Isle of Man TT: Birchalls smash records to claim Sidecars double

Ben and Tom Birchall romped to both Sidecar victories in the 2018 Isle of Man TT, smashing the lap record in both races to claim their eighth island wins

Isle of Man TT: Birchalls smash records to claim Sidecars double

The Sidecars had their first three-lap race of the week last Saturday, which had been delayed until 7pm following a crash for Tony Baker and passenger Fiona Baker-Holden.

The former suffered a fracture leg, while Baker-Holder escaped with some soft tissue injuries. Both were absent from the second race of the week on Friday.

When Saturday's event finally got underway, it was the Birchalls - who had set the pace in practice - who settled into an early lead of 2.1 seconds on the run through Glen Helen on the opening lap on their EG Racing Honda, with second-placed John Holden and Lee Cain nearly seven seconds adrift by the time both outfits had reached Ramsey on the Barnes Racing Honda outfit.

The Birchalls fired in a new class lap record of 117.502mph, extending their lead over the Holden/Cain outfit to 20s across the second tour.

Another record of 118.694mph assured their seventh TT victory, which they cruised to over the final tour by a margin of 47.1s over Holden and Cain.

Tim Reeves and Andy Winkle completed the podium, with TT legend Dave Molyneux and passenger Dan Sayle retiring on the opening lap after encountering a technical issue with their radical new DMR/A&J Racing Yamaha machine.

The second Sidecar outing kicked off the final day of racing at the 2018 event, with the Birchalls once again in imperious form.

Holden and Cain were able to take the lead on the run through Glen Helen on the opening lap, but were quickly usurped further round the lap, with the Birchalls opening up a lead of 1.8s across the start/finish line at the Grandstand.

It was on lap two where the Birchalls twisted the knife, producing the first sub-19m Sidecar lap of the TT course with a 18m59.018s at 119.250mph.

This gave them a lead of 15s at the start of the final lap over Holden and Cain, which they increased across the final tour to more than 20s to secure their eighth TT victory - completing a 2018 Sidecar double.

Holden and Cain held on to finish second once again, while Reeves and Wilkes made it back-to-back third-place finishes.

Alan Fowndes and Jack Lowther were a distant fourth, while Lewis Blackstock and passenger Patrick Rosney completed the top five.

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Series TT
Author Lewis Duncan
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