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Record Breaking Win For Birchalls in Sidecar TT Race 1

Sat, 03 Jun 2023

Ben and Tom Birchall claimed their 13th victory at the Isle of Man TT Races in record breaking style during the 3wheeling.medis Sidecar TT Race 1 as they became the first ever crew to lap the 37.73-mile Mountain Course at more than 120mph. 

There was no stopping the duo as they posted a lap of 120.357mph on their second lap which broke the challenge of Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley with an eventual winning margin of 24.066 seconds giving them their tenth win in a row. John Holden/Maxime Vasseur completed the podium in third.
Through Glen Helen on lap one, the Birchalls led Founds/Walmsley by 3.9 seconds with the Crowe brothers a further 4.1 seconds adrift as Holden/Vasseur, Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde and Daryl Gibson/Tom Christie occupied fourth to sixth but three of the fancied runners were already out, Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle at the Highlander, Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes at Greeba Bridge and Conrad Harrison/Andrew Winkle at Crosby.
The Birchalls eked out another two seconds on the run to Ballaugh but by Ramsey Hairpin, Founds/Walmsley had responded and cut their deficit to 3.5 seconds. The Crowes continued to run in a comfortable third, 12.9 seconds behind Founds/Walmsley, and although Holden/Vasseur were still in fourth, Gibson/Christie had overtaken Bryan/Hyde for fifth.
The lead was back up to 4.8 seconds at the Bungalow and although the Birchalls had an opening lap of 118.577mph, Founds/Walmsley weren’t letting them get away with their lap of 118.230mph seeing a gap of 3.3 seconds as they started their second lap.
It looked almost certain to be a two-horse race with the Crowes more than 20s behind in third and whilst Holden/Vasseur continued in fourth, the battle for fifth was very much on with Gibson/Christie, Steve and Matty Ramsden and Bryan/Hyde covered by just three seconds. Newcomer Gibson lapped at a very impressive 111.093mph.
Second time around and the Birchalls had doubled their advantage by the time they reached Glen Helen and with three more seconds added on the high-speed section to Ballaugh, the lead was looking a lot more healthy at 10.1 seconds.
That trend continued for the remainder of the lap and little wonder having smashed their own lap record and setting the first 120mph lap in the process at 120.357mph. Despite a new personal best of 119.023mph, Founds/Walmsley found themselves 16 seconds adrift and Holden/Vasseur were now in third after the Crowes retired at Keppel Gate. They were 10 seconds clear of new fourth placed crew the Ramsdens, on course for their best TT result, with Gibson/Christie and Bryan/Hyde completing the top six.
The third and final lap saw the Birchalls control their lead and the history makers duly came home for the victory with Founds/Walmsley in another strong second place but the battle for the final podium went all the way to the end. But despite a new best lap of 112.660mph, the Ramsdens fell short by 3.5s as Holden recorded his 22nd podium with passenger Vasseur achieving it for the first time.
Bryan/Hyde took fifth ahead of Gibson/Christie – who lapped at 111.772mph on their final lap – with Wayne Lockey/Matthew Rostron, Greg Lambert/Andrew Haynes. John and James Saunders and Alan Founds/Colin Smyth completing the top ten.


  • Sidecar Race 1 Highlights

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