Mansfield sidecar racing brothers Ben and Tom Birchall have recently returned from France where they have been putting the LCR 1000cc Yamaha outfit through its paces in preparation for the forthcoming new season of racing.
Ben commented: “We have concluded our pre-season build up and testing which has all gone like clockwork this year. We have managed to not only find sufficient time to work on our fitness but have also built the TT bike and been to two different venues for testing. The new outfit is very smooth and we have never felt as confident on an F2 machine as this.
“We have also tested the F1 outfit in France and managed to shave a further second from our lap times from last year at the same circuit. Both driver and passenger have never felt so prepared and we are looking forward to the start of the season.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the continued support of our loyal sponsors and also to Klaus Klaffenbock and the team for their support at the 2012 TT races.”
First on the agenda is a trip to Brands Hatch where the Mitchells of Mansfield supported brothers will contest the opening two races of the Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar championship over the Easter weekend. All nine double header rounds in this year’s championship will be run as a support class to the MCE British Superbike championship and the Birchall team intend to compete in as many rounds as possible.
The first round of the British championship kicks off at Brands Hatch at Easter with a test session on Good Friday followed by free practice and qualifying on Saturday. The first 18-lap race is scheduled for 5.05pm on Sunday and the weekend is rounded off with a second 18-lapper on Easter Monday at 5.40pm.
The first round of the FIM World Sidecar championship takes place at Magny Cours in France on April 14 as part of the support package to the Bol d’Or 24-hour race.
The Isle of Man TT races take place from May 26 – June 8.