Ben and Tom Birchall took their second win of the week and tenth in total when they won Thursday afternoon’s Locate.im Sidecar race at the 2019 Isle of Man TT Races.
The Nottinghamshire brothers overcame the early challenge of John Holden/Lee Cain to win by more than twenty seconds with Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley sealing the final podium position in third.
“There was a bit more pressure on with it only being a two-lap race but conditions were good all round the course and to now have ten wins and equal the total of Rob Fisher is an absolute pleasure,” driver Ben said afterwards. “It’s hard to get here and hard to get through the two weeks but we came for the wins and that’s what we got.”
The Birchalls led Holden/Cain by a second at Glen Helen on the first of the two laps with Alan Founds/Jake Lowther slotting into third and although Dave Molyneux/Harry Payne and Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes both got further than what they had done in the opening race, they found themselves back in sixth and seventh respectively.
Founds/Lowther were reported to have stopped at Sarah’s Cottage whilst Monday’s sensational newcomers Ryan and Callum Crowe failed to make the start but at the head of the field, it was extremely tight as Holden/Cain reduced the deficit by a tenth of a second as they took the jump at Ballaugh Bridge.
However, an opening lap of 118.38mph saw the Birchalls pull away further with their lead over Holden/Cain now up to 10.602s whilst Founds/Walmsley moved up to third albeit now thirty seconds behind the leaders.
The lead had stretched to 13 seconds at Glen Helen second time around and Holden/Cain were also extending their advantage over Founds/Walmsley, the gap now up to 24.636s. Blackstock/Rosney continued to hold on to fourth but they, along with Molyneux/Payne ran into problems and dropped down the order.
A final lap of 118.609mph saw the Birchalls take the win by a commanding 20.511s with Holden/Cain having to settle for second once more, the Blackburn driver’s 12th podium in a row.
Founds/Walmsley finished in third with Reeves/Wilkes coming through to take fourth ahead of Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde with Estelle Leblond/Franck Claeys finishing in a fine sixth place after another 110mph+ lap for the French female driver.
Blackstock/Rosney managed to take seventh as Molyneux/Payne limped home in tenth.