow, taking them into fifth place behind Founds and Lowther.
117.709mph was the opening lap from the Birchall brothers, a stunning opener given the small amount of practice time.
The Crowes’ 112.56mph first lap saw them comfortably exceed Tim Reeves’s longstanding newcomers lap record.
The Birchalls blinding pace continued through sector after sector on the second lap, 7.5 seconds inside their own lap record time at Ramsey, but the blustery conditions on the Mountain slowed them to only 119.13mph.
Holden and Cain tried to stay in touch but although they extended their advantage over Founds/Lowther to over 22 seconds, they were half-a-minute adrift of the Birchall brothers at the Bungalow.
The positions remained the same throughout the third lap allowing Ben and Tom to ease the pace and finish with a lap of 118.122mph, finishing in a new race record time.
John Holden and Lee Cain maintained their second place position, finishing 48.116 seconds down on the Birchalls. Founds and Lowther held off Founds and Walmsley by 5.572 seconds to finish third.
At the winners' enclosure Ben Birchall confirmed that although conditions played a part in holding them from doing the first 120mph+ it came down more to receiving a pit board telling him he was 30+ seconds ahead and bearing in mind advice from John McGuinness not to push too hard.
The Crowe brothers continued their dream debut, putting in a final lap of 113.34mph, finishing every lap inside the old newcomers lap record.