Isle of Man TT: Birchall Brothers break record to secure fifth consecutive Sidecar Victory

by Joshua Close
Birchalls Secure Fifth Consecutive TT Win

Ben and Tom Birchall made history on their way to a fifth consecutive Isle of Man TT victory by posting the first sub-19 minute sidecar lap around the Mountain Course.

The duo managed to get the better of early leaders John Holden and Lee Cain at the end of the opening lap, before posting a 119.250mph lap the second time round. The Nottinghamshire brothers would take victory by 22.92 seconds. Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes completed the podium.

At the start of the race Holden and Cain gained the advantage and held a lead of 1.4 seconds over the Birchalls at Glen Helen, with Reeves and Wilkes only 0.78 seconds further back.

By Ramsey, Holden and Cain had eked out an extra two tenths of a second over the Birchalls, but Reeves and Wilkes were beginning to drop back and they were now 5.1 seconds behind the leading two.

The Birchalls fought back in the run up to and down the Mountain and an average speed of 117.185mph meant they went into lap two with a lead of 1.89 seconds.

The brothers continued to press and they extended their lead over Holden and Cain at Glen Helen to 4.6 seconds. Reeves and Wilkes had fallen another half a second behind in third.

Ben and Tom would set a new lap record at the end of lap two, averaging 119.250mph and becoming the first sidecar crew to record a sub-19 minute lap around the course. The duo now had a lead of over 15 seconds.

Reeves and Wilkes set another personal best lap of 117.729mph but they were now seven second behind Holden and Cain in their fight for second.

An impressive final lap at 118.427mph was enough for the Birchalls to take their fifth TT victory in a row – there eighth success overall. They also broke their own race record from Saturday’s race in the process with a time of 118.281/ 57.25:040.

Alan Founds and Jake Lowther ended the race in fourth spot, ahead of Patrick Blackstock and Lewis Rosney (fifth) and Conrad Harrison and Andy Winkle in sixth.

Estelle Leblond and Melanie Farnier also created history by becoming the first female crew to go above 110mph at the TT.

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