Ben and Tom Birchall won a shortened 3wheeling.media Sidecar TT race on Friday afternoon, the race being stopped due to an incident at Ago’s Leap when the majority of competitors were on their second lap.
The result was declared at the end of lap one with the Haith Honda duo taking their 12th TT win in total, 2.3 seconds ahead of Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley (FHO Racing). Manx pairing Ryan and Callum Crowe (Haven Homes) finished third, a further 2.6 seconds behind after a thrilling opening lap between the leading three crews.
As the outfits rounded the left-hand sweep of Glen Helen on the opening lap, it was the Birchalls, as expected, who led but the gap to second was perhaps a bit of a surprise as their advantage was only 0.7 seconds over Founds/Walmsley. The Crowes were only a further second back and it already looked like the same three crews as the opening race on Monday would dispute the podium positions.
Dave Molyneux/Daryl Gibson (DMR) were up to fourth, 8.5 seconds behind the Crowes, and it was Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes (DAO 1886) and Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (DAO/Express Tyre Service) who completed the top six on the early leaderboard. Conrad Harrison/Andy Winkle (Town Garage Horsforth) were out though having retired at Ballacraine.
Over Ballaugh Bridge and the Birchalls had stretched their lead to two seconds over Founds/Walmsley with the Crowes a further 1.3s in arrears. The trio were pulling rapidly away from the rest of the field though as although Molyneux/Gibson were still in fourth, they were now more 16 seconds off the final podium position.
As the lap progressed, the Birchalls were slowly but surely increasing their lead and at Ramsey Hairpin, the gap to Founds/Walmsley in second place had moved out to 3.5 seconds. The battle for second was hotting up with the Crowes now only 0.8 seconds behind but there was more disappointment for Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (Rich Energy Bonovo Action Racing) who retired on the first lap once more.
The crews headed towards St Ninian’s crossroads and Bray Hill for the second and final time, but a red flag came out shortly afterwards due to an incident at Ago’s Leap. The result was declared after the first lap.
Behind the leading three, Molyneux/Gibson took fourth ahead of Payne/Wilkes and Crawford Hardie with Leglise/Farnier, Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde, Gary Gibson/Tom Christie and Blackstock/Rosney completing the top ten.
The result saw the Birchalls again win the TT Sidecar Championship with a maximum 50 points, 14 clear of Founds/Walmsley and the Crowes who tied for second place on 36 points.
Payne’s fifth place meant he won the Peter Chapman Trophy, awarded to the best newcomer driver, with Tom Christie picking up the Dave Wells Trophy for the best newcomer passenger.