Holden and Winkle top opening Sidecar session

by Joshua Close

The Formula Two Sidecar class hit the famous Mountain Course for their first qualifying session on Monday evening with John Holden and Andrew Winkle topping the timing sheets.

The pair hit the ground running after being reunited following Winkle’s injury last year. The session got underway shortly after the scheduled start-time of 7.55pm, with the weather conditions perfect for the riders.

The Lancashire pair were quick out of the blocks and posted an opening lap at 112.158mph – which turned out to be the fastest of the night. The duo, who have one Isle of Man TT victory to their name, followed that speed up with a 111.97mph on their next lap – the second fastest of the session.

Behind them, the father and son duo of Ian and Carl Bell were going strongly with a pair of 111mph laps. Ian Bell is making his return to the TT this year and it is clear that he is relishing the chance to race around the famous circuit once again.

The duo recorded near 113mph laps last year and Ian Bell has one TT victory to his name so far.

These two outfits were the only ones to break the 110mph barrier. 2015 double-race winners Ben and Tom Birchall were next up in third place with a lap of 108.981mph.

Alan Founds and Aki Aalto also managed to put in a lap over 108mph, with Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance recovering from early problems to post a 107.023mph lap.

17-times winner Dave Molyneux, with Dan Syale back in the chair, were forced to retire from the session at Ramsey Hairpin.

Dry weather is scheduled for the remainder of the week and the Manx duo will now be very keen to get some time out on track in the next session.

Keep checking The Checkered Flag for all the latest Isle of Man TT news and reports.

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