Current world champions Ben and Tom Birchall travelled to Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire for round four of the Eastern Airways Battle of Britain Sidecar championship on Sunday where they took two decisive victories plus a fourth place to bring their points tally to 162 and edge nearer to the series lead.
After missing round three because of injury they lost out on 75 championship points and the Mitchells of Mansfield supported world champions knew they had to score well to remain in contention for the title.
The pair qualified on pole position and began race one on Saturday from the head of the field where they remained in charge over the first few laps. They were overhauled by Reeves/Cluze but after following them around for a while the Birchall brothers decided it was time to make a move and shot past to regain their lead and build up a comfortable buffer of 13 seconds which they maintained to the chequered flag.
Race two on Sunday was a dramatic affair with Ben and Tom battling it out with Reeves/Cluze. But despite frequent attempts to overtake, Reeves was unable to make the move stick and the world champions remained at the front.
But with two laps to go things took a dramatic turn when Ben lost the rear at the top of Charlie’s bend and spun off. Reeves followed suit and ended up reversing into the tyre wall. By this time the rest of the field had caught and passed the stricken pair who both managed to get their outfits going again and continue on their way. Ben gave chase to the pack and pulled himself back up to fourth place at the chequered flag at the end of an exciting and eventful 10 laps.
Race three turned out to be another exciting and close race with the Birchalls again starting from pole position. They held the lead and were beginning to pull away when the race was red flagged because of an accident further downfield. At the restart things didn’t go quite to plan and Ben and Tom found themselves in third place during the opening lap but they soon found their form and took over the second place position behind Reeves who had begun to pull away.
Ben made chase and was edging his way nearer to the leaders on the final lap. But just as they thought they would pick up the runner up spot Reeves slowed and stopped with a mechanical problem leaving Ben and Tom to cruise to the chequered flag and take their second win of the weekend.
“We have had a good weekend of racing here at Cadwell,” said Ben. “I am still troubled a bit with my injuries but that doesn’t appear to have held me back at all and we managed to secure three good results which have moved us a lot closer to the front than we were. I would like to say a big thank you to all my sponsors who came over to Cadwell this weekend to support us. We really needed those results, it’s just what we wanted on coming back from injury!”
On arrival at Cadwell Ben and Tom trailed the series leaders by a massive 94 points but after two wins and a fourth place they left the Lincolnshire venue having reduced the gap to 31 with four rounds remaining.
The next round is at Brands Hatch over the Bank holiday weekend when the Mansfield world champions will be anxious to close the gap even further.