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Birchalls bring glory back to the TT sidecars

Birchalls_Sidecar_120

Saturday morning will see a special parade to celebrate a centenary of sidecars at the TT, with the record breaking performances of the Birchall brothers, Ben and Tom, bringing sidecar racing to a whole new audience.

The duo have won both Sidecar TTs at the 2023 Isle of Man TT Races, taking their total tally to 14 wins overall, including the last 11 sidecar TTs. The results make Tom the most successful TT sidecar passenger of all time, while Ben sits second to the legendary Dave Molyneux, who has 17 victories, in terms of wins as a driver.

And while Michael Dunlop has been grabbing the headlines in the solo race, the Birchalls have been rewriting the record books on three wheels. As well as winning both three-lap races, they also became the first crew to lap the mighty 37.73-mile pure road course at an average speed of over 120mph, breaking their own record with a 120.357mph average on lap two of Saturday’s opening 3wheeling.media Sidecar TT, and extending that to a 120.645mph lap in Wednesday’s second race.

 

Birchalls_Sidecar_TT

 

And while the Nottinghamshire pairing’s dominance suggests a lack of competition on paper, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. A decade ago the duo had to wrest the mantle from Molyneux, with names like Tim Reeves, John Holden and Conrad Harrison among the drivers on the startline when they took their first win in 2013. Even today, there’s no complacency from the brothers, whose dedication, professionalism and level of engineering helps to keep them at the front. This year’s TT also saw the Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley crew clock a 120mph in race two, while Manx brothers Ryan and Callum Crowe have youth on their side and still managed a third place in race two, in what has been an otherwise troubled TT 2023.

Ben, 46, said: “I won’t say its ever easy. The last few years we’ve had it our own way but this year we had a real race for it. Fair dos to Pete and Jevon, and to the Crowe boys because they’ve had a tough week but got back out there. We’ve had a fantastic TT.”

Younger brother Tom, 36, added: “I can tell you from experience that doing a 120mph lap is no mean feat, you have to be so committed and so accurate to do it. We set a benchmark but it’s not easy to replicate it, so hats off to Pete and Jevon for that. I really mean that. (Having strong competition) spurs you on. You have to dig deep, and Ben rode a fantastic race. I had to be smooth and to do a 120.6mph lap… I am elated to do that. Thanks to all the fans who were out there cheering it on. It’s great to see and also spurs you on.”

 

Birchalls_Podium

 

Ben and Tom will join a host of sidecar legends for a celebration of a decade of three-wheeled action at the TT on Saturday morning. They’ll be part of a parade lap which includes Molyneux on the 750cc Bregazzi Yamaha upon which he won his first TT in 1989, with eight-time TT winning passenger Dan Sayle in his chair. Rob Fisher, the third most successful TT driver with 10 wins will also be part of the celebrations, with the event being filmed for an upcoming documentary for the TT+ content platform, which is scheduled to land later in the year. 

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