Ben and Tom Birchall win thrilling Sidecar TT Race 1 on Isle of Man

Ben and Tom Birchall at Tower Bends | © Isle of Man TT Races

Ben and Tom Birchall won the first Sidecar race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT on Monday afternoon. The two brothers were fastest over two laps ahead of brothers Ryan and Callum Crowe, the duo of Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley came in third with minimal differences.

Monday afternoon at 2:30 PM local time, 3:30 PM Dutch time, the first Sidecar TT race started on the Isle of Man. This was actually scheduled for last Saturday and was also started, but the red flag was waved in the first lap due to a serious incident at Ago’s Leap. Later it turned out that it was the French duo César Chanel and Olivier Lavorel, the latter was killed.

As a result, the race was rescheduled for Monday and reduced by one lap, making it a two-lap race. The race was scheduled to start at 13:10 local time but due to an incident during the Supersport race, it did not start until 14:30.

It was the brothers Ben and Tom Birchall who, as usual, were the first to take to the track with the start number 1. It soon became clear that they were competing with two other brothers, namely Ryan and Callum Crowe. Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley were also fast on their way, behind them the differences were already greater towards 17-time Isle of Man TT winner Dave Molyneux and baker Daryl Gibson.

At the first test point at Glen Helen, the Birchall brothers already had a lead of just over two seconds towards the Crowe brothers. Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley were just over a second behind in third place while Dave Molyneux and Daryl Gibson had already lost about ten seconds at the Birchalls.

During the first lap, Ben and Tom Birchall increased their lead in every sector to over seven seconds towards Ryan and Callum Crowe by the end of the first lap. Behind that, Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley were not far from second place just a second and a half behind.

The Birchalls had to work hard as they narrowed their lead to just four seconds by the second lap of Glen Helen. However, they were able to increase that to seven seconds at the second measuring point in Ballaugh, but at this point it was Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley who had referred the Crowe brothers back to third place.

The Birchalls had a fantastic second lap as they were in the process of breaking their own existing 2018 lap record. By the third test point in Ramsey, their lead over Ryan and Callum Crowe had already grown to around eighteen seconds, putting them on their way to their… victory. The battle for third place was utterly fascinating between the Crowe brothers and Founds/Walmsley, with Ramsey being only a second apart.

Ben and Tom Birchall completed a phenomenal final lap, crossing the line with a margin of about fourteen seconds. With an average of 119.22 mph it was just not enough to break their own 2018 lap record (119.25 mph) but as mentioned, they had again taken a convincing victory on the 60 kilometer long ‘Snaefell Mountain Course’. It is their eighth consecutive win that has left them unbeaten since Sidecar TT Race 2 in 2016. It is Ben Birchall’s eleventh victory, Tom is now on nine TT victories.

In only their second Isle of Man TT, Ryan and Callum Crowe finished very impressively in second place, trailing Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley by just 0.112 seconds.

It was clear that the top three were a class ahead of the rest as fourth place took Dave Molyneux and Daryl Gibson almost a minute and a half longer over the second lap race. Gary Bryan and Phillip Hyde finished fifth ahead of Conrad Harrison and Andrew Winkle, with Gary Gibson / Tom Christie, Gordon Shand / Frank Claeys, Bruce Moore / Ashley Moore and Andy King / Andrew Sigsworth finishing in the top ten.

The second Sidecar TT race will be held Friday morning prior to the Senior TT.

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