Ben Birchall and Tom Birchall set new lap and race records in taking the first 2018 Senior TT race. The brothers averaged a speed of 117.987 mph through the race while setting a single lap record average speed of 118.694 mph. The Birchalls have now won seven TT races including the last four sidecar races.

Though they were well back of the Birchall’s record, John Holden and Lee Cain became the second sidecar crew to complete a lap averaging faster than 117 mph.

John Holden/Lee Cain (LCR Honda/Silicone Engineering/Barnes Racing) at Quarry Bends during the LOCATE.IM Sidecar TT race one. Photo by Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press.

Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes completed the podium with an average speed of 114.579 mph.

2018 Isle of Man TT: Sure Sidecar TT 1 Top Six Results
Pos. Rider Machine/Team Time Speed
1 Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall Honda/IEG Racing 57:33.635 117.987 mph
2 John Holden/Lee Cain Honda/Silicone Engineering Racing 58:20.767 116.398 mph
3 Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes Honda/Carl Cox Motorsport 58:42.668 114.579 mph
4 Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley DDM/Trustland Group 59:30.256 114.133 mph
5 Alan Founds/Jake Lowther Yamaha/Brian Gray Powerbiking 1:01:16.994 110.820 mph
6 Conrad Harrison/Andrew Winkle Honda/Printing Roller Services 1:01:33.593 110.322 mph

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Birchalls blitz lap and race records in Locate.im Sidecar TT Race 1

Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall (LCR Honda/IEG Racing) at Ballaugh during the LOCATE.IM Sidecar TT race one. Photo by Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press.

Ben and Tom Birchall took their seventh Isle of Man win on Saturday evening when they blitzed the record books in the opening Locate.im Formula Two Sidecar race at the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, shattering both lap and race records.

The Mansfield brothers broke their own lap record on each of the three laps, moving the outright lap record to an astonishing 118.694mph, and they came home 47.1s clear of John Holden/Lee Cain with Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes completing the podium in third.

After the race Ben revealed that they had to work hard for the win and paid tribute to his brother and team.  He said:

“You never know what pace you can run on the Isle of Man. Tom’s been incredible – faultless. We had a bit of a moment at Windy Corner – I’m blaming the wind. We’ve got a great team and Chris builds some great engines.”

The Birchalls led from start to finish and at Glen Helen on the opening lap, their advantage over Holden/Cain was a slender 2.1s with Reeves/Wilkes only a further second back as Alan Founds/Jake Lowther, Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley and Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle completed the top six.

As the lap progressed, the Birchalls continued to extend their lead through all the timing points and it was clear they were on a fast lap – indeed, as they flashed across the line at the end of the lap, they broke their own lap record with a speed of 117.502mph.

Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes (Carl Cox Motorsport powered by H&S Contractors LCR Honda) at School House corner during Sidecar TT Race 1 at TT2018. Photo by Tony Goldsmith.

That gave them a more than healthy lead of 13.1s over Holden/Cain and although Reeves/Wilkes continued to hold onto third, there were problems for Founds/Lowther who pitted to make adjustments and Molyneux/Sayle who retired from the race whilst holding onto sixth. Meanwhile, newcomers Michael Jackson/Harry Payne set a good opening lap of 106.242mph.

The pit stop dropped Founds to 21st place but there were no such problems at the head of the field and the Birchalls were setting a sensational pace and by the end of the lap, they’d doubled their lead to 26.1s – and little wonder as they’d smashed the lap record with a stunning lap of 118.694mph.

Holden/Cain became only the second crew to lap at more than 117mph with a lap of 117.370mph and they were now 19 seconds clear of Reeves/Wilkes. Founds/Walmsley were up to fourth with a new personal best lap of 114.613mph ahead of Conrad Harrison/Andy Winkle and Founds/Lowther who had amazingly climbed all the way back up to sixth.

Runners up John Holden and Lee Cain (Silicone Honda) at Governor’s in the first Sidecar TT today. Photo by Stephen Davison.

On the third and final lap, the gaps between the front runners continued to widen and with a final lap of 117.771mph, the Birchalls came home for their seventh TT win and fourth in a row. Holden’s runner-up spot was his ninth podium in a row and 19th in total, while passenger Lee Cain became the fastest Manx passenger whileReeves/Wilkes came home in a good third place.

Founds/Walmsley took fourth place with brother Alan and passenger Lowther taking a brilliant fifth place given their earlier pit stop and it was Harrison/Winkle who completed the top six.

Darren Hope/Lenny Bumfrey, Gary and Daryl Gibson, Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde and Greg Lambert/Julie Canipa rounded out the top ten.