2023 Isle of Man TT Results
Sidecar TT Race One – Three Laps
With Ben McCook
The Birchall brothers blew the opposition away to record their 13th TT win in today’s Three- wheeling.media sidecar TT race 1. On the 100th anniversary of sidecar racing at the TT, Ben and Tom set the first ever three-wheeled 120mph lap around the course on their way to victory; a significant milestone in the history of the TT.
Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley took up the task of chasing the race winners down when the expected challenge of the Crowe brothers failed to materialise, but Founds and Walmsley never looked like serious opposition for the win and the Birchalls did the business with aplomb to kick things off for the chairs at TT 2023.
The Birchalls were never headed, but the two leading outfits managed 3 fastest sector times each on that opening circuit… and there was a brief moment when Founds pulled a few seconds back on the first run to Ramsey. But unfortunately for them, that was somewhat of an anomaly.
From the start of lap 2, the no.1 Steadplan/Hager Lcr Honda powered away from the rest. It became immediately clear that the holy grail 120mph lap was on after the first sector checks. From then on that became the focus, with the 100th anniversary backstory evoking memories of John McGuinness gunning for 130 during the 2007 centenary event.
The crowd held their breath at each time check, but they needn’t have worried; at every split the lap record was very much on. In the end the multiple world champions obliterated their own lap record, crossing the line to record a 120.357mph lap, before speeding down Bray Hill to start their 3rd and final lap. Slacking off a little to mitigate against machine failure, that final circuit almost amounted to a lap of celebration and they cruised home comfortably ahead of Founds and Walmsley.
The Crowes demise allowed past winner, John Holden and Maxime Vasseur into the final podium position. There will be few who would begrudge Holden that podium after he dropped out of TT 2022 when his passenger, Jason Pitt withdrew from the meeting after deciding he wasn’t up to the task. ‘I’m not ending it like this’ Holden had said 12 months ago and today’s podium will be a sweet moment for the popular driver, who is now in his 60s.
But today was all about the record breaking Birchalls. Their 13th win comes on the 10th anniversary of their first triumph and it’s hard to imagine that they will be beaten in race 2, such was their dominance today. They are simply in a different class.
To be fair, past winners, Dave Molyneux, Tim Reeves and Conrad Harrison (Dean’s father) all dropped out on lap one today, so maybe one of those can rise to the occasion next time out. And the Crowes were uncharacteristically off the boil- you have to wonder if they were in tip-top shape after striking the wall at Laurel Bank in practice. Maybe they will have more to give after a few extra day’s rest. Only time will tell.
There was a serious crash at the Brandywell on the final lap involving the no. 28 outfit of Dave Quirk and Karl Schofield. Each was airlifted to Nobles but were reported as being conscious.
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