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Race report
Road racing Isle of Man TT

Isle of Man TT 2023: Birchalls complete Sidecar sweep with new lap record

Ben and Tom Birchall made more Isle of Man TT history in 2023 after posting a new lap record of 120.645mph on their way to a second Sidecar victory.

Ben & Tom Birchall, Haith Racing

Photo by: ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press

The undisputed kings of the Sidecar class at the TT, the Birchalls tallied up their 14th victory on Saturday and posted the first ever 120mph lap for the class with a 120.357mph effort.

Coming into Wednesday’s second and final Sidecar contest of the 2023 TT as favourites, the Birchalls didn’t disappoint.

Setting off at the number one spot, the Birchalls stole a 2.8-second lead over the Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley outfit.

The Birchalls continued to swell their lead across the opening lap, eking it out to 3.2s through Ballaugh Bridge and extending that to 4.5s as they started the second lap.

By the time they’d reached Ballaugh on the second tour, the Birchalls were 10.3s clear of Founds/Walmsley and were three seconds inside their own lap record from Saturday.

Flying through the Grandstand start/finish area to start their final lap, the Birchalls posted a new record of 120.645mph.

The Birchalls continued to extend their advantage of Founds/Walmsley, pulling 14.6s at the Bungalow section and eventually getting to the finish line 9.1s clear having backed off through the remainder of the last lap.

Peter Founds, Jevan Walmsley, FHO Motorsport

Peter Founds, Jevan Walmsley, FHO Motorsport

Photo by: ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press

Founds and Walmsley got to the finish with their best-ever lap of 120.079mph to complete a brace of TT podiums in 2023.

Completing the podium was the outfit piloted by Ryan Crowe along with his passenger brother Callum Crowe, albeit 47.632s further back after a bruising fortnight for the latter.

Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes were fourth on their Yamaha-powered machine, with the Steve and Mathew Ramsden outfit completing the top five.

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Veteran TT Sidecar racer John Holden, aged 66, took part in his final race on Wednesday partnered by Maxime Vasseur.

The 20-time TT podium finisher was forced to stop on the course briefly on lap two before setting off again and getting to the finish inside the top 10.

TT Sidecar legend Dave Molyneux and his passenger Dan Sayle’s difficult week continued with a retirement on lap two.

Picture credit @ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press

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