Ben and Tom Birchall from Mansfield went to Assen hoping for a third win in a row in round five of the FIM World Sidecar championship and after working with John Baker to bring the Suzuki engine up to the highest specification possible they were fastest during free practice and qualifying which enabled them to start Sunday’s race from pole position.
As the race began the Mitchells of Mansfield supported brothers got the hole shot and were leading the field by some 1.5 seconds at the end of the first lap when the race was brought to an abrupt end by an accident further downfield in which German sidecar passenger Sandor Pohl (Sidecar Racing team Kiser) sadly lost his life.
Ben Birchall said: “Both Tom and I plus all at Birchall Racing would like to offer our condolences to the family, team and friends of Sandor who sadly succumbed to the injuries he received in the accident during the race at Assen on Sunday.”
He went on to speak of the high profile race meeting saying: “The race at Assen was to be one of the highlights of the Gamma Race Day which had attracted a crowd of some 80,000 people. The FIM officials decided the race was to be abandoned as a mark of respect to Sandor and the championship would resume at the next round in Germany in mid September.”
pic credit Wally Walters.