Molyneux Claims 17th TT Win As Holden & Winkle Hit Trouble

by James Charman

Dave Molyneux came out on top in the second Sidecar race of the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races to take his tally up to 17 TT victories.

The Manxman, the third most successful man to ever contest the Isle of Man TT, and passenger Patrick Farrance took the win following more reliability issues for the pairing of John Holden and Andy Winkle.

The race began two hours later than planned due to less than ideal conditions, with warnings of damp patches at Ballaspur, the 13th Milestone, Ramsey Hairpin to the Waterworks and the Nook through to Governor’s Bridge.

The early advantage went to Holden/Winkle, who held a two second advantage over Race 1 winners Conrad Harrison and Mike Aylott, with Molyneux/Farrance a further 4.7 seconds behind. Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze‘s chances of victory seemed to already be over as they clocked in ten seconds off the leading pairing.

As they returned to the Grandstand for the first time, the leaders clocked a 113.253mph lap, holding a 13 second lead over Molyneux/Farrance, who had dispatched Harrison/Aylott for third, while Reeves/Cluze held off Ian and Carl Bell to complete the top five.

The second lap seemed to be going the way of Holden/Winkle, with the pair looking almost certain to take their second TT victory, holding a 17.4 second lead over Molyneux/Farrance, who in turn was stretching his advantage over Harrison/Aylott.

By the time the leaders were back at the Grandstand, however, the lead had dropped to 11.6 seconds, with just 37.73 miles of the race left to run. The top four places still remained in the same order, although Karl Bennett and Lee Cain had moved up to fifth as the Bells pulled in to the pits and retired their outfit.

At the first checkpoint on the final lap, Glen Helen, it was clear that Holden/Winkle had hit issues, which were believed to be a recurrence of Saturday’s problems, with the outfit not sounding healthy and their lead down to 2.6 seconds. By the time they’d reached Ballaugh, Molyneux/Farrance had taken the lead for the first time in the race, holding a 17 second advantage over the struggling Holden/Winkle.

The misfire caused the former leaders to continue to slip down the leaderboard, and had slipped down to third by the time they reached the Ramsey Hairpin for the third and final time. Meanwhile, Reeves/Cluze were under pressure from Bennett/Cain, who had closed the gap for fourth to just 2.2 seconds.

A clear run down the Mountain for Molyneux/Farrance saw the duo come through to take Moly’s 17th TT victory and Farrance’s third, beating Harrison/Aylott by a comfortable 43.9 seconds. Holden/Winkle held on to third, but only just, with Reeves/Cluze finishing within six seconds of the podium, while Bennett/Cain ended nine seconds behind in fifth.

As a result of winning the opening encounter, Harrison/Aylott’s second placed result was good enough to see them secure the overall RAC TT Championship.

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