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Road racing Isle of Man TT

Birchalls: Historic Isle of Man TT Sidecar record “hanging over us since 2019”

Ben Birchall expressed his relief at setting the first ever Isle of Man TT Sidecar 120mph lap on Saturday as the record has “been hanging over us since 2019”.

Ben and Tom Birchall, Sidecar

Sidecar driver Ben and his passenger brother Tom Birchall dominated Saturday’s three-wheel race on the Isle of Man for their 13th TT victory.

They did so having also made history with the first-ever 120mph Sidecar lap of the 37.75-mile TT course, posting a 120.357mph effort on lap two or three.

The Birchalls held the Sidecar lap record prior to Saturday, having set a 119.250mph lap in 2018. Since then, the prospect of 120mph has been a constant question for the Birchalls.

Speaking to TT’s live television feed after their historic race, Ben Birchall said: “Thank goodness for that, it’s been hanging over us since 2019!

“I can’t believe it. Milky [Richard Quayle] had the sign [showing the lap] and I knew they’d show it if we done it.

“Tom was ace, the bike was ace, team was ace, conditions were amazing. It’s so cool to do it on the 100 years celebration of Sidecars at TT.

“So, everything aligned, I just can’t thank everybody enough. Time’s are tough for everyone financially, and for us to be able to do this is so special, it means such a lot to us both. Great crowds out there.”

Tom Birchall added that “you’ll never replace that” achievement and says he “felt something was different” when they began that record-breaking second lap.

Birchalls, Sidecar

Birchalls, Sidecar

Photo by: ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press

“I’m just living for the moment now,” Tom Birchall added.

“You’ll never replace that. That was just something else, [after] a long delay through tragic events (a serious road traffic collision delayed racing on Saturday).

“We just tried to keep cool, keep calm. We’ve got the experience, been here before with delays and stuff.

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“When the time is right, it can come and you’ve just got to be patient at the TT. I seen boards that said ‘plus three’ about halfway through the lap and thought ‘fair play Pete [Founds] and Jevan [Walmsley], they’re having a go’.

“Then it just started to come them, coming off the Mountain at the end of the first lap and carrying that speed through, I just felt it, felt that something’s different here.

“The support we’re getting now around the course, it’s distracting. Folks were waving and cheering us on, they must have heard it announced.

“What a cool way to start the week and to do it with my brother, it’s been a long time coming.”

The Birchall brothers will be aiming for Sidecar TT win number 14 on Wednesday when the second and final three-wheel race of the 2023 takes place.

Picture credit @ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press

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