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Race report
Road racing Isle of Man TT

Isle of Man TT 2023: Birchalls make history to win first Sidecar race with new lap record

Ben and Tom Birchall have made Isle of Man TT history after they set the first ever 120mph lap in the Sidecar class to claim a 13th career win.

Birchalls, Sidecar

This year marks the centenary of the Sidecar class at the TT, with the first of two races in 2023 taking place on Saturday evening.

A serious road traffic accident this morning delayed the three-lap Sidecar contest to 5pm, but it proved worth the wait as the Birchall brothers made history.

How the Birchalls reacted to their historic lap record:

Dominating the race, the Birchalls stormed to victory, having set the first ever 120mph lap for the class at the TT with a 120.357mph effort to obliterate their existing record.

Starting number one on the road, the Sidecar favourites set their stall out early with a 3.9-second lead through the first sector time at Glen Helen.

Giving chase was the FHO Motorsport outfit of driver Peter Founds and passenger Jevan Walmsley, who kept the Birchalls honest over the first lap.

They’d cut their deficit down to 3.3s as they began the second lap, with the Birchalls threatening a new lap record with an opening effort of 118.577mph.

Through Glen Helen on lap two, the Birchalls had guided their Honda-powered Stedplan/Hager outfit to a 6.7s lead, before extending this to 10.1s at Ballaugh.

Alan Founds, Jevan Walmsley, Sidecar

Alan Founds, Jevan Walmsley, Sidecar

Photo by: ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press

They continued to open this out over the rest of the lap to 16s, lighting up each sector split on their way.

Crossing the start/finish line at the Grandstand to begin their final lap, the Birchalls posted their record-breaking lap of 120.357mph.

Easing off on their final lap, the Birchalls still posted a 119.175mph lap to cruise to their 13th TT victory.

The Founds/Walmsley outfit took the chequered flag 24.066s adrift in second, while the Barnes Racing outfit of John Holden and Maxime Vasseur completed the podium.

Third place looked set to go to the Crowes brothers, with driver Ryan and his injured passenger brother Callum comfortably in that position across the opening two laps.

However, their Haven Homes outfit broke down towards the end of the second lap. They joined the outfits piloted by Dave Molyneux, Conrad Harrison – father of Dean Harrison – and Tim Reeves on the sidelines after they all retired early on lap one.

The top five was completed by Steve Ramsden/Matthew Ramsden and Gary Bryan/Philip Hyde.

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