Mansfield brothers Ben and Tom Birchall rode to a winning double at Bishopscourt in Northern Ireland on Saturday and shattered their own existing lap record in the process.
Ben and Tom were contesting the two sidecar races at the Sunflower Trophy meeting around the 1.824-mile circuit and proved their dominance from the off by claiming pole position for the set of two races.
“We had a good battle for pole with Reeves/Cluze with positions changing all the time but we found a little bit extra and put in a quick lap in the dying seconds of the session to take the position by 0.3 seconds,” said Ben.
As race one got underway the Birchalls didn’t get the start they were hoping for but soon made up ground to press Reeves/Cluze who had taken the lead. They pushed hard for the lead and waited until the final lap before making their move. They went on to cruise across the finish line to take the first win of the day with a 6.635s advantage over their opponents.
“We are delighted with that result,” said Ben. “But our aim here today is to win the second race so we will be going all out for that later today.”
True to his word, Ben shot off the start line at a fast rate of knots and remained in control at the front from the lights to the chequered flag crossing the finish line with a comfortable 2.297s advantage over Reeves/Cluze. This time the Nottinghamshire pair shattered their own existing lap record of 1m 10.921s which has stood since 2007 by posting an amazing 1m 10.369s in the second race on Saturday.
“That was fun,” said Ben. “We would like to extend our thanks to our sponsor, Andy of Mitchells of Mansfield for his help as he very kindly introduced us to one of his business associates, Montgomery Transport of Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland and they agreed to be our title sponsors for the weekend.
Mitchells stepped aside to enable us to run with the Montgomery livery here at Bishopscourt and we would also like to thank Paul Jackson at Montgomery for his support.
“This is the second time we have won here at the Sunflower Trophy meeting and it has been a confidence boost ahead of the remaining two rounds of the Eastern Airways Battle of Britain championship, the first of which is at Donington Park next weekend (Oct 24).”
There are two rounds – six races left to race in the Battle of Britain championship and the Birchall brothers remain in third place overall. They are now only four points away from the runner up spot and 91 points behind Reeves who leads the series but with six races and 150 points still up for grabs it is still mathematically possible for the Mansfield pair to take the title.
The penultimate round is at Donington Park on October 24 when Ben and Tom will be chasing a hat trick of wins to edge nearer to their rivals ahead of the final showdown at Mallory Park on October 31.
• Ben and Tom were presented with the Marty Murphy Trophy and were honoured to be permitted to bring it back home to Mansfield Usually the trophy remains in Northern Ireland but on this occasion Ben and Tom have been entrusted to keep it for the year. It will take place of honour in the Mayor of Mansfield’s office until the 2011 Suinflower Trophy meeting when it will be returned and hopefully won again by Birchall Racing.